Summer in February!
]When we're in the dead of winter here in the U.S., Chile is at the height of their summer season and summer fruit is in full production. (California stone fruit makes its first appearance much later this spring.) If you're looking for a taste of sunshine in February, read on!
On the produce team we're always looking for the best fruit available in the market. Our favorite deals are those where we know the grower and have seen the fruit in production across multiple seasons. For the past two winters, Whole Foods Market buyers have trekked to Chile to learn more about the products and people of a country that provides so much summer fruit to our hemisphere when we're out of season.
Late last month two buyers came home super excited about a high brix (extra sweet) nectarine from Chile's Rancagua region that we're bring into stores this week. Here's their report:
Rancagua is an ideal growing region for stone fruits because of wide, well defined valleys and temperate conditions influenced by high pressure along the Pacific Coast.
This year we're featuring fruit from Juan Miguel Errazuriz, a second generation grower, whose family has been involved in farming for the past 250 years.
Errazuriz traveled the world for three years to research horticultural practices and technology before deciding on a type of fertigation system that supplies water and nutrients directly to the trees' roots.
Now, Errazuriz is one of only a few growers in Chile who uses drip irrigation to control the root system and maximize flavor. Additionally, Errazuriz shortens his trees allowing greater sun penetration for more even maturity, enhancing the fruit's natural sweetness.
We expect to have this exceptional piece of fruit in stores from mid-February through March. Enjoy!