April 4, 2019

  Market Notes
April 4, 2019




      Onion and garlic lovers rejoice! The 2019 ramp (wild leek) season has begun. We dripped and drabbed for the past 10 days but now there are enough to offer five pound cases on a steady basis. Price remains high and will do until we hit peak which should be in two weeks. We even have enough quantity to justify airline cargo instead of Fed-Ex overnight.  Currently 5# cases are in the seventy-five dollar range.  Within two weeks we expect that to drop by fifteen bucks. These ramps are clean and reasonably sized. We sell out most every day so orders might take a day or two to ship out so please stay ahead of your orders. As we get closer to the holiday demand will increase and orders will be delayed due to labor, not availability. Please consider these factors when placing orders. Product ships FOB from West Virginia, Michigan, and Ohio. Delivered prices can be quoted at time of sale. Should you require any promotional material, please contact your culinary rep.



Nettles are now available either direct from foragers or at many produce markets across the country. Other wild greens include green mustard, licorice root, fennel fronds, watercress, and western fiddlehead ferns. Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia) is out there but a bit on the small (young) side.  Morel mushrooms are available from the Himalayas, Europe and just beginning here in the USA. East coast fiddlehead ferns, the bright green ones, are about three weeks away. Garlic Scapes should be available in two. Mountain huckleberry, heart of palm bases, and full frame honeycomb are also available but will require a pre-order.



Although many think we look like maggots, we think we’re bomb!  As a member of the Labiatae family I am related to mint, thyme, sage and oregano, but the similarity stops there.  Although there is a town named after me in France (where I was once grown on a large scale), my origins are Chinese and Japanese.  My good friend, Dr. E. Bretschneider, was so enthralled when he discovered us in a Peking garden; he rushed us off to M. Pailleux, his friend who was vice-president of the Société d’ Acclimatisation, and so it goes.  Not very popular in North America, I am still quite common throughout Asia.  My plant grows as high as 16 inches and my oval dull-green leaves a puffy rough and useless.  You will have to dig to enjoy me, and enjoy me you will.  With my thin edible skin, a quick boil and butter, or cooled with a vinaigrette will reveal my slightly sweet flavor, which is reminiscent of salsify or artichoke.  I can be steamed, baked, or sautéed in a wok but not for too long.  Slight overcooking renders me mushy.  Keep me away from aluminum surfaces to avoid oxidation.  I am rich in carbohydrates and small sources of protein.


Answer to last weeks quiz..CHERIMOYA…Congratulations to all winners!

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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