Monday, July 13, 2015


by Kate Collins

My friend and I drove forty five minutes yesterday to go to one of the biggest indoor markets around, a home and garden center so large it takes up a city block. It's in a tiny town near Lake Michigan, called Sawyer, Michigan, that is known for -- Ta-Da -- the Sawyer Home and Garden Center. We try to go a few times a year to get produce not widely available. But they have

many other things, too: unique kitchen items, a winery, a huge candle shop, a garden shop, a clothing shop, a gourmet grocery shop that sells home baked pies in three sizes, and one of the largest nurseries I've ever seen.

This market is a destination. While we're out that way we work in a meal in New Buffalo, Michigan, situated on Lake Michigan, a town that has a whole street of boutiques, and call it a great day.

On this trip, among other things, I was looking for peaches and found more varieties than I knew existed. A Saturn peach shaped like a bagel? Who knew? And then I discovered a new fruit and knew I had to buy some. It's a mango nectarine and I've got a photo of two here on the right of a regular white flesh California peach. It has a mango-ish flavor and is deliciously sweet, easily a dessert.

While on vacation in Paris, my husband and I tried their fresh figs. As I'd only eaten dried figs, (not a fan) I didn't think I'd care for them. And boy, was I wrong. They are one of my all-time favorite fruits. Unfortunately, in my area in the Midwest, it's impossible to find them. California figs are close but we don't get them here either.

These mango nectarines also made me think back to another fruit I discovered a few years ago that I'd never tried, a persimmon. Wow! I was in love. And then they kind of disappeared from my grocery. I tried a star fruit once and wasn't crazy about it. But it made me wonder what else I'm missing that I've never tried and/or heard of.

Have you ever tried an offbeat fruit? Or a mango nectarine? What would you recommend I try next?

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