The other day I was in San Francisco and stopped by the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to, as is my custom, stock up on dried fruit from Bella Viva Orchards. Sadly, they were out of unsulfured white nectarines. This prompted me to go online where I discovered that white nectarines were ON SALE, plus if I could get my order total to $69 I would get free shipping. The result is the package you see in the photo, a dozen types of dried fruit that will keep me and my family happy for the next several months.
I don’t know why dried fruit gets a bad rap, much like fruitcake. Eating it, and especially giving it, is just not cool. I have known the Bella Viva folks for a good 20 years and feel they make superior dried fruit… growing the good stuff and carefully dessicating it so the flavor stays in even as the moisture and potential for spoilage is lost. They really are at the top of their field. Even if you don’t care about basketball, to make an analogy, you possibly respect Steph Curry for his dedication and the resulting purity and beauty of his game. Bella Viva is like that.
Full disclosure, I once did a small marketing project for Victor Martinez who was actively involved at the farmers market stands but now has, I assume and hope, moved up in the company so he is able to stay home and gaze at the fruit trees instead of getting in the truck at 3 am. At that time Bella Viva was a “transitional” grower, moving to full organic which most of their products are now (though you can still buy conventional versions of some fruits). Best root stock, best cultivation, careful drying then and now produced the best quality dried fruit.
I highly recommend you give these guys a try. It’s fine if you are tempted by some of the gift selections, which aren’t great value but will quickly push your order toward that free shipping minimum. But whatever you do, include some unsulfured white nectarines in your order. You’ll thank me later.