Frieda's Specialty Produce - Specialty Fruits

New Fruits for the New Year

It’s an auspicious week. At sundown on Wednesday, September 20, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, will begin. The celebration of the Jewish New Year is observed for 10 days and will culminate with the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, starting at sundown on Friday, September 29, and ending the next day. Right in the middle is the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere on September 22. That is the day that the daylight and night hours are virtually equal. Several traditions surround the Jewish New Year. One of my favorites is the tradition to try a new fruit in the new year. That tradition is never more evident than in New York and Los Angeles, where large neighborhoods of Jewish consumers clamor to buy the weirdest and most unusual Continue Reading

Why Are Purple Sweet Potatoes so in Demand?

It all started about 5 months ago. We began to get almost daily emails from consumers all over the world (not just in the United States), asking us about our Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes. They wanted to know where to purchase them. Because the emails were continuous, we started to ask consumers how they heard about them and for some background on their request. As it turns out, the BBC has a series called “How to Stay Young” and had just aired a segment featuring the Japanese diet. Two of … Continue reading

Is It Dragon Fruit or Is It Pitaya?

What’s the difference between dragon fruit and pitaya? The actual name, pitaya or pitahaya (they are interchangeable), stems from the Latin American heritage of this beautiful exotic fruit. It is native to Central America (dating back to the 13th century). However, it made its way to Vietnam and Malaysia (probably due to its popularity with Asian consumers), where it is now widely grown. We’ve heard that the Vietnamese name, “thang loy,” somehow translates into the English words “dragon fruit,” and thus the different name. In Israel, where the fruit is commercially … Continue reading

93 Is a Magical Number

Next Wednesday, my mother, Frieda Rapoport Caplan, will turn 93. I’ve decided to rename her the energizer bunny. That’s because she keeps on going. She has so much energy and such a busy personal life that she has to publish her weekly schedule for my sister Jackie and me to keep on hand, so we know where she is. She is calendared out at least through the end of the year. But, she has cut back. She only comes into the office four days a week (back in the day, … Continue reading