I wanted to write about one of my NEW favorite things and an old, OLD favorite that I’ve been a fan of since I was in elementary school.
The first one is Peppadews (not PepPERdews!). I was introduced to these by my good friend Caron (does it seem like I always mention her? Well…she IS a WEALTH of knowledge! www.sandiegofoodstuff.com ). A few weeks ago we went on a “tour” of our local commissary. It is the largest commissary in the “world” according to published reports and after walking around this monstrosity, I took Caron home and she offered to fix us some lunch.
It was a delicious pasta that she came up with that had toasted pinenuts, marinated olives (maybe kalimatas?) and feta cheese but the real wonderful flavor came from the Peppadews she diced up and threw in there. OMG! It was so good!!! Normally I would have been polite and only had the first serving but when she asked if I wanted more, I was shameless and said YES!
I think it was the next day that I made the trip down to Whole Foods Market ( http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/) where I asked about the Peppadews. The young man behind the counter showed me these golden variety and asked if I wanted those or the ones in the “Olive Bar”. The ones Caron gave me were red and the ones in the case were a golden color. I had a puzzled look on my face and he asked if I wanted to sample one. But OF COURSE! It was divine! So I bought a small container of them (they are over $11 a pound!) and then went to the salad bar and bought some red ones so I could do a side-by-side comparison. The verdict: BOTH delicious, with the yellow ones being slightly sweeter in taste. I haven’t yet tried them stuffed with goat cheese like Caron said to do, but I will soon!
So far, there’s not much information on them yet on the web but I did find out the OFFICIAL Peppadew is only sold and distributed by the company that discovered them. (http://www.peppadewusa.com/)
The seeds are not sold (for those of you who want to grow your own) and it seems they are almost impossible to get…but I did see that if you scour the ‘net, there are people who have defied this company’s right to hold an exclusive to this product. These passionate rebels purport they are only asking for small amounts to cover handling costs and shipping and seem to want to just share this fruit they’ve come to love. I’ve also read some other forums and posts where people are confusing them with the Sweet Red Pepper which is about the same color and size. I’ve had those too and while they are good, they just don’t seem to compare to Peppadews in my opinion.
Some friends of ours live in a house with a beautiful, country-like setting near a winding road on which they take nice, long walks (hikes, really…). Near them are 4 neighbors that have pomegranate trees growing in their yard. I mentioned recently that I love them and they told me about these trees just sitting there brimming with fruit. They said in years past that most of it just falls and lies rotting on the ground. So, during one of their evening walks, my girlfriend went and knocked on a neighbors door and asked if they could pick some for me. The old man that answered said “OK, but just one! They are not ripe yet!” It was nighttime and the tree had abundant fruit, so she actually picked two! HA! Well, he was right, they weren’t ripe yet, so I left them out on my counter about a week to ripen up and couldn’t wait to dig in and eat the first one.
I realized as I was using my Nana’s method of removing the seeds from the pith, that not all of my followers may know the “SECRET” to removing pomegranate seeds. So, here is the trick. Get a big bowl of water and after cutting the pomegranate in half (just score it down both sides and pull…it will come apart without cutting the seeds), just place the pomegranate in the water and push the seeds out with your thumb. The pith will float and the seeds will sink! It’s easy!
Note: In what is becoming a strange coincidence, I am finishing this post the same day that Martha Stewart did a segment on Pomegranates. That happened on my last post about cabbage rolls. (you are entering the Twilight Zone…) Anyway, Martha demonstrated a GREAT method for removing pomegranate seeds. She scored the pomegranate into quarters and turned it over face down (skin side up) in the palm of her cupped hand. She then took a wooden spoon and whacked it hard on the pomegranate and most all of the seeds fell out into her hand and the bowl. I’m going to have to try that the next time I get a pomegranate. AND…maybe make this fantastic sounding drink they made. Check it out –>>