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Shop now for sweet washington cherries

Harvest is here!
Do you know the riddle, "What color is George Washington's white horse?" The answer is obvious, yet not. Well, as the first of the sweet cherries come to fruition, our riddle has a twist, and it's not so obvious. It goes, "What color are Washington's first sweet, lucious, juicy, (red) cherries?" The answer is yellow.

The first of the cherries are about to be harvested, and we can't wait! The Early Robins, in about a week and a bit, are the cousin to the better known Rainiers. Harvested about a week earlier, they are often presented as Rainiers in the grocery channel. We distinctly see a difference; a bit lighter skin and a tiny bit sweeter. Arriving a week earlier works into many peoples schedule, arriving before they travel. Be one of the first of the season to get a cherry.

Next to be harvested will be the amazing Rainiers from Area 51. Every year we are totally impressed by the Stennes' hands on attention to every element and detail from the harvest to the sorting. If only all foods had a family to care for them!

The red cherry that everyone knows best is the Bing. And with good reason; sweet and deep red in color, there is nothing like a red cherry from Washington! Unfortunately, many red cherries which are not Bings, end up in the grocery channel as Bings, even when they are actually a different variety. A red cherry may be a red cherry, but each variety has it's own characteristics, including a Bing. Cultivated over many, many years, it just tastes right.

And speaking of it's own character, the Lapin cherries are also quite special. Larger, very round, it is a cherry to behold! We have been eyeing the Lapins from Area 51 for years, the very same orchard as the glorious Rainiers that we get from the Stennes Family Farms. They promise to be a wonderful, wonderful cherry!

The hands on process from harvest to your door. First, the Stennes' hand sort the cherries on a non-conventional sort line. (Many production cherries are sorted with a cut, shake and drop system. In order to do this, they must be picked earlier so they won't bruise.) Second, they are put in a wind-tunnel to chill before we drive them West of the mountains to our warehouse. Third, we then take the sorted cherries, and sort them by hand one more time as they go into your box. We pull about 30% of the total yield of perfectly good cherries out because they might have a little split on top (from rain pooling where the stem is, and the sun heating up the water, splitting the cherry) or because they don't have a stem. Then on, handed off to UPS and then to you!

Order now before we run out! Last Call!

early robbins cherries Early Robbins
Early Robin Cherries are early ripening Rainier-like Cherries. They are very low acid, so they taste very sweet. With their characteristic cream-colored flesh, Early Robin Cherries are a new variety, and farmers will not pick them until the sugar brix (a measure of how sweet the cherry is) reach 17. But, some wait until they reach 20 brix. That is one of the reasons they are so amazingly delicious -- and addictive.
Fresh Rainier Cherries Fresh Rainier Cherries
The Rainier Cherry is the sweetest of all the sweet cherries. With its characteristic cream-colored flesh, Rainier Cherry farmers will not pick them until the sugar brix (a measure of how sweet the cherry is) reach 17. But, some wait until they reach 20 brix. That is one of the reason they are so memorable -- and addictive.

bing cherries Picked-at-their-Peak Bing Cherries
In 2001, we started the campaign to rally around Picked-at-their-Peak Bing Cherries. With Tom, Linda and Greg Batch the importance of great fruit picked when it should be eaten was born. The Batche's have "retired" for now, and with Tom's introduction, the Stennes Family Farm has fitted "the shoes", just like their fruit, perfectly.

Bing Cherries are the most popular variety of sweet cherry. The taste of that mahogany red flesh is a signature summer experience in Washington State. Washington produces some of the finest cherries, apples and pears in the world, but most of that fruit is picked early - before the fruit is actually ripe because it needs to travel by truck or train across the country to reach your supermarkets.
Lapin Cherries Lapins - The Favorite Cherries of so many!
The Lapins Cherry is a big, beautiful, dark red, sweet cherry. Lapins are some of the largest, juiciest cherries that grow on trees. They're great for snacking, and so big that one cherry is a mouthful! Greg Batch, of Batch's Best Family Farms, says Lapins are his favorite of all the cherries. And he should know...

Don't forget cherries are one of the best deterrents for gout and arthritis. Some claims say cherries will cure and prevent gout and taming arthritis. We don't know if there is science to prove this, but we do know many friends who swear by it. I figure, eat as many cherries as you can, nothing like preventive sweets to keep pain away. (if you eat enough in one sitting, it can cure constipation)

Hawkshead Jelly Lamb for Father's Day!
Mint Jelly says in a manly way, "We love lamb and you too!" A light and fresh jelly, flecked with mint (4%), ideal with lamb, pork and game. Made with sugar, apple, mint and pectin, it could not be more simple or taste more pure.
agostoni chocolate Agostoni Italian Chocolate
Back-in-Stock, and has arrived in time before the swelter of summer. Order up chocolate for baking and eating. Perfect for a cookout; adding chocolate to the grill makes for wonderful sweet & savory meals!

Mangalitsa Lard The most beautiful Lard!
Mangalitsa Lard is the most beautiful lard we have ever seen and smelled. Like a fresh dose of bacon when you scoop, virtually none of the bacon'ee flavor comes into play. What you get is flavor that is indescribable, and yet you know it is there! It's different
San Giacomo Agro di Mosto Use this daily!
Agro di Mosto! We taste it all day in the store and it gets oohs and ahhhs every time! This early stage elixir is pulled from barrels that will eventually become a Tradizionale, making it the root for a balsamic headed to heaven! So, don't get it because it is inexpensive, have it in your pantry so you can use it every time your heart desires! It's perfect on grilled vegetables, in a vinaigrette, on steak or on just a spoon.


Katz Vinegar KATZ FARM - Apple Cider Vinegar Can't live without it, especially in summer. It's one of those treats that makes you realize that any food, no matter how common, can be stupendous! It's a wow food and, like Agro di Mosto, one of the best deals on the planet!

Salmon is running! Call and ask for Eliza to get the best market price and the right amount to suit your needs! Learn about why our salmon might just be better. 800-596-0885

We were blindfolded…

shop now for rainier cherries

...as we were driven down the road towards the orchard known as "Area 51." We made a hard turn to the right and, clearly, we were now traveling over rough, dirt roads - as we lurched and lunged about in the bed of the pickup truck. Then, as quickly as the road had turned rough, the ride smoothed out again, and we could smell the trees and felt the air turn moist, as the sounds of the truck were muffled out and a quiet settled in.

We felt the truck pull to a stop and Mark removed our blindfolds. Our eyes took in what we had already smelled. Long rows of cherry trees, in tight rows, on an undulating terrain that rose in elevation ending at a rock wall that stood high above us.

As we walked into the grove, Mark (5th generation cherry farmer) and his father, Keith, told us a little about this very special place. One family has owned this orchard for as long as the trees had been standing, and it is known for producing especially large fruit.

The first thing I noticed were the girth of the trunks, massive in size compared to all the cherry trees I have seen up to this point. The low canopy of branches were covered with Rainier cherries looking exceptionally big and juicy.

Mark showed me the sizing of the cherries - already an 8 on this day. He expected them to grow at least another half a size more before they were to be picked - some time in the next 5 to 10 days. The cherries already sized "off-the-charts," and even more impressive in a year when many cherries may come in as 11's and 10's! (When it comes to fresh cherries, the smaller the number the bigger the fruit.)

Historically, almost all of the fruit from this orchard goes to the highest bidder, usually to Asia. Because this is a new relationship for us, we have to be on our best behavior. But I couldn’t control myself; I blurt out that our fruit customers would jump at the chance to get such magnificent fruit!

They have agreed to let us sell a little of this amazing grove of Cherries to you all!

** By the way, though the words are fictitious ... the ambiance of how cool this experience was is accurate. This was one special orchard, and we felt very lucky to get the opportunity to walk amongst the trees.

Shop now for summers finest cherries!

This Weeks Recipes

Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb Recipe
I love lamb. Although growing up we always had baked ham for Easter Dinner, as an adult I have come to prefer lamb more often, especially for me on Father's Day. And when looking for a fool-proof recipe that reminds me of my childhood, I always turn first to "Cooking for Comfort" by Marian Burros. (Simon & Schuster, 2003)

Asparagus Risotto Recipe Top with Agro di Mosto!

Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Whipped Mascarpone Recipe

See what you missed in previous Newsletters

Amazing Ortiz, Glorious Fennel Pollen

Foods for the Summer!

The Heat is On!

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