This Week in Produce

Updated every Friday

Last Updated: September 26, 2014

It is officially autumn, which means it is officially apple season here in the produce department. Apple season is one of my favorite times of the year because it moves so quickly, bringing us a different variety of delicious fruit to try every week.

This week we have many fan-favorite apples in stock from a few beloved, longtime partners and some new growers too. One newcomer, Whistling Well Farms, located just outside of Afton, MN, has gorgeous SweeTango apples for us this week. These beauties are so delicious they nearly bring a tear to the eye. Perfectly crisp, with a sweet and tangy flavor that sometimes veers into the realm of spice, these are perfect for eating out of hand. They always go fast because of their popularity, so don't let them fly by you—grab some on your next trip through the department.

Hoch Orchard continues bringing in their beautiful organic apples, including local Honeycrisps that are just like you remember them—sweet, crunchy, and full of flavor. Hoch also has their classic Minnesota baking apple, the Haralson, in stock just in time for the weather to start cooling down. The Beacon apple bags and the bulk and bag Cortland apples are also still in stock for the weekend as well.

Did someone say something about fresh apple cider? Maybe not, so let me be the first to tell you that the coveted Hoch cider is here and it is incredible. I keep buying it because we can't stop drinking it at my house. Chilled or served hot (with cinnamon and nutmeg, of course), you can't go wrong. And the kids just love it!

Breezy Hill also has a whole crop of apples coming in just in time for the weekend. Be sure to try their Honeycrisp, Sweet 16 (super sweet, crisp texture), and Frostbite (firm, tart with sweet flavor) apples, and look for their other (perhaps) new-to-you varieties.

Another seasonal favorite that's back for the fall is Harmony Valley Soup Mix Bags. If you have been reading This Week in Produce for a while you know I love to sing the praises of the Soup Mix. It is always a perfect mixture of root crops, including carrots, parsnips, turnips and a mixture of whatever else is available.

There are two fabulous and easy recipes on the back of the bag. Choose either roasting or making soup from the bag contents, either one makes for an extremely simple and delicious meal solution. I know most of you are busy like I am, which is why I depend on this soup mix in the fall and winter. It really cuts the headache out of meal planning, creating a dish that is hearty, healthful, and downright tasty.

Since fall crops are beginning their takeover of the department, be sure to also peruse the wonderful varieties of local potatoes, especially the all-reds and the all-blues. Driftless has 5lb bags of both their Yukon and red potatoes in stock for the weekend. And since we've already been talking about roasting and making soups, don't forget to try out some of those beautiful, sometime bizarre, varieties of winter squash.

Lastly, the locally-grown decorative gourds and ornamental corns are in stock, and will undoubtedly help everyone get into a fall mood this weekend. I hope everyone has a wonderful last week of September. As the fall produce continues to fill the department, be sure to always ask questions of our friendly produce staff. We want to help you find the perfect apple or winter squash just for you!