Aley Chubeza #74 – July 4th-6th 2011

For those of you who receive your boxes every two weeks, we will repeat our introduction from last week of new local producers who are joining Chubeza’s associates: Eliezer and Sararose of Shorshei Zion, who produce fresh, probiotic, organic food. In their own words:

Shoreshei Tzion provides live healing pro-biotic foods, beverages and Healing Raw Foods. We specialize in creating pro-biotic and raw foods and drinks without using any artificial ingredients or preservatives. Our products are made in small batches to ensure quality and freshness. We have a long list of products that we make every week and we are adding new products all the time. We are very excited to start offering these products through Chubeza: Live Sauerkrauts, Kimchi, Pickles, Live Roots & other Seasonal Pro-biotic pickled Veggies.
– Wild Pro-Biotic Mustard
– Raw Flax Crackers, (contain NO Gluten, eggs, oil, or sugar)
– Live Organic Kombucha
– Natural Beers: Pale Ale, Maple Buckwheat, Chocolate Stout, Nut Brown

About Us

Eliezer & Sararose Tzion first got involved with Live Ferments with a fermented tea called Kombucha. We were hooked from the beginning. The transformational process of fermentation was fascinating and inspired us to explore other ferments, such as pickled veggies, kefir, pro-biotic sodas and more. Driven by the belief in the importance of eating food that is alive, we began to create crackers and other raw food desserts made from live nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies. We make an effort to use ingredients that are as local, fresh, and organic as possible.  We feel proud to offer quality, healing, live foods.  We can heal ourselves by the food we eat.  Enjoy!

If you see something on our menu besides these products that really interests you please contact us and we will try to get it to you.

Contact: Shoresheitzion@gmail.com 054-7895319

You may order via the Chubeza order form, by email or telephone.

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“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat.”

Mark Twain

Fit for both angels and earthlings, Chubeza’s watermelons are primarily the smaller-sized “personal watermelon,” AKA “icebox” watermelons, which conveniently slip into the fridge. We chose this size so that we could fit other vegetables into the box aside the watermelon.

Besides its heavenly taste, this useful, multi-colored fruit can be used in ways that may surprise you. We know how thirst-quenching the watermelon flesh is, but actually, all parts of the watermelon – the core, seeds and rind- are edible. The core is eaten cold and fresh, the seeds toasted, and the rind can be pickled (see recipes). The shell can also be used for beautiful décor, like this:

There is also a folk tale about how in the midst of a heated political discourse, a dissenter thrust half a watermelon straight at the Roman governor Demosthenes. Nonplussed, the governor simply placed the watermelon atop his head, thanking the pitcher for providing him with a helmet to wear in battle against Philip of Macedonia.

Watermelons are grown in Israel in irrigated fields and under non-irrigated (dry-land) conditions. The larger and elliptic varieties are prevalent, along with the smaller and rounder types (like ours.) There are over 1,200 varieties of watermelons worldwide, differing in rind color or core, taste, size, shape and texture. While watermelons can be elongated or round, the Japanese grow square watermelons, to ease them neatly into the fridge! This is done by placing a square box on the fruit at a young stage, forcing it to grow square:

The watermelon rind can be dark green or gray, striped or smooth. In California we even grew a “moon and stars” variety.

The inside of the watermelon is usually pink or red, sometimes yellow, and an orange variety has recently been developed to broaden the spectrum. (Yellow and orange watermelons are not genetically engineered, but rather produced by carful cross-breeding.) The watermelon can contain small black or brown seeds, or grow seedless.

Watermelon is a healing fruit. Its large water content cleanses the body, making watermelon juice highly recommended for those suffering from bladder and liver deficiencies. It is also beneficial for cleansing the kidneys. Watermelon even helps to clean the body of cigarette smoke- -highly recommended for active and passive smokers. Traditional Yemenite folk cures use watermelon seeds to rid bad breath and stains from the teeth and mouth. Crush the seeds well, immerse them in water, and then strain for a super mouthwash. In Iraq, the watermelon rind is used to treat fungal infections. Lybian Jews are known to rub their skin with watermelon rind to lighten age spots. Watermelon contains vitamin A in the form of Carotenoid, vitamin C, and vitamins from the B group as well (B1 and B2). It is low in nitrogen and high in potassium.

Further information about the nutritional and therapeutic virtues of our round, red, delicious friend can be found here (Hebrew).

Now, here’s how to select a ripe, sweet watermelon:

–       We pick the watermelon at its ripest, when the tendril near the stem dries up. But when choosing a watermelon at the stand, see if you can determine whether the stem is a little dry, indicating that the watermelon wasn’t picked while green.

–       The part that comes in contact with the ground changes its color to yellow, so you should look for a yellow spot on one of the watermelon sides.

–       And the most mysterious signal of all: if you tap on the fruit, you will hear a dim sound reverberating back to you.

How to store a watermelon:

The best temperature to store a watermelon is 12° C, but at room temperature (23°) the watermelon can be kept for a week to 10 days. A watermelon left out at room temperature for too long will lose its taste and change its texture.

It is not recommended to freeze a watermelon or store it in the cooler compartments of your fridge. Overexposure to cold can cause frostbite, taking a toll on the watermelon’s taste and making the inside soft and powdery. To store it after opening, wrap in plastic wrap and store at a temperature of 3-4°.

And once you have that excellent watermelon, slice it, add mint and feta cheese, and sit back and enjoy this spectacular summer treat!

Enjoy the watermelons, our modest contribution towards the joys of a beautiful summer,

Alon, Bat Ami and the Chubeza team

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What’s in our summer basket this week?

Monday: basil or lemon verbena or mint, corn, parsley, eggplants, potatoes, acorn squash, tomatoes, cucumbers or fakus, melon or watermelon, cherry tomatoes, lettuce.

In the large box, in addition: zucchini, okra or yard long beans, scallions

Wednesday: lettuce, eggplants or, cucumbers or fakus, basil, tomatoes, acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, melon, potatoes, corn-small boxes only.

In the large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach or Swiss chard, okra or yard long beans or scallions, watermelon. Provence pumpkin

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers of these organic products: granola and cookies, flour, sprouts, goat dairies, fruits, honey, crackers and now also probiotic foods. You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. The attached order form includes a detailed listing of the products and their cost. Fill it out, and send it back to us soon.

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Recipes for watermelon rind:

Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind

Watermelon Rind Preserves

Watermelon rind candy

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