RAMP UP AND SPRING FORWARD
It’s yummy time for foraged foods. Mother Nature is at her cooperative best. Ramps are increasing in volume with peak expected in two weeks. Check daily for pricing as it will vary with amount on harvest. East coast fiddlehead ferns have begun. These are the beautiful iridescent green ones that light up a plate. There are purple fiddlehead ferns from the west coast to add to the colorful forage. Domestic morel mushrooms have hit the markets in three ways; black, blonde and orchard. We expect this will be a strong season with many options and lower prices as influenced by imports. Nettles, claytonia, spring onions and sea beans complete foraged forest with garlic scapes and cattail shoots in the wings.
FRISEE DISMAY WITH HELP ON THE WAY
If you are a frisee customer we have some news. For the past few weeks the frisee we have been shipping has been from organic fields in and around Yuma. As the southern season ended with some higher than normal temperatures creating an environment critters love lady bugs are used to protect the plants instead of insecticide. The more the critter infestation the more the lady bugs are used to protect. As most frisee is field packed and hydro cooled there have been lady bugs that remain in the plants. Our growers have done their level best to eliminate the problem but there is an occasional sighting. Unlike packaged salads, frisee is not a ready to eat product, it requires washing and cutting prior to use a lady bug should not indicate anything other than good field management. The good news is that by the end of next week we will have product both organically and conventionally available from fields in the Salinas Valley and surrounding areas. Problem solved unless you need to load before next Thursday.
RANDOM POTATO NOTES
White creamer potatoes are going to get tight until the middle of May. Organic yellow potatoes are done in Colorado and scarce on the west coast. Organic Norkota’s are not looking so great and when we get to the late Canela’s prices are expected to soar. Good looking Tabina’s to the rescue? Fingerlings are in good supply and well stocked everywhere. Many packing houses will be closed next Friday for the holiday. Pee Wee potatoes are tight with yellow being more abundant than red. Jumbo fingerling in normal supply and requires a few days’ notice. Purple marble potatoes are still unavailable until mid-May.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – – WHAT AM I??
Although I am a member of the nightshade family and related to the potato, pepper, tomato, and eggplant, I am actually a berry. Native to Mexico I have been cultivated since the Aztec civilization. I am about one inch in diameter and most often picked when green. I will ripen to a yellow or purple when ripe. My feel is firm and my skin is always glossy as I am protected by my orange/brown-purple veined cape. My cape is so spectacular that it is often peeled back decoratively for décor. My taste is somewhat acidic and some say I have hints of lemon, apple, or herb flavors. I am most popular in Mexican cooking, used fresh in salads, salsas, guacamole, gazpacho and the famous mole-verde sauce. I am and excellent source of potassium while also providing good sources of vitamin C, Magnesium, and niacin. As a pharmafood I can reduce fever, remedy rheumatism, and act and a cleansing agent.
Answer to last weeks quiz..CROSNES…Congratulations to all winners!
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015