Excelsior Orchards has begun the apple harvest. Apples have become so ubiquitous that not many people get all that excited about an apple harvest. Well I am that food nerd who loves when our Colorado apples begin. We will start the sea-son with Galas. Again, most Galas are a rather pedestrian piece of fruit. But not from Excelsior.
Paul’s fruit is grown in some of the best orchard land that we have in our entire country. Couple that with the fact that Paul is meticulous about details. And you will taste some of the most amazing flavors you can find. I find myself saying, “Oh crap, that is what Gala is supposed to taste like??” So do yourself a favor and load up on some of his fruit. You will be so proud of yourself that you did. Might even pat yourself on the back.
Quick note about his Apples and Pears:
Pears are real troopers. They will stay in your fridge for many weeks. When you are ready to eat them, take them out, give them a day or 2 on your counter, wait for the yellow tint, and dive in. If you like pears to have a crunch, eat them while they are green. There is no wrong or right way to eat them.
One thing that you will notice though as they start to tint up in your kitchen is the floral aroma that pears develop. This is actually why I like Pear Cider more than Apples. Apples are great, don’t get me wrong, but pear cider has floral notes that hit your nose as you drink it and it really adds a complexity that I love to the nectar. So additionally, I really recommend that you try some of our fresh cold-pressed pear cider.
Apple storage. Galas have more sugars in them than the up-coming Fujis. What this means is that they are obviously sweeter than Fujis, but they do not store as long. Galas are good for about a month once they come off the trees. Fujis have more “legs” and can last 8-10 weeks off the tree without losing quality or crisp. Honestly though, the apples are so good that they get munched quickly. But if you are interested in storing some, go for 1 month max on Galas, 2-3 months on Fujis.
We also have a new addition to the Excelsior family of fruit and that is the Grape. First harvest for grapes this year. Like all of the other fruit we get, these grapes are phenomenal. Enjoy.
We have been receiving many emails and calls wondering what is happening with The Stand. So here is a quick update.
We are wrapping up an insane month of demo in the space. The transformation from a pharmacy to an industrial feeling produce market kicked up a lot of dust and dumpsters.
A very fun project though. As we started to peel back the layers of the onion, we began to see the history of the building. Originally it was a mechanic shop, pizza joint, pharmacy, café, etc. Incredible journey that is marked by some really funky use of walls, colors and spaces. Our goal is to keep that character present in the building’s future. So there will be steel beams that seem out of place, wood ceilings that don’t match (because they were built in different decades), and concrete floors that were stained green. I love real things. I love things that have a bit more grit to them rather than polish. Besides, grit is more fun.
And let me touch on the roll out for a moment. The main goal of the Stand is to provide more unique and prepared foods to our entire distribution network. We needed a commercial kitchen to help get the home delivery model to where I want it to go. Only when we fulfill all the demand for our home delivery customers will we open the doors up to the public. So know that the brick n mortar store will not detract from your experience as a customer. It will only be enhanced by the kitchen.
And this is why I think the Stand will be so successful and unique; we do not need this space to operate like a typical restaurant. I can promise you that it will be different than any restaurant that you have ever been to. The theme of the restaurant is Our Favorite Flavors of NM. Period. It is not Italian, Asian, Mexican, or any other theme. Menus will be designed based on what we have access to currently. And menus will probably change more than some of us change our undies.
Fresh, Local, Yummy, Fun. This will be the mantra of the food we produce from the Stand. And rest assured that all of the flavors that Chef Jules is cranking out of the kitchen will be available to all of our customers, not just walk-in customers. Our home delivery model has never had a kitchen, now we do!
Have a great weekend. Stay safe and happy, Farmer Monte