Every once in a while, I’ll swing by Nell’s Produce Stand , which is located in the parking lot on the corner of Old Alabama and Nesbit Ferry Roads, across from Mt Pisgah school in Alpharetta. I’d been going to them about once a week all summer, as they carried the best peaches from South Georgia, for cheap too. Looky here:
Look how big this sucker was, and it was full of flavor too! You’d think a piece of fruit this big would be bland and unsatisfactory, but no.
It’s no longer peach season, but I swung by there today anyway as I remember seeing some juicy figs there a couple of weeks ago. However, I was disappointed to discover that fig season is no longer. According to the guy hosting the stand today (I forgot to ask his name), Georgia had a wee small window of fig season, a bit less than a month it seems like. By the time I gathered all the fig recipes I wanted to use (such as the fig preserves from last month’s Food and Wine magazine), the figs were gone. I am sad.
They did have these little babies though.
These are Scupperdine grapes. According to the guy at the stand, they’re cousins to the Muscadine, which I’ve heard of because those type of grapes make a mighty tasty French wine (Muscadet). According to a tiny bit of Google research (ok, I did about 10 seconds worth), American Scupperdine is a cross between Scuppernong and Muscadine grapes, for what that’s worth to you.
So what are they like?
Well, for starters, I always inevitably open up the bag the minute I get back in the car, and I’m hit in the face with an intense grapiness, for lack of a better word. You know what grocery store grapes smell like? Intensify that by 200%. So then you pop one in your mouth, and it’s not at all what you expect. A hard skin easy to break through with your teeth, with a soft milder interior, they’re very much like candy and reminiscent of a grape flavored Now and Later. It’s been probably 25 years since I last had a grape-flavored Now and Later, and there I was experiencing it again – except this stuff isn’t fake AND it’s good for you. The skin gives the fruit an almost sour side, but you soon forget it as your mouth becomes engulfed in an extreme grapiness. I ate about 5 on my way home (and I live less than a mile away), spitting the seeds out of the car window as I drove along. Very classy, I know.
I also bought these skinny Japanese eggplant, provided by a farmer in Rincon GA (Rincon is right close to Savannah). I’ve never seen Japanese eggplant that slender, even at the Super H. I foresee myself cutting these in half lengthwise and grilling them, sprinkling with salt and pepper and drizzling with a bit of olive oil.
Nell’s Produce also has some non-local stuff, but I only buy Georgia-grown there. Why not? Support your local farmer.
Off soapox now.
Definition of locavore can be found here.