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Flaming Orange, Cutting Pink in Torrance

November 01, 2000|DAVID KARP

The Tuesday Torrance market features just as many farmers as the Saturday event, though it's much less crowded. Its wide selection and many smaller specialty growers offer real excitement, even to the jaded farmers market veteran.

Last week, Michael Hoehn, a retired cabinet maker, and his wife, Elisabeth, displayed gorgeous, flaming orange Hachiya persimmons from their home in Torrance and sections of yellow-fleshed Hungarian Mammoth squash from their farm in Lancaster.

Toshi and Yaeko Goto, sisters from Gardena, had wonderfully fresh basil, fragrant mint, Spanish tarragon with bright golden flowers and tiny bitter melons. Everett and Johanna Weerheim, who go to just a few markets, sold shelled Hartley walnuts, recently harvested in Tulare. Nora and Raul Rios had freshly roasted Beaumont macadamia nuts from Fallbrook, along with Fuyu persimmons, Bearss limes and several kinds of aromatic guava.

Vilma Causey of Kingsburg had watermelon radishes, as big as softballs, beige on the outside, scarlet on the inside and crunchy, with a bit of a bite--you can eat them raw, she said, or braise them with a bit of soy sauce and garlic. She also sold Shinseiki, Hosui, Shinko and Yali Asian pears; the Hosuis were the sweetest, the Shinkos the crunchiest. Joe Otani of Kosmo Ranch, from Cuyama, had crisp, sweet Fuji apples, as well as Granny Smiths and Galas.

The Vista Del Mundo stand of Santa Barbara touted its "tree melons," which turned out to be pepinos, native to the Andes, golden fruits striped with purple and having yellow juicy flesh and a mild flavor suggesting cucumber, melon and pear.

Lester Kirksey of Exeter and his daughter, Carrie, had ripe, soft Hachiya persimmons, Hayward kiwi fruit, Palestine sweet limes (appreciated chiefly by Middle Easterners) and giant Chandler pummelos, which had green rinds but were "cutting pink," as the citrus pros say.

June Kashima of Orosi brought large, really sweet pomegranates, Giant Fuyu persimmons and jujubes. Tom Shimomura of R Farms showed bright orange Japanese pumpkins, which he said were a hybrid of kabocha squash and pumpkin, and could be eaten like kabocha. He also had edamame, nappa cabbage and tokan--Japanese winter melon, for stews and soup.

Torrance farmers market, 2200 Crenshaw Blvd., between Carson Street and Sepulveda Boulevard, Tuesdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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