Every season has its signature splendor for fruits that are in season. And, if you haven’t experienced ripe ‘n ready farm-fresh local NC produce yet, don’t miss out this August. Here are some fruits – in addition to plump peaches – to nab from your local farmers market. If you’ve ever brought home grainy apples and peaches and had to resort to baking with them, there’s no comparison to juicy, ripe, and in-season produce from local farms.
There’s nothing quite like taking a bite of sun-ripened whole fruit as the juice runs down your tongue. And the options for eating (and drinking) are many, from fruit salads to smoothies to cocktails/mocktails and desserts.
Summer’s bounty brings abundant apples, tomatoes, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew melons, sprite melons, muscadine grapes, and figs. All these sweet, seasonal, summer fruits are in season in August in North Carolina. But that’s not all – other seasonal summer fruits include lychees, mangos, pineapple, passion fruits, Asian pears, key limes, rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, cranberries, cherries, and grapes.
It’s time to celebrate this abundance with a recipe or two in honor of in-season summer fruits.
TROPICAL PEACH SALSA
- 2 mangos, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 2 small peaches, halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
- 4 tomatoes, chopped (optional)
- 1 red, white, or yellow onion, diced
- 1 red/green bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow/orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or to taste)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small jalapeno/habanero pepper, minced
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice or cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons white sugar, or to taste
- 2 Tablespoons water (add more if mixture is too thick)
- Salt to taste
Instructions: Dice or mince ingredients, then mix together in a bowl. Refrigerate, then serve with tortilla or blue corn chips as an ideal complement for Mexican and Latin dishes.
Recipe adapted from: allrecipes.com/recipe/166482/mango-peach-and-pineapple-salsa/
SPARKLING WATERMELON-MINT MOJITO
- 1 cup watermelon
- 20 mint leaves
- Juice from 1 lime
- Splash or two of mint or green tea
- 3 ounces rum or alcohol of choice
- Chilled club soda, tonic water, champagne, or prosecco (or try watermelon flavored seltzer)
- Liquid stevia (sweeten to taste)
- 2 large melon balls of watermelon (optional garnish)
- 2 mint sprigs (optional garnish)
- Combine watermelon, mint leaves, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and muddle with the back of a spoon until leaves and watermelon are crushed.
- Fill shaker with ice and add the rum or other alcohol.
- Shake – shake – shake.
- Fill glasses half full with ice; pour contents of shaker (no need to strain) including ice into glasses.
- Top with something sparkling and gently stir together.
- Garnish with watermelon and mint. If desired, add a straw and mini parasol when serving.
Recipe adapted from: creative-culinary.com/watermelon-mint-mojito-cocktails-recipe/
Makes 16 servings
WHERE TO FIND FARM-FRESH PRODUCE LOCALLY:
COBBLESTONE FARMERS MARKET – Old Salem Museum and Gardens parking lot of 1001 S. Marshall Street. Cobblestone is currently open Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. All market activity is set up outside in the parking lot for safe onsite shopping. Pre-Order, Pre-Pay, and Drive-Thru options are available for both Saturday and Wednesday market hours. The market will be open until December 18, 2021.
KRANKIES FARMERS MARKET – 211 E. Third Street. The all-local, producers-only market is open every Tuesday until November and includes vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese, honey, bread, and pasture-raised beef, lamb, chicken, and pork. Hours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WINSTON-SALEM FAIRGROUND FARMERS MARKET is the city’s longest-running farmers market, accepts SNAP EBT cards, and is open year-round. Located at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds, 421 West 27th Street, the market is open on Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Be part of the consumer trend to buy locally and support our local farmers with sustainable agriculture. You’ll boost the local economy and enjoy delicious and nutritious foods fresh from the farm to table. With fruits that are ripe and in season, summer can’t get much sweeter!