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Front Burner | Farmers Markets

Giant Citrus, Fragrant Guavas in Fullerton

November 21, 2001|DAVID KARP | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Fullerton Wednesday farmers market, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in August, is one of the best markets in Orange County, offering a lively mix of ethnic and conventional items.

Last week, two local backyard growers, Maria Mendez and her son Victor, sold arrayanes: tiny, sour but very fragrant guavas used for making punch or jelly. They also sold regular white-and pink-fleshed guavas and Mexican limes. Laura Kirksey of Exeter had Persian sweet limes, satsuma mandarins (not as sweet as they'll be in another week or so), volleyball-size Chandler pummelos (just starting to turn from green to yellow), crunchy Fuyu persimmons and lusciously soft and sugary, pre-ripened Hachiya persimmons.

Many Central Valley grapes still on the vine were spoiled by recent rains, but supplies will be available from storage for a month or two. Richard and Dorothy Chandler of Sanger sold large, black, oval Autumn Royal, small green and red Crimson Seedless and wonderfully sweet Ruby Seedless.

Date specialist Francisco Paniagua of Thermal, who goes by his nickname, "Conejo," featured several dates: fabulously soft Barhis; large, plump Medjools; and a few "natural" Deglet Noors, delicate translucent golden fruits that were picked at peak ripeness, instead of being dried and rehydrated, as commercial specimens are.

Joel Christison brought recently harvested Atlantic pistachios, salted and unsalted, from his 3-Cs Ranch in Hinkley, west of Barstow. Lily Ying of Riverside had organic shiitake and cauliflower (a.k.a. lion's mane) mushrooms, reshi mushrooms (reputed to have medicinal properties) and pristine snow pea sprouts.

Thongsai Phannavong of Hemet sold nice fresh, young long beans, lemon grass, Thai red hot peppers and small, round, green-and-white striped Thai eggplant. Lidia Jaime of city of Industry had beets, turnips, foot-long red radishes, huge daikon and gorgeous, slightly pungent, pink-fleshed watermelon radishes.

*

Fullerton farmers market, Woodcrest Park, 450 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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