by Max Brantley
A report from a Fayetteville correspondent:
We wandered out to Vanzant's Fruit Farm -- 479 756 3152 -- between Lowell and Springdale on State Hwy 264 -- a popular place in NW Arkansas on Saturday.
They had some home-made peach, apricot and blackberry fried pies - all in a Arkansas Health Dept. sealed up pouch - that were out of this world!! I mean heavenly.
The blackberry was one of the best since my grandma's kitchen. I called out there to get the maker - some lady in Prairie Grove, but they didn't have the name. Only Fred Vanzant knows her and I guess he ain't telling.
They were an old fashioned fried pie - no sugar on the outside - just flaky brown crust and plenty of natural berries/fruit in it... yum yum,....You know the kind with the fork times all over the crust.
Vanzant's is know for their quirky once or twice a year TV commercials for peaches and apples. Steve Vanzant (3rd generation) -- a goofy-looking farmer type up on ladder in the orchid-- says "Come on our to Vanzant's orchids and get you some peaches. Our peaches are tree-ripened and locally grown, not picked green somwhere's else and shipped plum across the country. If you want good peaches come on our and see us at Vanzants." And closing with vigor, he says: "Come get you some peaches."
They also had some really good looking sorghum molasses from a place in Marvell/, I am investigating that -- since the molasses boasted they were "open pan" cooked. I do know the difference in open-pan and pot-cooked sorghum. I'll try some later and let you know...
The wild blackberry crop -- somewhat good this year despite the cold snap -- is almost ready.
I'd like to add that I made a fine blackberry cobbler this weekend with good berries from the River Market. But it wasn't cheap. I had none too many blackberries in my 9x13 pan and that meant $15 worth of blackberries at $6 per quart.