Tony's Tips

  • Tony’s Tips: All about persimmons, a family favorite

    Russo’s' persimmons are “a seasonal favorite and a family favorite, too” according to Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts. The Hachiya permissions are a classic variety in the United States, while the Fuyu persimmons are a newly popularized fruit. Luckily, Russo’s has both in stock! 

    When choosing your persimmons, pay attention to discoloration and texture, but don’t rule out ones with imperfections. Appearance often has no effect on how the fruit ripens, and as Tony puts it, “the important thing is the fruit ripening properly.” Persimmons should be extremely ripe before they can be properly enjoyed, with a soft texture similar to a gummy peach. They’re a very sweet fruit and entirely edible besides the stem. The season only lasts two months, so come pick up these California-grown persimmons while they’re here! 

  • Tony’s Tips: How to cut a pomegranate 

    Cutting a pomegranate may seem daunting, but Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, makes it simple for us. “There are a number of ways to open a pomegranate, and everyone has their favorite,” says Tony. His preferred method is easy: cut the top all the way around, with a paper towel underneath to absorb the juices. Cut out the top in the center and you’ll see the seams inside the pomegranate, which are indicated by small ridges on the outside of the fruit. Just cut down the seams of the fruit and enjoy! 

  • Tony’s Tips: We have the rare Bucatini 

    There has been a mysterious shortage of Bucatini in the United States in 2020 and it’s been nearly impossible to find, but have you checked Russo’s? “We understand there’s no bucatini in the United States, says Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, “however, we have plenty!” In stock is the Benedetto Cavalieri Bucatini, a thick spaghetti with a hole in the center. Pick up a bag along with our house-made Russo’s tomato sauce for an extra fun pasta night at home. 

     

  • Tony’s Tips: How to choose the right pumpkin

    Looking for the perfect pumpkin to bring home from Russo’s? As Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, sees it, “They don’t have to be perfect!” The assortment of shapes and textures reveals a character and charm that comes with locally-grown produce. The important qualities to look for in a pumpkin are a big handle, a rich orange color, and a thick outer layer. You can feel confident that these pumpkins will last a long time due to the way they’re grown and the newer variety of seed. This type shouldn’t be used for cooking (the Sugar Pumpkins are better suited) but the seeds are perfect for roasting once the insides are scooped out.

  • Tony’s Tips: Our diverse selection of melons 

    It’s the beginning of the melon season in Southern California and Arizona, and as Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, predicts, “it’s going to be a great year, the melons are really sweet.” In the outdoor melon department, there is a wide variety: Crenshaw melons, Orange-Fleshed honeydews, Hami melons, and more types of cantaloupes and honeydews. “They’re spectacular this season,” Tony says, “the prices are good and the product is excellent!” These fruits mature beautifully due to excellent planting and growing conditions before reaching Russo’s.
  • Tony’s Tips: Mariachi Chile peppers for your patio 

    Today we take a look at the Mariachi Chile peppers. As Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, puts it, “If you want a patio of nice hot peppers, this would be a good choice!” These are above-ground patio planters. Many of these plants already have Mariachi peppers, so you can impress your neighbors with your green thumb!

  • Tony’s Tips: Our diverse Coleus collection 

    In the plant department, we look at the beautiful coleus. “The varieties are spectacular,” Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, remarks, and they’re just now generating more interest. The different leaf structures and sizes make this plant special. These new varieties have increased this plant’s popularity, especially because it’s easy to plant and grow. Coleus offers fantastic summer and fall colors and combines nicely with vine plants such as potato vine.

     

  • Tony’s Tips: the popular pansies are in season

    You don’t want to miss out on the beautiful colors of spring pansies! “Now through Easter, these will be the most popular flowers,” says Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts. These can go into the ground and couple well with our Coast of Maine potting soil. Russo's pansies are so hardy, “You can walk on them!” (though it's not recommended…). 

     

  • Tony's Tips: The best way to store your produce

    According to Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, “tomatoes and bananas should never see the inside of a refrigerator.” If your bananas are past ripe, use them for banana bread. If these fruits are kept at too low of a temperature, they’ll lose their flavor. Squash can be stored in the fridge at moderate temperatures. 

  • Tony's Tips: The perfect pollinator plants for bees

    We’re in the super pollinator section of the outdoor plant at Russo’s. "There is a bee crisis in New England and around the whole country, so we're attempting to carry the plants that are best to improve the bee population,” notes Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts. As the plants mature, you will see continual arrivals of bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Plant honeysuckle in your yard and you’ll notice that hummingbirds love them! 

     

  • Tony's Tips: Meyer lemons are sweet and in demand

    Meyer lemons may be a bit expensive, but according to Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, “there's not too many grown and there's a big demand.” With this citrus, you can enjoy the lemon flavor without the acidity. Some people like to eat them plain, but you also make a great lemon curd with them. 

     

  • Tony's Tips: The quince, a centuries-old delicacy

    Ever wondered why you can’t eat a quince plain? As Tony Russo from Russo’s in Watertown, Massachusetts, tells us, “they’ll make you sick!” This centuries-old fruit used to be used as a perfume. Once cooked, add the sweet quince to your next baking recipe.