Sudachi, Grapes and Plums

It's time for autumn produce at the market.

With dark cloudy skies and the threat of rain, autumn is celebrated at the . At least the presence of bright green sudachi citrus makes the end of summer feel a little less painful.

“In Japan, the autumn sudachi fruit is celebrated just like the cherry blossoms in spring,” said Kieko Wells, owner of Westfield Farm, an organic property in Camarillo best known for its variety of avocados.

Sudachi is a small green fruit that resembles the common lime, but its flavor has a unique sweet, yet bitter, quality to it. Sudachi is also the base for ponzu, a citrus dipping sauce that’s served on many sushi dishes.

“Now that the season is getting colder, we use the sudachi in hot soups and broths,” Wells said.

Sudachi is also used in Japanese noodle dishes such as soba, udon or other traditional dishes that include fish.

Another early autumn produce item that’s in peak season at the market is grapes. The Burkart Farm has Red Flame (red seedless) and Thompson (green seedless) varieties. Harry Nicholas also has Red Flame and juicy Thomcord grapes that have a deep purple color and are good for jam making.

You can also find a variety of grapes at Summer Harvest Farms, an organic farm best known for its stone fruit.

Ha’s Apple orchard has the last of its Kyoho grapes, a Japanese variety with a rich, sweet pulp that balances with its tart skin. Most people do not eat the skin of the Kyoho grape, but I like the contrast it offers with its sweet flesh.

Burkart Farms also has purple Italian plums and the last of the late summer golden plums so be sure to toss a few into your shopping bag before they are also gone.

I invite you to join me each week as I explore the magical world of the Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market. Please feel free to share stories and recipes of the items you find interesting at the market. If you see me strolling about, please say hello.

See you next week at the market!

Next Week at the Market: Battery collection and e-waste roundup will be held. The drop-off point is Civic Center Drive and 3rd Street. Live entertainment will be provided by Jean Dean in the cafe area of the market.

The Beverly Hills Farmers' Market is held every Sunday (rain or shine) from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the 9300 block of Civic Center Drive. There are more than 60 farmers and vendors offering a wide variety of organic and conventional California-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables. There are also prepared food kitchens with menu items to take out or enjoy at the small on-site cafe.

Parking is available on the neighboring side streets or in the garage attached to the City Hall and library. The market supplies free shopping carts to use and they are located there. If you have any stories or recipes from the market that you wish to share, please contact the site editor at mariec@patch.com.

David De Bacco is a writer living and celebrating life in Los Angeles. He has worked for some of the world's most famous chefs and restaurateurs, and along the way he became a little savvy about food and wine. He has published articles and cookbooks for Shibata Publishing Co. in Tokyo and is a contributing writer for Edge Publications. He is also the creator of the Cookin with Mama blog, a meeting place to share recipes from our mothers.

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