Almost always, every fruit vendor will tell you the goods in his store was freshly picked that day or a few days ago. Never will you hear, “10 days ago”. But that is what exactly Soni said when I asked her about the peaches displayed at Peach King Fruit Market, a fruit stand in Keremeos, the Fruit Stand Capital of Canada.
|Soni, the honest sales lady|
I was astonished at the seller’s honesty. I commended Soni who said the store has to be (truthful) in order to attract and maintain customers. With that guarantee, I did my shopping of peaches, tomatoes, onion, and russian garlic. How are the watermelons? Soni pointed out those green watermelons with black stripes called “Sugar Baby” were yellow inside and good. Yellow? Really?
The last time I had yellow watermelons was as a kid in tropical Philippines. They were referred to as La Mallorca, after the passenger bus line with all-yellow coaches. The red ones were called Victory Liner or Philippine Rabbit which have red-colored coaches. Across the US and Canada, even Mexico, I have never seen yellow watermelons, red being the only one. Although if you google it, some stores do carry the yellow variety. So I got two at $3.99 a piece (regardless of size or weight though more or less everyone were comparable in volume). This was mid-September at the doorstep of the end of the season. Soni said at the start of the season, both red and yellow are sold by weight a t$0.49 - $0.79 cents per pound depending on the bounty of the harvest. The watermelons range from 4 lb to 7 lb in weight. When to expect it next year? Red and Yellow start rolling off the fields the first week of August until the end of September. All local watermelons have seeds, only the imported ones from the US and Mexico are seedless, said Soni. “The seeds variety are juicier.”
A few days later, sure enough, when I bludgeoned the chilled watermelon with a cleaver, the San Andreas size fault revealed a bright golden flesh spotted with black seeds. Crisp, sweet, cool, thirst-quenching, and most importantly firm not mushy. It was a terrific rebirth of a young boy’s gustatory joy.
Peach Fruit King Market also carries cherries (the Lapin variety are bestsellers – middle of July), nectarines, summer and winter apples, pears, berries, pepper, tomato, plum, prunes, pumpkins, and other vegetables - all grown from their huge orchard behind the store. and other properties in the Similkameen Valley.
As to the tastiest peaches, Soni said in addition to Harbrite (an early variety that starts 1st week of August), the other flavorful peaches are Red Haven (also 1st week of August) and Glow Haven (2nd week of August).
The retail and wholesale store opens annually around June 10th and closes end of October. Seven days a week even long weekends and holidays from 8 am - 7 pm (longer depending on daylight)
Call Jessi or Soni at Tel. 250 499 7053. E-mail: email@example.com