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Best Farmers' Market Stand 

Guru Ram Das Orchards

If growing fruit were a beauty contest, Guru Ram Das Orchards wouldn't be a prime contender. The fruits that owner Didar Singh Khalsa sells at the Berkeley Tuesday and Saturday farmers' markets aren't the biggest or most attractive you'll ever find. His delicate Royal Blenheim apricots, for instance, are small and speckled and a little bit green — not pretty by any stretch. But they're some of the juiciest, most fragrant apricots you'll ever taste. Likewise, Guru Ram Das' smallish, slightly misshapen Valencia oranges taste like oranges ought to taste, even if they are poor candidates for still-life painting. Khalsa's also the only vendor we know of who sells hachiya persimmons like they're meant to be eaten: fully ripe, black-spotted, and practically melting into a pool of super-sweet jelly. The stand really only consists of one small table — two or three items at a time — but, from season to season, the quality is always top-notch.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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