This week marks the end of June. Towards the end of the week we will be charging your cards for this month’s purchases, as well as the May 30th delivery which was not included in last month’s bill.
You may view your billing history in our Internet-based order system. It’s easy. Simply click the tab “דוח הזמנות ותשלומים” where the history of your payments and purchases is clearly displayed. Please make sure the bill is correct, or let us know of any necessary revisions. At the bottom of the bill, the words סה”כ לתשלום: 0 (total due: 0) should appear. If there is any number other than zero, this means we were unable to bill your card and would appreciate your contacting us. We always have our hands full, and we depend on you to inform us. Our thanks!
Remember, we now work with a new billing system, producing one bill and one invoice (from “Green Invoice”) which include all of this month’s purchases at Chubeza. Thank you!
Ripe Fruit for Thought
Wow, summer is certainly here, with its heavy duty heat and humidity in full force. The evenings and early mornings still offer a temporary respite, but by mid-day it is hot, hot, hot!
Summer officially embarked upon us last week on Tuesday, June 21st, the longest day of the year and shortest night. The Hebrew word for summer, קיץ (kayitz), derives from the sweet fruit which ripen at that season. The original Biblical meaning of kayitz is “ripe fruit” (specifically figs). In Aramaic it’s kayit or kaita, which lent its name to the kaitana summer day camp.
So this week, in honor of summer, or rather the ripening fruit, we will take a glimpse at ripening, ripeness and what a ripe fruit actually means.
In order to prepare the fruit for its mission – spreading its seeds to allow the continuity of the species – changes occur within the fruit to ease its detachment from the plant and to embark upon a new path. The changing fruit motions to us and other animals that it is ready for harvest and eating in order for us to fulfill the task it has designated for us. With no legs or wings, the plant depends upon us to eat its fruit and seeds, discharge them from another side in another place, and thus assist in their distribution.
At the end of the fruit’s growth, changes occur in size, color, flavor, fragrance and softness, as well as chemical changes in the PH level and ethylene gas emission.
Color – the green chlorophyll breaks down and slowly disappears, allowing other color material to surface, hidden as long as the chlorophyll existed, such as the carotenoids which provide a reddish shade (like in tomatoes, pumpkin, orange or nectarines). This color change is not always evident externally. For instance, the watermelon fruit changes, but its green shell does not.
Flavor – starch (insoluble) converts to glucose (soluble monosaccharide) and disaccharides, and voila – the fruit is sweet. Various organic acids break down within the ripening fruit, causing the sourness to decrease. The tannins (a compound which exists within the plant that is responsible for the unripe flavor) undergo chemical changes as the fruit ripens and the unripe feel disappears.
Fragrance – synthesis and an excretion of volatile organic compounds create an aroma of ripeness. You can feel it in the etheric oils in a citrus peeling and the very heady fragrance of a ripe melon.
Softening – the pectin stored in the cell walls of the fruit is converted from an insoluble liquid form to a soluble one by degrading enzymes, thus the fruit becomes less firm as the structure breaks down.
The process of ripening is also influenced by an increase in the production of a natural regulator, ethylene gas. As most fruit matures, its breathing pace gradually slows to a minimum, then at once accelerates to its climax, giving those fruit their name – climacteric fruit. The sharp acceleration appears along with an increase in the ethylene production which is emitted from the fruit in the form of an odorless gas. This is the point at which a fruit turns from unripe to ripe. The evaporated ethylene influences the ripening of the fruit itself as well as other fruits adjacent to it. Sometimes you pick fruit or vegetables before they reach a full level of ripeness, like an avocado or banana, and then lead them through a process of artificial post-harvest ripening by keeping them near ethylene. (At home you can do this by storing unripe fruit in a bag with an apple, which emits lots of ethylene, or alone in a paper bag where ripening will increase as the fruit is immersed in its own ethylene excretion.) Climacteric fruit includes the avocado, apple, tomato, banana, peach, nectarine, mango, passion fruit and many other sweeties.
There’s also another group of fruit, non-climacteric, whose breathing keeps a steady level of decrease without any sharp acceleration. For instance: citruses, peppers, pineapple, grapes, strawberry, watermelon, pomegranate and others. And after this scholarly explanation, today there are those who believe this differentiation is probably too simplistic, and fruits don’t actually fall in one of those two categories. Over time, as the truly magical ripening stages of fruit are being explored, the main school of thought holds that these concepts are at two extremes, while various fruit of many shades and mid-ranges lie along the full spectrum.
But hey, we don’t really need these classifications and definitions, research and data analysis. When a fruit is ripe, it is easily harvested and seems happy to do so – the ripe melon, tomato or pumpkin is easily detached from its bush with just a gentle tug. They are now mature and ready to leave their parent bush to join the curious live creature they just met and embark with him/her on a new adventurous summertime path.
Bon appetite to us all, good luck to those fasting during Ramadan, now three weeks into the month with only one week remaining….
Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza team
WHAT’S JOINING THE RIPE FRUIT IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?
Monday: Lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers/fakus, zucchini, eggplant, watermelon/melon, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, potatoes, scallions/onions, acorn squash. Special gift: nana mint
Large box, in addition: Corn/butternut squash, yellow string beans, coriander
Wednesday: Lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers/fakus/bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant/butternut squash/slice of pumpkin, watermelon/melon, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, potatoes, onions, acorn squash. Special gift: nana mint
Large box, in addition: yard long beans/corn/cherry tomatoes, cilantro/basil, scallions/leek
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, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products 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!