January 7th, 2020
HOW SWEET IT IS
The winter citrus season in Southern California usually begin in late September with all the unique sour fruits and we morph toward the sweeter fruit in January, right about now. This year, and once again, we are proud to offer Buck Brand citrus, some of the best fruit the valley has to offer. There are several operational notes along with some exclusive varieties that join together to create these fabulous citrus flavors. Operationally there are three factors; first the fruit is picked to order, hopefully the day you will pick it up or the same day we can ship it to the Los Angeles produce dock of your choice. Secondly this organic fruit is not waxed. Finally all fruit is fresh horsehair brushed. That is the only treatment these fruits go through, as close to fresh from the tree as you can get. Along with the standards such as satsumas, blood oranges, Washington navel oranges, sweet limes and tangerines, they also offer the Mango Orange with its super sweet with a hint of vanilla and the Lou Lou orange, wonderful balance of sugar and acid. Next month they will begin harvest of the Tango tangerine, a seedless triple cross tangerine which is arguably the finest citrus we have ever tasted. Product loads out of Porterville or can be consolidated anywhere around the LA or SFO or Oakland markets. Please contact your Culinary Rep for pack sizes and prices. This is not a huge farm and harvests of these specialty fruits tend not to last as long as the standard oranges, tangerines and satsumas. But, like everything in these groves, you’ll be pressed to find better.
POTATO NOTES FROM ALL OVER
A few of the organic fingerling potatoes are very tight. Purple and red fingerlings are very hard to come by as the demand for mixed fingerlings rise on the retail level. We expect to see some new crop red and purple fingerling by mid-February but we doubt it will be enough to cover the gap. There are plenty of organic yellow fingerlings to go around from both California and Colorado. Our forward distribution programs in Edison, California and Ephrata, Pennsylvania are going strong, steadily moving yellow and assorted fingerlings. We are exploring expansion into the southeast but more on that as it develops. Creamers or C size potatoes are in good supply throughout the country but demand is strong so not great price deals at this time. Marble potatoes are being freshly harvested this month and the shortage we have been experiencing should be ending soon. The Harvest Moon potatoes (smooth purple skin, bright yellow flesh), are moving slowly but steadily and we are still looking for a happy home for this crop. Samples are available.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – WHO AM I???
Popular throughout the ages in Europe, you may have seen us in paintings by the Dutch and Flemish masters. But, we got a bum rap in the U.S. in the 1920’s and are still recovering from that tarnished reputation (we’re actually quite shiny, have beautiful taut skin, and travel well). Federal prohibition resulted from fears that we spread a fungus (which doesn’t really bother us fruits, but is murder on white pines). The law was changed in 1966, although some states and counties still ban our growth. (“Honest Ag officers, it wasn’t even us; it was our relative, the gooseberry.”) We come primarily from three species of deciduous shrubs and we fruit in reds or whites. (You may also know our black relative.) Our flowers and fruits are born near the bases of first year stems, and then higher up on more mature plants. We’re relatively little fruits, but you’ll find a whole bunch of us hanging out together. Pick our entire sprig to enjoy our sweet tart firm berries. If you want to eat us out of hand, leave us on the bush for a few extra weeks to sweeten. Now that we’ve escaped the law, we’re harvested in the States from June to August and we arrive from New Zealand from December to February. Believe us when we say we’re unmatched for jelly, pie, and sauces, as well as mixed with other fruits. Our whites make sweet summer table wine; our reds make hearty English mead. In Early America, we could be found preserved and dried in many a pantry. We’re low in calories and sodium and contain vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Don’t confuse us with the minute dried guys who look like raisins and come from Greece. (Oh, that small-sized tomato borrowed its name from us.)
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020