Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Fruits

Well summer is upon us and as the heat rises, so does our desire for delectable summer fruits. From using them in baked items, smoothies, toppings or just as is, summer fruits provide that perfect refreshment during a hot summer day. And let us not forget the nutritional value of these fruits.

The following are a few summer fruits to get reacquainted with:

Season- May through September, peak in July.

They are great with breakfast and cereal and sweet enough to eat raw without sugar. They are also good with pancakes, in cakes, lightly stewed and spooned over ice cream, or baked into healthy blueberry muffins.

Cantaloupes: Season- June through September, peak in July.

Cantaloupes have significant amounts of Vitamins A and C. They are a good source of potassium, and contain small amounts of many other minerals. The rind is rich in nutrients so the whole melon may be juiced. They are full of flavor and low in calories.

Season- May through August, peak in July.

Avoid cherries that are soft, have wrinkled skin, are leaking and sticky or that have any visible signs of decay. Immature cherries will be smaller and less juicy while over-mature product will be soft, dull and wrinkled. Sweet varieties are good raw and can be added to salads and fruit salads. Sharper varieties need cooking, to use in tarts, compotes, pancake fillings or as a tart sauce to serve with meat.
They are great for pies, tarts, jellies, jams, and on ice cream.

Honey dew:
Season- February through November, peak in July and August.

Good quality Honeydew melons will turn a creamy yellow color and the skin will have a slightly waxy feel when ripe. They will be firm with a small amount of softness at the stem and will be fairly large - those weighing about 5 pounds have the best flavor. Sometimes, the seeds of an especially juicy melon will rattle if the melon is shaken.

Season- May through August, peak in June.

Great in fruit salads or eaten out of hand. Can be frozen & used in jam. Mango juice is both delicious and healthy. Good quality mangoes will yield slightly to gentle pressure when ripe. The coloring will be deep red and/or rich yellow with only a blush of green at the most. (Very green mangoes are used in certain dishes). Medium to large mangoes are generally best. A ripe mango will smell fairly fruity on the stem end as long as it is not cold. They are best eaten when soft.

Season- June through September, peak in July and August.

Good quality nectarines will be fairly large, have smooth, unblemished skin and will be firm but not rock-hard. Ripen nectarines at home for 2 to 3 days at room temperature until they are slightly soft along the seam. Ripe fruit will have a sweet nectarine smell that is stronger when the fruit is at room temperature.

Peaches: Good quality peaches will be fairly large, firm to slightly soft and have a yellowish or creamy background. A red blush may be present, on some peach varieties to differing degrees, but this is not a true sign of quality. An extremely ripe peach that is at room temperature will also have a sweet peach smell. When picking peaches, pick ones without bruises or marks.

Season- June through October.

Most plums are sweet enough to eat raw, or you can bake them, or make them into crumbles, pies or tarts. Try slices added to green or fruit salads, or bake them alongside meat. Ripe plums feel plump and not too hard

Season- June through July, peak in July.

Raspberries should be plump and deep red. Look for squashed berries inside containers. They contain high levels of antioxidants, rich source of vitamin C and dietary fibers. Great in salads, pies, cakes, pureed for dressings and jams.

For more information, contact your closest Doris Italian Market and ask for the produce manager. For more information on-line, check out or simply use your search engine to get more specifics about your favorite fruit. Have a safe summer and try to stay cool.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fresh Meat: Shopping Tips

For more information, contact your local Doris Italian Market and speak to the Meat manager or e-mail us at

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Fathers' Day

Growing up, our fathers always seemed to be these larger than life characters. The hero that protected us, had the pretty girl (mom) and always knew what to do in any situation. They were intimidating at times as well, when we misbehaved or made a silly mistake. We didn't want to let them down. It was like upsetting the gods and they would wreak havoc upon us. At least that is what it was like for me.

What was intimidating for me was that my dad could do it all. As a child, I remember his physical ability to keep up with me on a bicylcle as he ran in dress shoes and slacks down our street and never got tired. I remember him out running my older brother. His endurance, at the time, seemed super human. "Could I ever be able to match that ability?" I mean the guy worked all day and had five kids to raise with my mom. He truly was a giant in my childhood eyes.

Well years have passed and the one thing that I realized was my dad wasn't super human. He got a little slower as the years progressed and his endurance definitely wasn't what it once was. And yet, as my vision of my father took a more real image, one thing did not change..... his accomplishments.

The "super" things that I remembered my dad doing were still that, "super" and he still worked long and hard to make sure his family was provided for. So in actuality, my dad wasn't this meta-human with astounding abilities. He's a normal guy that did and still does things that are "super". A normal guy, being able to accomplish these great feats, makes him better than a super hero. It makes him an inspiration for someone like me to try to be "super" like him.

What's even more special is that together, a father and child can accomplish so much more together. As much as I have learned from him, he is now learning from his children. To use poetic license, fathers like mine are giants, and we "stand on the shoulders of giants" to see how far we can go. And together, we get there.

Dad, thank you for being larger than life in my childhood and for becoming an inspiration to me, making me believe that anything is possible.

Happy Fathers' Day Dad and to all you Dads out there who have inspired.

What did your dad do when you were young that left you in awe? Share your memories and thoughts of your dad in the comments section.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

White Eggs versus Brown Eggs

"What's the difference between white eggs and brown eggs?" I hear this question many times and the debates about which is superior nutritionally continue. Well I researched the information and the consensus seems to be that brown eggs and white eggs are equal in nutrition and their difference is merely cosmetic.

According to Emily Cooper, media spokesperson for the American Egg Board, "Eggshell color does not affect an egg’s nutritional value, quality, flavor, cooking characteristics, or shell thickness".

So at this point, the only main difference at this point bewteen brown and white eggs is price. Brown eggs tend to be more expensive. From

"Hens that produce brown eggs are larger than white-egg-producing hens, and require more feed and care; that extra expense is passed on to the consumer. Although it might be cheaper to raise white-egg-producing hens, brown eggs continue to sell well, so they’re still a smart business choice for farmers."

And what determines an egg's shell color?

It’s a widespread belief that hens with darker feathers and red earlobes produce brown eggs, while hens with white feathers and white earlobes produce white eggs. Kenneth E. Anderson, professor and poultry extension specialist at North Carolina State University, says it’s not an absolute rule, though he does acknowledge that most hens with white earlobes produce white eggs, and most hens with red earlobes produce brown eggs. Ultimately, eggshell color is a matter of a chicken's genetics.
Hen breeds are predisposed to produce a certain color egg, says Clint Hickman, an owner of Hickman's Family Farms. Which breed of hen will lay which color egg is pretty much well known in the industry: White Leghorns are the most popular breed used to lay white eggs, and Rhode Island Reds are most often used for laying brown eggs. (from

To see what color eggs other hens lay, check out this link:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tips on shopping for shrimp.....

Here's a video with useful information on shopping for shrimp we produced with a local television station....

For more information, contact your local Doris Italian Market and Bakery and speak to the seafood manager or the store's chef.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nero d'Avola: Wine, Sicilian Style

Once relegated as a blending agent to add color and body to weaker reds, the nero d'avola (NEH-roe Dah-VOE-lah) grape has come into its own in the past few decades. Being the idigenous grape variety of the area, it is the most popular red grape in Sicily. In the past Nero d'Avola, which literally means "Avola Black", was often syrupy, with an alcohol content reaching 18%, which is considered too strong for a table wine.

However, new viticulture techniques and night harvesting (placing the grapes in cooled vats to prevent premature fermentation) have been used by some vintners to retain flavor without producing an overpowering wine. The result is often compared to Syrah.

Notable Facts:
  • also known as Calabrese grape
  • dark in color
  • big in fruit flavors
  • well suited for oak
  • able to age for quite a few years, although good to drink upon release
Common Descriptors:
  • cherry
  • plum
  • raspberry
  • spice
  • smoke
Known for its singular climate, Sicily is blessed with consistent growing seasons year to year. this is typified by lots of warm sunshine and very little rain. Of course vintage quality varies, but not as much as it does in Burgundy or Piedmont.

Here are some Nero d'Avola wines that we carry:

Gulfi Nerojbleo

Price: $24.99 750ml

Locations: Pembroke Pines, HollywoodCorvo

Retail: $9.99 750ml

Locations: Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs, Boca Raton, Hollywood, Plantation Lamura

Retail: $7.99 750ml

Locations: Hollywood
Villa Pozzi

Retail: $9.99 750ml

Locations: Coral Springs

Dievole Pinnochio

Retail: $10.99 750ml

Locations: Coral Springs

Abbazia Santa Anastasia Contempo

Retail: $13.99 - $16.99 750ml

Locations: Boca Raton, Coral Springs

Botter - Roccalana

Retail: $7.99 750ml

Locations: Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs, Boca Raton, Hollywood

Firriato Chiaramonte
Retail: $17.99 750ml
Locations: Coral Springs
Retail: $7.99 750ml
Locations: Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs
*Casa Vino*
Retail: $7.99 750ml
Locations: Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs
Retail: $9.99 750ml
Locations: Boca Raton, Hollywood, Coral Springs
Extra References: