August 16th-18th 2021 – PICKING PECKS OF PEPPERS

Next week, Ido and Carole of the Ish shel Lechem bakery are taking a well- deserved break. Therefore, there there are no loaves of bread, but the crackers, granola and other dry products can be ordered via our order system.

Rest up, guys! We’ll miss you.

____________________________________

One hot summer day this week, I started thinking about summer. With so many folks out gallivanting the globe, the thought struck me that there are so many components of your summer boxes which started out around the globe as well, including from the uncharted territories of Africa and America before they were “discovered” in the 15th century. Take tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, corn, potatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes, for example – not one of these tasty vegetables appeared in the European vegetable garden or the Israeli one before the discovery of America. Okra, garlic and watermelon were born in Africa and immigrated here many years ago. The thought of a life bereft of the redness of tomatoes, the green of corn sheaves, the orange of pumpkins and sweet potatoes or the juiciness of watermelon brings to mind black and white TV. One can learn a lesson of modesty from the vegetable patch (usually a good idea): to enjoy the wealth of a colorful, bountiful summer season and to understand a few things about the wonder of difference and varieties, and the great profit and joy to be gained by allowing this variety to develop and reproduce.

(Check out this very interesting article from Masa Acher (Hebrew) about the global culinary migration.)

One of these migrants from the American continent is the pepper, which takes a starring role in your boxes these days. The honorable pepper has now come for a long visit, scheduled to stay all the way till autumn.

The pepper we know and eat in its sweet or spicy varieties, in red, yellow, green or orange (also available in purple, black and brown…) actually received its name by mistake. The word “pepper” originally referred to the pepper spice (i.e. black or white pepper), and only later was lent to the chili and green pepper vegetables.

The black pepper spice (a member of the Piperaceae family, whose black, green or pink seeds—at various stages in the maturation—produce the savory black and white ground pepper condiment we know and love) originated in India, with its name derived from the Sanskrit “Pipali.” Europe was already well-acquainted with pepper, as well as its relative, the Piper longum, which was also used as a very piquant spice. The name was translated via commerce into the Latin “Piper,” from there to the old English “Pipor,” German “Pfeffer,” French “poivre,” Dutch “peper,” and other languages. At the same time, the word was translated from Sanskrit to Persian to Aramaic, becoming known by the ancient Jewish sages. In Mishnaic Hebrew, it in known as “Pilpelin” or “pilpelet,” and in Talmudic “Pilpula.” Its spicy flavor became synonymous with a quick tongue and a sharp brain (thus, in Hebrew, a Talmudic – or other – discussion is termed hitpalpalut), and to describe vigorous diligence.

Pepper spice plant

When Christopher Columbus attempted to discover a shortcut to the Indian spice route, he was unruffled by the fact that he found something totally different.  He bestowed the spicy vegetable he met in the Caribbean (from the Solanaceae family) the same name as the fiery Indian spice he had met, thus confusing the world forever after. There is absolutely no botanical connection between the two plants. Yet the American pepper was as spicy as the Indian one, and Columbus, a merchant and sophisticated marketing man hoping to sell it for a pretty penny in his mother continent, gave them the same name. In his journal, Columbus noted that “the pepper which the local Indians used as spice is more abundant and more valuable than either black or melegueta pepper.” His enthusiasm helped the spicy vegetable travel via Spanish and Portuguese maritime routes to Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and India, and of course, to Hungary, where the ground dried pepper became the national spice, aka paprika.

Soon enough, it was discovered that this spicy vegetable has a sweet little sibling (actually a bunch of sweet siblings), but the name was already given and would not be changed. So, these were coined “sweet peppers,” in Hebrew “gamba.”

In Central America, the vegetable has a long and ancient history. Petrified peppers have been found in archeological digs in Central America dating back over 2000 years, and they appear in Peruvian embroidery relics from the first century. The Olmecs, Toltecins and Aztecs were only some of the cultures known to raise peppers and use them in culinary endeavors. Together with the spicy pepper types, the sweet varieties were brought to Europe. By the beginning of the 17th century, the Europeans discovered the rich variety of the peppers we know today, all raised and grown over the years by habitants of Central America.

Today there are hundreds of pepper varieties which span the taste bud gamut from sweet, bittersweet, spicy to sweet-and-spicy, etc. There are also a host of shapes: large and elongated; square and bell-shaped, hence the name “bell pepper;” small, long and heart-shaped like the Spanish pimiento pepper; long and yellow like a banana, or tiny, like those used for pickling; long and narrow, small and triangular, thin as a shoelace, and more. The colors also vary: they come in green, the original pepper shade, and then range in hue from light to dark green, but that’s not all. When I worked in California, we grew a pepper that started out purple on the outside and green on the inside! As it ripens, the pepper changes shades, similar to the process the tomato undergoes where the level of sugar (or spiciness) is raised and it turns a warmer hue. The most popular peppers are the yellow, orange, and of course, red, but they also come in black and maroon! The sweet pepper and the spicy peppers are harvested at different stages of their growth – from the green to red stage, thus we get to enjoy a wide range of flavors and color.

Planting peppers was actually the first time Alon and I worked together, when he joined me in spring 2004. We planted them in a totally open field, but today the first crops at the beginning of spring are well-groomed in the pampering planting tunnel, with mesh net walls surrounding them for protection, a shade net above and trellising strings that help them stay erect to climb up and away. And like well-pampered, beloved children, they produce great yields totally worth all the trouble of raising them. However, we also grow them in the open field. The summer plants sometimes suffer in the planting tunnel, thus we prefer to plant them in the more ventilated open field. Don’t worry, we pamper them, too, by planting every pepper bed between two Thai lubia beds which climb up the trellising nets on both its sides. We then spread a shade net from one end to the other, as preventative medicine against possible diseases lurking and/or exposure to sunstroke. Here at Chubeza we grow three pepper types: the Maccabi, Tolmeo and Romanetta.

 

Sometimes we begin harvesting the peppers when they are still young and green. The pepper harvest is in fact a simultaneous harvest and thinning out. As we harvest the green peppers, we pick from the denser parts of the bush to allow breathing space and growing room for the remaining vegetables. Upon ripening, the green peppers start turning red, first one cheek, then the other, and slowly become completely blanketed under a red cover. This process takes about three weeks. Now when we harvest peppers, we choose only the ones that are almost entirely red. At the end of the harvest there are still green and half-red peppers awaiting full blush, preparing for next harvest.

Over the past few years, as we learn to grow vegetables in hothouses, we try to ease some of the plant’s burden in its first stages of growth. To allow for it to invest in its growth (to help it grow taller and yield vegetables over a longer period of time), we thin out the plant at the flowering stage, similar to thinning when growing fruit on trees, allowing those that remain on the plant to develop in a thinner, more spacious environment. Thus, our first harvests are usually red peppers, which ripened on the plant for a longer period of uncrowded time.

  

All peppers are very rich in Vitamin C, making them natural anti-aging agents and beneficial in preventing heart and vascular diseases and certain cancers. Vitamin C is important for proper immune system function, and augments iron absorption through the intestines. Another important pepper component is Vitamin A, an anti-oxidant which protects body tissues and cells tissues from oxidation. Vitamin A also aids in the prevention of cancer, heart and vascular diseases, and promotes anti-aging. Vitamin A is crucial for night vision and vital for the proper functioning of the immune system, cells, tissue, mucosal tissues and skin.

May we enjoy a quiet week, where the only excitement comes from summer and fun,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin and the Chubeza team

__________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Bell peppers, Thai yard-long beans (lubia)/okra, parsley/coriander, cherry tomatoes/sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, butternut squash/slice of Neapolitan
pumpkin, eggplant, green soybeans (adamame).

Large box, in addition: Scallions/leeks, corn/Amoro pumpkin, basil/New Zealand spinach.

FRUIT BOXES: Pears, nectarines, apples, mango. Large boxes: Greater quantities of all the fruits above.

Wednesday: Bell peppers, Thai yard-long beans (lubia)/okra/potatoes, parsley/coriander, corn/sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, butternut squash/slice of Neapolitan
pumpkin, eggplant, green soybeans (adamame)/Amoro pumpkin.

Large box, in addition: Scallions/leeks, cherry tomatoes, basil/New Zealand spinach.

FRUIT BOXES: Pears, nectarines, apples, mango. Large boxes: Greater quantities of all the fruits above.

August 26th-28th 2019 – PICKING PECKS OF PEPPERS

One hot summer day this week, I started thinking about summer. With so many folks out gallivanting the globe, the thought struck me that there are so many components of your summer boxes which started out around the globe as well, including from the uncharted territories of Africa and America before they were “discovered” in the 15th century. Take tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, corn, potatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes, for example – not one of these tasty vegetables appeared in the European vegetable garden or the Israeli one before the discovery of America. Okra, garlic and watermelon were born in Africa and immigrated here many years ago. The thought of a life bereft of the redness of tomatoes, the green of corn sheaves, the orange of pumpkins and sweet potatoes or the juiciness of watermelon brings to mind black and white TV. One can learn a lesson of modesty from the vegetable patch (usually a good idea): to enjoy the wealth of a colorful, bountiful summer season and to understand a few things about the wonder of difference and varieties, and the great profit and joy to be gained by allowing this variety to develop and reproduce.

(Check out this very interesting article from Masa Acher (Hebrew) about the global culinary migration.)

One of these migrants from the American continent is the pepper, which takes a starring role in your boxes these days. The honorable pepper has now come for a long visit, scheduled to stay all the way till autumn.

The pepper we know and eat in its sweet or spicy varieties, in red, yellow, green or orange (also available in purple, black and brown…) actually received its name by mistake. The word “pepper” originally referred to the pepper spice (i.e. black or white pepper), and only later was lent to the chili and green pepper vegetables.

The black pepper spice (a member of the Piperaceae family, whose black, green or pink seeds—at various stages in the maturation—produce the savory black and white ground pepper condiment we know and love) originated in India, with its name derived from the Sanskrit “Pipali.” Europe was already well-acquainted with pepper, as well as its relative, the Piper longum, which was also used as a very piquant spice. The name was translated via commerce into the Latin “Piper,” from there to the old English “Pipor,” German “Pfeffer,” French “poivre,” Dutch “peper,” and other languages. At the same time, the word was translated from Sanskrit to Persian to Aramaic, becoming known by the ancient Jewish sages. In Mishnaic Hebrew, it in known as “Pilpelin” or “pilpelet,” and in Talmudic “Pilpula.” Its spicy flavor became synonymous with a quick tongue and a sharp brain (thus, in Hebrew, a Talmudic – or other – discussion is termed hitpalpalut), and to describe vigorous diligence.

Pepper spice plant

When Christopher Columbus attempted to discover a shortcut to the Indian spice route, he was unruffled by the fact that he found something totally different.  He bestowed the spicy vegetable he met in the Caribbean (from the Solanaceae family) the same name as the fiery Indian spice he had met, thus confusing the world forever after. There is absolutely no botanical connection between the two plants. Yet the American pepper was as spicy as the Indian one, and Columbus, a merchant and sophisticated marketing man hoping to sell it for a pretty penny in his mother continent, gave them the same name. In his journal, Columbus noted that “the pepper which the local Indians used as spice is more abundant and more valuable than either black or melegueta pepper.” His enthusiasm helped the spicy vegetable travel via Spanish and Portuguese maritime routes to Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and India, and of course, to Hungary, where the ground dried pepper became the national spice, aka paprika.

Soon enough, it was discovered that this spicy vegetable has a sweet little sibling (actually a bunch of sweet siblings), but the name was already given and would not be changed. So, these were coined “sweet peppers,” in Hebrew “gamba.”

In Central America, the vegetable has a long and ancient history. Petrified peppers have been found in archeological digs in Central America dating back over 2000 years, and they appear in Peruvian embroidery relics from the first century. The Olmecs, Toltecins and Aztecs were only some of the cultures known to raise peppers and use them in culinary endeavors. Together with the spicy pepper types, the sweet varieties were brought to Europe. By the beginning of the 17th century, the Europeans discovered the rich variety of the peppers we know today, all raised and grown over the years by habitants of Central America.

Today there are hundreds of pepper varieties which span the taste bud gamut from sweet, bittersweet, spicy to sweet-and-spicy, etc. There are also a host of shapes: large and elongated; square and bell-shaped, hence the name “bell pepper;” small, long and heart-shaped like the Spanish pimiento pepper; long and yellow like a banana, or tiny, like those used for pickling; long and narrow, small and triangular, thin as a shoelace, and more. The colors also vary: they come in green, the original pepper shade, and then range in hue from light to dark green, but that’s not all. When I worked in California, we grew a pepper that started out purple on the outside and green on the inside! As it ripens, the pepper changes shades, similar to the process the tomato undergoes where the level of sugar (or spiciness) is raised and it turns a warmer hue. The most popular peppers are the yellow, orange, and of course, red, but they also come in black and maroon! The sweet pepper and the spicy peppers are harvested at different stages of their growth – from the green to red stage, thus we get to enjoy a wide range of flavors and color.

Planting peppers was actually the first time Alon and I worked together, when he joined me in spring 2004. We planted them in a totally open field, but today the first crops at the beginning of spring are well-groomed in the pampering planting tunnel, with mesh net walls surrounding them for protection, a shade net above and trellising strings that help them stay erect to climb up and away. And like well-pampered, beloved children, they produce great yields totally worth all the trouble of raising them. However, we also grow them in the open field. The summer plants sometimes suffer in the planting tunnel, thus we prefer to plant them in the more ventilated open field. Don’t worry, we pamper them, too, by planting every pepper bed between two Thai lubia beds which climb up the trellising nets on both its sides. We then spread a shade net from one end to the other, as preventative medicine against possible diseases lurking and/or exposure to sunstroke. Here at Chubeza we grow three pepper types: the Maccabi, Tolmeo and Romanetta.

 

Sometimes we begin harvesting the peppers when they are still young and green. The pepper harvest is in fact a simultaneous harvest and thinning out. As we harvest the green peppers, we pick from the denser parts of the bush to allow breathing space and growing room for the remaining vegetables. Upon ripening, the green peppers start turning red, first one cheek, then the other, and slowly become completely blanketed under a red cover. This process takes about three weeks. Now when we harvest peppers, we choose only the ones that are almost entirely red. At the end of the harvest there are still green and half-red peppers awaiting full blush, preparing for next harvest.

Over the past few years, as we learn to grow vegetables in hothouses, we try to ease some of the plant’s burden in its first stages of growth. To allow for it to invest in its growth (to help it grow taller and yield vegetables over a longer period of time), we thin out the plant at the flowering stage, similar to thinning when growing fruit on trees, allowing those that remain on the plant to develop in a thinner, more spacious environment. Thus, our first harvests are usually red peppers, which ripened on the plant for a longer period of uncrowded time.

  

All peppers are very rich in Vitamin C, making them natural anti-aging agents and beneficial in preventing heart and vascular diseases and certain cancers. Vitamin C is important for proper immune system function, and augments iron absorption through the intestines. Another important pepper component is Vitamin A, an anti-oxidant which protects body tissues and cells tissues from oxidation. Vitamin A also aids in the prevention of cancer, heart and vascular diseases, and promotes anti-aging. Vitamin A is crucial for night vision and vital for the proper functioning of the immune system, cells, tissue, mucosal tissues and skin.

May we enjoy a quiet week, where the only excitement comes from summer and fun,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai, Orin and the Chubeza team

__________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Potatoes, corn, onions/scallions/leeks, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans, slice of pumpkin, parsley/coriander, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers.

Large box, in addition: Okra/lubia, butternut squash, New Zealand spinach.

ALL FRUIT BOXES: Plums, apples, mango. Small boxes, in addition: Bananas. Large boxes, in addition: Grapes

Wednesday: Potatoes/sweet potatoes, corn, onions/scallions/leeks, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, lubia Thai yard-long beans, slice of pumpkin, parsley/coriander, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers.

Large box, in addition: Okra/lubia short, butternut squash, New Zealand spinach.

ALL FRUIT BOXES: Apples, mango. Small boxes, in addition: Bananas, plums. Large boxes, in addition: Grapes, pears.

July 23rd-25th 2018 – The beauty of the rainbow

Hillel of Kibbutz Neot Smadar recently paid us a visit.   After several years of working together, it was great to finally meet face to face. The visit also resulted in some good news for you: a bigger and better assortment of Neot Smadar products for Chubeza clients!

Kibbutz Neot Smadar, located in the southern Negev mountains, maintains a large, varied organic farm with fruits, vegetables and herbs, a goat farm and a vineyard. In addition, the kibbutz members run a winery, an olive press, a fruit cultivation homestead and a dairy where they produce a variety of homegrown organic products.

Watch this short film about the agricultural kibbutz farm and their diverse products

Neot Smadar’s uniqueness is in their excellent quality and simplicity: fruit only, with no additives or preservatives whatsoever. Many of their products contain no added sugar. So what can you now add to your boxes? Excellent organic date honey, a great assortment of fruit health bars, grape juice, grapefruit juice, peach and plum nectar, and beginning this week: medjhoul dates and a variety of olive types.

Make your order via our order system today!

_____________________________

“Not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”

On a hot summer day this week, I started thinking about summer. With so many folks out gallivanting the globe, the thought struck me that there are so many components of your summer boxes which started out around the globe as well, unbeknownst to the west before the discoveries of Africa and American in the 15th century. Tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, corn, potatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes, for example – not one of these tasty vegetables appeared in the European vegetable garden or the Israeli one before the discovery of America. Okra, garlic and watermelon were born in Africa and immigrated here many years ago. The thought of a life bereft of the redness of tomatoes, the green of corn sheaves, the orange of pumpkins and sweet potatoes or the juiciness of watermelon brings to mind black and white TV. These days, when I walk around feeling that attempts are being made to paint our world in a monotonous, uniform color, ignoring the variety and differences among people, focusing only on one color/nation/inclination/religion/weltanschauung, I am offered a lesson of modesty from the vegetable patch (usually a good idea): to enjoy the wealth of a colorful, bountiful summer season and to understand a few things about the wonder of difference and varieties, and the great profit and joy to be gained by allowing this variety to develop and reproduce.

Check out this very interesting article from Masa Acher (Hebrew) about the global culinary migration.

One of these migrants from the American continent is the pepper, which takes a starring role in your boxes these days. We’ve missed him and he must have felt it, for he has now come for a long visit, scheduled to stay all the way till autumn.

The pepper we know and eat in its sweet or spicy varieties, in red, yellow, green or orange (also available in purple, black and brown…) actually received its name by mistake. The word “pepper” originally referred to the pepper spice, and only later was it lent to the chili and green pepper vegetables.

The black pepper spice (a member of the Piperaceae family, whose black, green or pink seeds—at various stages in the maturation—produce the savory black and white ground pepper condiment) originated in India, and its name is derived from the Sanskrit “Pipali.” Europe was already well-acquainted with pepper, as well as with its relative the Piper longum, which was also used as a very piquant spice. The name was translated via commerce into the Latin “Piper,” from there to the old English “Pipor,” German “Pfeffer,” French “poivre,” Dutch “peper,” and other languages. At the same time, the word was translated from Sanskrit to Persian to Aramaic, becoming known by the ancient Jewish sages as “Pilpelin” or “pilpelet.” Its spicy flavor became synonymous with a quick tongue and a sharp brain (thus, in Hebrew, a Talmudic – or other – discourse is termed hitpalpalut).

When Christopher Columbus attempted to discover a shortcut to the Indian spice route, he was unwilling be confounded by the fact that he found something totally different.  He bestowed the spicy vegetable he met in the Caribbean (from the Solanaceae family) the same name as the fiery Indian spice he had met, thus confusing the world forever after. There is absolutely no botanical connection between the two plants. Yet the American pepper was as spicy as the Indian one, and Columbus was a merchant and sophisticated marketing man who was hoping to sell it for a pretty penny in his mother continent, so he gave them the same name. In his journal, Columbus noted that “the pepper which the local Indians used as spice is more abundant and more valuable than either black or melegueta pepper.” His enthusiasm helped the spicy vegetable travel via Spanish and Portuguese maritime routes to Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and India, and of course, to Hungary, where the ground dried pepper became the national spice, aka paprika.

Soon enough, it was discovered that this spicy vegetable has a little sibling which tastes sweet (actually a bunch of sweet siblings), but the name was already given and would not be changed. So these were coined “sweet peppers.”

In Central America, the vegetable has a long and ancient history. Petrified peppers have been found in archeological digs in Central America dating back over 2000 years, and they appear in Peruvian embroidery relics from the first century. The Olmecs, Toltecins and Aztecs were only some of the cultures known to raise peppers and use them in culinary endeavors. Together with the spicy pepper types, the sweet varieties were brought to Europe. By the beginning of the 17th century, the Europeans discovered the rich variety of the peppers we know today, all raised and grown over the years by habitants of Central America.

Today there are hundreds of pepper varieties which span the taste bud gamut from sweet, bittersweet, spicy to sweet-and-spicy, etc. There are also a host of shapes: large and elongated, like our Ohad variety; square and bell-shaped, hence the name “bell pepper;” small, long and heart-shaped like the Spanish pimiento pepper; long and yellow like a banana, or tiny, like those used for pickling. And, of course, there are the spicy ones, long and narrow, small and triangular, thin as a shoelace, and more. The colors also vary: they come in green, the original pepper shade, and then range in hue from light to dark green, but not only. When I worked in California, we grew a pepper that started out purple on the outside and green on the inside! As it ripens, the pepper changes shades, similar to the process the tomato undergoes where the level of sugar (or spiciness) is raised and it turns a warmer hue. The most popular peppers are the yellow, orange, and of course, red, but they also come in black and maroon! The sweet pepper and the spicy peppers are harvested at different stages of their growth – from the green to red stage, thus we get to enjoy a wide range of flavors and color.

Planting peppers was actually the first time Alon and I worked together, when he joined me as a worker in spring 2004. We planted them in a totally open field, but today they are well-groomed in the pampering planting tunnel, with mesh net walls surrounding them for protection, a shade net above and trellising strings that help them stay erect to climb up and away. And like well-pampered, beloved children, they produce great yields totally worth all the trouble of raising them. This year we are growing three types: the Maccabi (which has been with us from Day One,) Tolmeo and Romanetta.

 

In the past, we began harvesting the peppers when they were still young and green. The pepper harvest is in fact a harvest and thinning out at the same time. As we harvest the green peppers, we pick from the denser parts of the bush to allow breathing space and growing room for the remaining vegetables. Upon ripening, the green peppers start turning red, first one cheek, then the other, and slowly become completely blanketed under a cover of red. This process takes about three weeks. Now when we harvest peppers, we choose only the ones that are almost entirely red. At the end of the harvest there are still green and half-red peppers awaiting full blush, preparing for harvest.

Over the past few years, as we learn to grow vegetables in hothouses, we try to reduce some of the plant’s burden in its first stages of growth. To allow for it to invest in its growth (to help it grow taller and yield vegetables over a longer period of time), we thin out the plant at the flowering stage, similar to the period of thinning when growing fruit on trees, allowing those that remain on the plant to develop in a thinner, more spacious environment. Thus, our first harvests are usually red peppers, which ripened on the plant for a longer period of uncrowded time.

  

All peppers are very rich in Vitamin C, making them natural anti-aging agents. Peppers are vital for immune system function, and they improve intestinal iron absorption. Peppers also contain Vitamin A, an anti-oxidant which protects the body and cell tissues from oxidation, helps prevent cancer and heart and blood vessel diseases, and also contains the anti-aging component. Vitamin A promotes night vision and is vital for the proper functioning of the immune system, cells, tissue, mucoid and skin.

To cook the pepper or not to cook? Like the tomato, the process of cooking reduces the level of vitamin C, but doubles the amount of lycopene in the red peppers, another very important anti-oxidant. Bottom line: both are fine.

Hoping for a quiet week, with only summer excitement and the joy of family fun,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza team

__________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Bell peppers, slice of pumpkin/butternut squash, Thai yard-long beans/okra/zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, corn, cherry tomatoes, Amoro pumpkin/acorn squash, lettuce. Small boxes only: melon.

Large box, in addition: Onions/garlic/scallions, parsley, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, potatoes.

FRUIT BOXES: Melon, pears, grapes, mango.

Wednesday: Bell peppers/zucchini, slice of pumpkin, Thai yard-long beans/okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, cherry tomatoes, Amoro pumpkin/acorn squash/butternut squash, lettuce, melon/potatoes, parsley.

Large box, in addition: Onions/garlic, eggplant, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/scallions.

FRUIT BOXES: Pears, grapes, mango. Small boxes: bananas, Large boxes: figs.

November 13th-15th 2017 – A peppery tale

After our longing and pining away for them, the “Neot Smadar” health snacks have returned! Wonderful organic non-gluten delicacies, with no added sugar (sweetened with organic apple concentrate), these are ideal for dessert or for any time of the day or night.

 

The snacks contain a variety of organic nuts and seeds in the following flavors: date, coconut-date, apricot and plum. Each box contains four snacks

Yummy! Enjoy!

____________________________

A reminder: Beginning this week there is a new guy on the block who you can invite to join your veggies – Lechem Pele (Wonder Bread) – naturally leavened bread made from grains and legumes, gluten free! Moshav Hogla’s Shirley Rohel’s breads are super-delicious and filling, contain vegetal protein and a sourdough culture for leavening, and are handmade with no yeast, sugar or oil.

Why then are they “wonder breads”? Well, because they contain only gluten-free whole grains, sprouted legumes and flax, ground by millstone and kneaded and fermented in traditional ways. This amounts to nutritious, delicious bread, high in full vegetal protein, containing low glycemic-level dietary fibers.

Purchase Lechem Pele today via our order system.

________________________________

Derech HaShatil is a small nursery in Shoham that grows organic vegetable plants, working together with the Shekel Foundation, employing only people with special needs. In the hothouse, the nursery cultivates organic high-quality plants for vegetable gardens, fastidiously maintaining the plants’ quality and health.

As winter approaches, Derech HaShatil is offering a planting kit for your winter vegetable garden with an assortment of 45 organic plants: red cabbage, kohlrabi, New Zealand spinach, parsley, coriander, red lettuce, bok choi, arugula. Price: only 50 NIS!

What a great chance to help plants, food and people grow!

You can order this planting kit via an email message to Chubeza, or add it to your boxes beginning next week via our order system (under the category of “Chubeza Vegetables).”

______________________________________

Pecks of Pickled Peppers, Anyone?

The faithful peppers have been with us for a few good months by now. Each time, their starring Newsletter role is eclipsed by an account of an exotic or new or other exciting vegetable. Well, this week as an amazing array of multi-color peppers roll into your boxes, this is our cue to clear the stage for them. Here they are in full glory:

The pepper we know and eat in its sweet or spicy varieties, in red, yellow, green or orange (also available in purple, black and brown…) actually received its name by mistake. The word “pepper” originally referred to the pepper spice, and only later was lent to the chili and green pepper vegetables.

The black pepper spice (a member of the Piperaceae family, whose black, green or pink seeds—at various stages in the maturation—produce the savory black and white ground pepper condiment) originated in India, and its name is derived from the Sanskrit “Pipali.” Europe was already well-acquainted with pepper, as well as its relative, the Piper longum, which was also used as a very piquant spice. The name was translated via commerce into the Latin “Piper,” from there to the old English “Pipor,” German “Pfeffer,” French “poivre,” Dutch “peper,” and other languages. At the same time, the word was translated from Sanskrit to Persian to Aramaic, becoming known by the ancient Jewish sages as “Pilpelin” or “pilpelet.” Its spicy flavor became synonymous with a quick tongue and a sharp brain (thus, in Hebrew, a Talmudic – or other – discussion is termed hitpalpalut).

When Christopher Columbus attempted to discover a shortcut to the Indian spice route, he was unwilling be confounded by the fact that he found something totally different.  He bestowed the spicy vegetable he met in the Caribbean (from the Solanaceae family) the same name as the fiery Indian spice he had met, thus confusing the world forever after. There is absolutely no botanical connection between the two plants. Yet the American pepper was as spicy as the Indian one, and Columbus was a merchant and sophisticated marketing man who was hoping to sell it for a pretty penny in his mother continent, so he gave them the same name. In his journal, Columbus noted that “the pepper which the local Indians used as spice is more abundant and more valuable than either black or melegueta pepper.” His enthusiasm helped the spicy vegetable travel via Spanish and Portuguese maritime routes to Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and India, and of course, to Hungary, where the ground dried pepper became the national spice, aka paprika.

Soon enough, it was discovered that this spicy vegetable has a little sibling which tastes sweet (actually a bunch of sweet siblings), but the name was already given and would not be changed. So these were coined “sweet peppers.”

In Central America, the vegetable has a long and ancient history. Petrified peppers have been found in archeological digs in Central America dating back over 2000 years, and they appear in Peruvian embroidery relics from the first century. The Olmecs, Toltecins and Aztecs were only some of the cultures known to raise pepper and use it in culinary endeavors. Together with the spicy pepper types, the sweet varieties were brought to Europe. By the beginning of the 17th century, the Europeans discovered the rich variety of the peppers we know today, all raised and grown over the years by habitants of Central America.

Today there are hundreds of pepper varieties which span the taste gamut from sweet, bittersweet, and spicy to sweet-and-spicy, etc. There are also a host of combinations in their shape: large and elongated; square and bell-shaped, hence the name “bell pepper;” small, long and heart-shaped like the Spanish pimiento pepper; long and yellow like a banana, or tiny, like those used for pickling. And, of course, there are the hot ones, long and narrow, small and triangular, thin as a shoelace, and more. The colors also vary: they come in green, the original pepper shade, and then range in hue from light to dark green, but not only. When I worked in California, we grew a pepper that started out purple on the outside and green on the inside! As it ripens, the pepper changes shades, similar to the process the tomato undergoes where the level of sugar (or spiciness) is raised and it turns a warmer hue. The most popular peppers are the yellow, orange, and of course, red, but they also come in black and dark red! The sweet-and-spicy peppers are harvested at different stages of their growth – from the green to red stage, thus we get to enjoy a wide range of flavors and color.

  

In the past, we begin harvesting the peppers when they were still young and green. The pepper harvest is in fact a harvest and thinning out at the same time. As we harvest the green peppers, we pick from the denser parts of the bush to allow breathing space and growing room for the remaining vegetables. This year, the first ripening was scarce and diffused, thus we did not need to do any thinning and we did not harvest green peppers in the beginning of the season. Upon ripening, the green peppers start turning red, first one cheek, then the other, and slowly become completely blanketed under a cover of red. This process takes about three weeks. Now when we harvest peppers, we choose only the ones that are almost entirely red. At the end of the harvest there are still green and half-red peppers awaiting full blush, preparing for harvest.

The ripening process takes about three weeks. In warm temperatures, the reddening occurs faster and consecutively, similar to that of the tomato. But during these weeks, as the temperatures drop and the nights grow longer, peppers stay green for a longer while, which creates a perfect opportunity to deliver peppers in two different colors to you.

      

The hot pepper gets its powerful flavor from an organic compound called capsaicin. In fact, the spiciness has nothing to do with the taste buds, but rather to your sense of touch… This is not, in fact, a flavor but a burning sensation. The capsaicin works on the heat receptors in sensitive parts of your bodies, making the body respond as if it has been exposed to very high temperatures. The spiciness encourages sweating, which in turn encourages body cooling. Hence, the popularity of hot, spicy food in warm climates worldwide.

All peppers are very rich in Vitamin C, making them natural anti-aging agents which also fight to prevent heart and blood vessel ailments as well as different types of cancer. Peppers are vital for immune system function, and they improve intestinal iron absorption. Peppers also contain Vitamin A, an anti-oxidant which protects the body and cell tissues from oxidation, helps prevent cancer and heart and blood vessel diseases, and also contains the anti-aging component. Vitamin A promotes good night vision and is vital for the proper functioning of the immune system, cells, tissue, mucoid and skin.

Red peppers also contain lycopene, considered a very powerful antioxidant. The green pepper contains chlorophyll, which assists in the healing of tissues and apparently contributes to protection from the cancerous material in red meat. This week, your boxes contain green, red and peppers yellow peppers as well.

To cook the pepper or not to cook? Like the tomato, the process of cooking reduces the level of vitamin C, but doubles the amount of lycopene in the red peppers, another very important anti-oxidant. Bottom line: both are fine.

Anxiously awaiting some rain, and wishing us all a pleasant autumn week,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza team

_________________________________________________

 WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S GREEN BOXES?

Monday: Coriander/dill, Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, kale, tomatoes/cherry tomatoes, baby radishes/daikon/radishes, kohlrabi/fennel/beets, sweet potatoes, red/green bell peppers. Small boxes only: cabbage/carrots. And, a special gift: mizuna/ arugula/tatsoi.

Large box, in addition:  Yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichoke/eggplant, winter spinach, cabbage and also carrots.

Wednesday: Coriander/dill, Swiss chard/kale, New Zealand spinach/winter spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, kohlrabi/fennel, sweet potatoes/onions, red/green bell peppers. Small boxes only: baby radishes/daikon/radishes. And, a special gift: mizuna/ arugula/tatsoi.

Large box, in addition:  Yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichoke/okra, eggplant/beets, cabbage/broccoli, celery.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, sprouts, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, granola, natural juices, cider and jams, apple vinegar, dates silan and healthy snacks, ground coffee, tachini, honey candy and goat dairy too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. On our order system there’s a detailed listing of the products and their cost, you can make an order online now!

Aley Chubeza #211, August 18th-20th 2014

Pecks of Pickled Peppers, Anyone?

So many times we overlook the familiar, ordinary, trusty constants in life. Usually when I’m trying to come up with topics to share with you, I look at our vegetable list for the week and search for a new friend to highlight. The newbies and unique veggies always dominate the spotlight. I wait for them impatiently before we begin harvesting, check on their development, and brace for that moment where I can finally write about them, introduce them to you, ease your concerns and perhaps provoke your curiosity. And consequently, I miss out on our loyal regulars.

Just as these thoughts were passing through my head, I took a look at the list and noticed the pepper. I skimmed through old newsletters to see what had been written about it in the past, only to discover to my great dismay that over the past decade I’ve dedicated but two newsletters to this stalwart vegetable!

This week, we’ll remedy the situation by focusing on the loyal peppers, with us at almost every meal, and at Chubeza in particular from midsummer till autumn. Chances are you’ll discover – as I have – that although it is so familiar, once you scratch the shiny surface just a bit, you find out new things you never would have believed…

 

The pepper we know and eat in its sweet or spicy varieties, in red, yellow, green or orange (it comes in purple, black and brown as well…) actually received its name by mistake. The word “pepper” originally referred to the pepper spice, and only later was lent to the chili and green pepper vegetables.

The black pepper spice (a member of the Piperaceae family, whose black, green or pink seeds—at various stages in the maturation—produce the savory black and white ground pepper condiment) originated in India, and its name originates from the Sanskrit “Pipali.” Europe was already well-acquainted with pepper, as well as its relative, the Piper longum, which was also used as a very piquant spice. The name was translated via commerce into the Latin “Piper,” from there to the old English “Pipor,” German “Pfeffer,” French “poivre,” Dutch “peper,” and other languages. At the same time, the word was translated from Sanskrit to Persian to Aramaic, becoming known by the ancient Jewish sages as “Pilpelin” or “pilpelet.” Its spicy flavor became synonymous with a quick tongue and a sharp brain (thus, in Hebrew, a Talmudic – or other – discussion is termed hitpalpalut).

When Christopher Columbus attempted to find a shortcut to the Indian spice route, he was unwilling be confounded by the fact that he found something totally different.  He bestowed the spicy vegetable he met in the Caribbean (from the Solanaceae family) the same name as the fiery Indian spice he had met, thus confusing the world forever after. There is absolutely no botanical connection between the two plants. Yet the American pepper was as spicy as the Indian one, and Columbus was a merchant and sophisticated marketing man who was hoping to sell it for a lot of money in his mother continent, so he gave them the same name. In his journal, Columbus noted that “the pepper which the local Indians used as spice is more abundant and more valuable than either black or melegueta pepper.” His enthusiasm helped the spicy vegetable travel via the Spanish and Portuguese to Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and India, and of course, to Hungary, where the ground dried pepper became the national spice, aka paprika.

Soon enough, it was discovered that this spicy vegetable has a little sibling which tastes sweet (actually a bunch of sweet siblings), but the name was already given and would not be changed. So they were coined “sweet peppers.”

In Central America, the vegetable has a long and ancient history. Petrified peppers have been found in archeological digs in Central America dating back over 2000 years, and they appear in Peruvian embroidery relics from the first century. The Olmecs, Toltecins and Aztecs were only some of the cultures known to raise pepper and use it in culinary endeavors. Together with the spicy pepper types, the sweet varieties were brought to Europe. By the beginning of the 17th century, the Europeans discovered the rich variety of the peppers we know today, all raised and grown over the years by habitants of Central America.

Today there are hundreds of pepper varieties which span the taste gamut from sweet, bittersweet, and spicy to sweet-and-spicy, etc. There are also a host of combinations in their shape: large and elongated, like our “Ohad” peppers; square and bell-shaped, hence the name “bell pepper;” small, long and heart-shaped like the Spanish pimiento pepper; long and yellow like a banana, or tiny, like those used for pickling. And, of course, there are the spicy ones, long and narrow, small and triangular, thin as a shoelace, and more. The colors also vary: they come in green, the original pepper shade, and then range in hues from light to dark green, but not only. When I worked in California, we grew a pepper that started out purple on the outside and green on the inside! As it ripens, the pepper changes, similar to the process the tomato undergoes, where the level of sugar (or spiciness) is raised, and it becomes a warmer hue. The most popular peppers are the yellow, orange, and of course, red, but they also come in black and dark red! The sweet-and-spicy peppers are harvested at different stages of their growth – from the green to red stage, thus we get to enjoy a wide range of flavors and color.

 

At Chubeza we begin harvesting the peppers when they’re still young and green. The pepper harvest is in fact a harvest and thinning out at the same time. As we harvest the green peppers, we pick from the denser parts of the bush to allow breathing space and growing room for the remaining vegetables. Upon ripening, the green peppers start turning red, first one cheek, then the other, and slowly become completely blanketed under a cover of red. This process takes about three weeks. Now when we harvest peppers, we choose only the ones that are almost entirely red. At the end of the harvest there are still green and half-red peppers awaiting full blush, preparing for harvest.

  

All peppers are very rich in Vitamin C, making them natural anti-aging agents which also fight to prevent heart and blood vessel ailments as well as different types of cancer. Peppers are vital for immune system function, and they improve intestinal iron absorption. Peppers also contain Vitamin A, an anti-oxidant which protects the body and cell tissues from oxidation, helps prevent cancer and heart and blood vessel diseases, and also contain the anti-aging component. Vitamin A promotes night vision and is vital for the proper functioning of the immune system, cells, tissue, mucoids and skin.

To cook the pepper or not to cook? Like the tomato, the process of cooking reduces the level of vitamin C, but doubles the amount of lycopene in the red peppers, another very important anti-oxidant. Bottom line: they both work.

Here’s to a quiet week filled with excitement caused only by summer fun.  And, best wishes (slightly belated) and holiday greetings to Pume, Vinae and Ding, our Thai workers, who celebrated the Queen’s Birthday last week.

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Maya and the Chubeza team

___________________________

What’s in this Week’s Boxes?

Monday: Butternut squash, zucchini, parsley/coriander, tomatoes, slice of pumpkin, cucumbers, red and green bell peppers, scallions/garlic chives, potatoes. Small boxes only: onions, mint/thyme.

Large boxes, in addition: Corn, New Zealand spinach, leeks, cherry tomatoes/eggplant, okra/Hilda pole beans/Thai beans

Wednesday: thyme/mint, potatoes, cucumbers, slice of pumpkin, tomatoes, corn/cherry tomatoes, chive/scalliions, butternut squash, red bell peppers, zucchini/eggplants, small boxes only: onions.

Large boxes, in addition: New Zealand spinach, leeks, okra/yard long beans, parsley/cilantro

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, pomegranate juice and goat dairy too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. On our order system there’s a detailed listing of the products and their cost, you can make an order online now!