About Culinary Specialty

Culinary Specialty Produce Inc. is a full-line specialty produce broker. We scour the world for the very best in specialty produce. Whether it’s old heirloom varieties, new hybrids, or medicinal herbs, Culinary Specialty Produce is on the cutting edge when it comes to procuring the best quality in the specialty produce market.

An extensive knowledge of the products we market, combined with our expertise in shipping and our exemplary service, has led Culinary Specialty Produce to become a leader in the distribution of specialty produce. For the past 30 years we have offered our valuable expertise to Wholesalers, Supermarkets, and Terminal Markets, and because of our web site we can now provide the same valuable service to Consumers.

We hope the information on this site will spark your imagination and expand your knowledge of specialty produce. Be sure to check out our weekly “produce quiz” and “hot sheet” so you can test your knowledge and be informed on the latest and best specialty produce available.

Because weather and seasons drive the availability of specialty produce, this web site should be viewed as living content. Therefore, descriptions, pictures, and recipes will change and develop over time. Your comments about this web site or our business in general are always welcome.

Please contact us via phone at 908-789-4700, fax at 908-789-4702, e-mail at info@culinaryproduce.com, or snail mail to:

Culinary Specialty Produce Inc.
1190 Route 22 West
Mountainside, New Jersey 07092

(you should eat and be well; buen apetito; bon apetit; mit se dobre; genieten; nautima; eet smakelijk; dobre chut; buen provecho; bon preveina; mangaite tutto; priyatnovo appetita; pofta buna; b’tei avon; afiyet olsun’ guten appetit; e guete; bainigi taitneamh as bhur gcuid bia; ono kau kau)

What is Specialty Produce?

Simply put, specialty produce is tastier and prettier than the standard market selection. Often a baby variety of common produce, specialty produce adds an array of color to the produce stand and ultimately to the plate. Specialty varieties are usually sweeter, cook faster, and require less preparation than the larger, tougher commodity types.

Specialty produce is often made special by the heirloom seed from which it originates. These seeds are preserved in seed banks and remain completely pure. Produce grown from heirloom seeds has a shorter shelf life, but explodes with flavor and is more tender than common produce. Much of the common produce we buy is the result of cross-breeding or genetic alteration. Their modified seeds yield cosmetically perfect, uniform, extended shelf-life produce, but lack the true flavor nature intended.

Since specialty produce is more delicate, harvesting, processing and packaging are often done by hand. While this is a slower process than automated harvesting, the attention pays off with the final product.

More often than not, specialty varieties cost more than commodity varieties, because they cost more to grow and to ship. But, if flavor and appearance make a difference in what you eat, you will appreciate the real value and enjoyment that specialty produce has to offer.

Food Safety

At Culinary we take food safety very seriously. Food safety is an essential ingredient in the distribution of any perishable product, and as providers within the food distribution chain, it is our duty to make certain the products we offer are grown, harvested, processed, and packaged with a particular dedication to food safety.

All of the products we import are first inspected in the country of origin, and then are re-inspected by the FDA prior to release in the USA.

All of the growers with which Culinary works directly have an active Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program pending certification, an active employee training program, and observe Good Agricultural Practices (GMP).

All of our foraged products are procured through licensed purveyors who are experienced in maintaining cleanliness and safety.

All products that need regulated temperature are shipped in foil-lined containers, packed with ice, and have temperature recorders. Temperature recorders ensure and verify the safe arrival of the product to its final destination.

Please contact us directly if you would like more information or specific details on food safety for any of our products.


The demand for fresh produce in retail and super markets is at an all time high. Where meat used to drive the consumer market, now fresh fruits and vegetables have taken over, and variety leads the way. Culinary can support this demand in many ways. Culinary provides a comprehensive program for retailers by giving you variety, cross-docking, consolidation, education, and demonstrations.

Culinary provides weekly information on all our items (more often if required.) This information includes quality, availability, and pricing of hot and seasonal items. For any particular fruit or vegetable within a particular growing area, we can define the peak time for quality and price. Our “L.A. Hot List” and “Off-Shore” publications give you an update at a glance, while our “Market Notes” introduce hot, new and happening items.

Culinary has also developed expertise in direct store integration. We can work directly with department or category managers on a store by store basis. In doing so, we can provide items that customers of that particular unit desire. Culinary will uniquely label these items so the warehouse can ship directly to the store without having to provide slotting or inventory space.

Consolidation of cross-docked items provides value for the buyer. We can consolidate at a location of your choice or provide a dock where everything is palletized, labeled and ready to go. Whether it is asparagus for inventory or Buddha’s Hands for a special customer, Culinary can put it all together in one location, label it accordingly, integrate with your transportation broker, and provide all necessary documentation.

Understanding that the demand for fruits and vegetables is on the rise, Culinary provides vast information on new items. From historical notes of interest and sampling, to demonstration procedures and recipes, we are the source for handling and usage. We can often provide these unique items with ad pricing during peak harvesting times. Combining this with demos, literature, and employee education, a successful pattern of specialty marketing develops, wowing your customers daily.

Culinary will also work with corporate buyers, staff, and store managers for private food shows or seminars. We feel this is the best way for you to get to know us, our product, how we market, and it allows us to determine what works best for each individual customer.

Providing our own brand, or working with your private label, Culinary Specialty Produce Inc. is the source for value added, unique specialty produce. If you want to see impact and growth of specialty produce at any level, give Culinary a call today.


Today wholesalers and distributors are under tremendous pressure because business, industry, chain, independent, and white tablecloth accounts demand delivery of great quality with competitive prices. Accommodating these demands can be all consuming and looking for value in a specialty produce program can be just as consuming. So where can you find this value? Enter Culinary, we are your one stop source for your specialty needs. Specialty produce is all we do, so when you call we are ready. Culinary does not sell to restaurants, so we are never your competition. From procurement to shipping, consolidation to consulting, Culinary is on hand 24 hours a day. We give our clients a special marketing edge because we can provide private labels and grower menu programs.

Do you need information and availability on a specialty product? No need to make a dozen calls; just call Culinary and tell us what you need and when you need it. We can usually immediately tell you about availability and cost. You will have complete written documentation of everything you ordered, including delivered cost, before your order ships out.

Our shipping techniques are just short of magic. We offer different shipping options: consolidation customized to your FOB docks; prepaid commercial air transfer; airport to door delivery (ACI); and if required, prepaid overnight delivery; or direct delivery to your customer. Be it pallet quantity or just one case, you need it, we’ll get it. No matter how you choose to receive your product, Culinary will track it until your product arrives at your door. We have direct 24-hour on-line information for every major carrier. Your order is complete only when you verify good arrival.

Some of our more unique programs create a marketing relationship between the wholesaler, restaurant, and grower. In return for menu recognition of farm or brand names, growers often provide allowances to the wholesaler. These allowances can be passed directly to the restaurant. This provides tremendous value for the end user, protection and security for the wholesaler, and unmatched exposure and response for the grower. It’s a value, value, value situation!

Culinary Specialty Produce offers free development programs to its wholesalers and their customers. From seasonal to occasional, Culinary can help a wholesaler, and hence their accounts, to get the best value from specialty produce. Understanding peak times for prime flavor, pricing, transportation, and marketing, Culinary is your agent for success.

So put us to the test, pick up the phone and give us a call. It’s all the work you’ll need to do. “We follow orders.”


Culinary Specialty Produce Inc. is proud to introduce specialty produce direct to the consumer. After tremendous demand, we have finally developed a system for efficiently shipping quality items direct to consumers. This program is exciting and new to Culinary and we will continue to develop this program in the coming months.

Because we feel the need to provide exceptional service, direct consumer orders cannot be taken electronically. Consumers who order can send an e-mail to us at orders@culinaryproduce.com, but we prefer that you print the form out and call or fax your order to us.

We will immediately contact you to review your order, prices and delivery dates. If you wish, you can avoid filling out the order form and call us directly.

The majority of our products are highly perishable so we will require that deliveries be received directly by a person, not dropped at a doorstep or left at a mail box. This may seem inconvenient, but we feel this is the only way to ensure arrival of quality produce. Be assured that after your order is placed, you will be regularly updated on the status of your shipment.

Culinary Specialty Produce Inc. will also be offering recipes, gift baskets, and monthly specials. Currently we are developing a catalog that we hope will spark your interest. If it grows, Culinary knows, and we will get it to you!

We look forward to working with consumers and developing this aspect of our business. Please feel free to contact us.