Look what I found! Do you know what these are?
It’s a type of fruit that I had never seen or heard of before yesterday. Naturally, I had to buy some. They’re called…
There’s not a lot of information about them online, but I did learn than Angelcots are a hybrid of a Moroccan Apricot and an Iranian Apricot. One blog describes their taste as “delicately honey sweet, and juicy beyond belief.” Sounds good to me! I also learned that, as of a few years ago, the only place they’re grown is on a few acres of farmland in Brentwood, California. Not Brentwood, the fancy-pants part of LA where celebrities live and Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered… a different Brentwood, up in northern California, east of Oakland. Their season is relatively short, so I really lucked out stumbling upon them. I bought four:
I haven’t eaten any, because they’re not quite ripe yet.
When I say I stumbled upon them, I’m not kidding around. There’s a store in my neighborhood called North Hollywood Market & Bakery.
It’s tucked away in a strip mall, and even though I’ve lived in my current home for 2.5 years, I didn’t notice this place until a few months ago. And when I did notice it, I paid no attention to it, because I assumed it was a liquor or convenience store. I’m used to liquor and convenience stores claiming to be ‘markets’, ‘grocery stores’, and even ‘delis’ – but then you walk in and find that their merchandise is more along the lines of Coors and Doritos.
I was driving by yesterday when I noticed that there was a display of watermelons out front (‘display’ might be generous a term – it was a shopping cart full of watermelons), and I thought: No way – that place has produce?!? I turned around and pulled into the parking lot to check it out. When I walked in I was very pleasantly surprised – it actually is a market and bakery! It was tiny – probably not much bigger than my apartment – but their produce selection took up about a third of the space.
They had a very eclectic assortment – all your basics, like apple, bananas, and pears, but then a lot of more exotic items as well, like quinces and lychees. There was also a full service deli counter, a full service meat counter, a bakery section, and 2 aisles of groceries. I deduced very quickly, based on the plethora of signs and packaging that I couldn’t read, that it’s a middle eastern market. My guess, based on the area’s demographics, is that it’s Armenian, but I’m not sure.
They had some great looking produce, and at wonderful prices. I picked up a couple beautifully speckled pears:
These are called Forelle pears, and I don’t think I’ve ever had them before either. They, too, are not quite ripe.
They had containers of blackberries for 50 cents apiece, and big containers of blueberries for $2. I wasn’t planning on going grocery shopping yesterday, but the prices and inventory won me over, and I ended up making an impromptu purchase of a produce mini-haul. Here’s what I got:
Clockwise from top left, we have: the Forelle pears, blueberries, blackberries, scallions, Angelcots, cucumbers, a lemon, and a white onion.
The scallions cost 33 cents. So did the lemon. The onion was 10 cents. A dime! Altogether, I spent $7.19. Not too shabby.
I’m so glad I found this place – I’m sure I’ll be back!
Keep it up, David!