What’s in season: Apples are dominating many stands at farmers markets around Los Angeles, a sure sign fall is just around the corner. New varieties will continue to show up during a season which typically runs from late summer through the end of fall. Recent varieties spotted include early season Golden Supreme, a crisp variety; sweet Mollie Delicious; dry, crunchy Jonathan; and Pink Pearl, a tart variety sporting a pink interior when bitten or sliced. Look for heirloom varieties of grocery store staples, such as Gala apples, which might lack the size and colors of their commercial counterparts, but are wonderfully sweet with a real depth of flavor. Of course, you can also pick your own heirloom apples at a number of U-Pick farms in Southern California’s own Apple Country, Oak Glen, where September is usually peak apple season.
What to cook: Apples vary dramatically when it comes to characteristics and flavors, and different varieties are suited to different preparations, be it a classic pie, sauce or cake, or added to savory dishes such as roasted duck or pork. Look for apples that hold together well for baking, as well as apples on the tarter side, especially if you’re adding sugar. Farmers often offer samples, and check with them for flavor characteristics and suggestions for using.
What’s on the horizon: Pomegranates, typically in season from fall through the beginning of winter, are starting to show up.