April 5, 2018

  Market Notes
April 5, 2018


While the move from Yuma back to the Salinas Valley went off without a hitch there is one component that has not quite caught up. That would be our baby lettuce program. While we can supply baby lettuce through other growers both domestic and off-shore, we like this program the best. Here’s why. This product, although not organic, is sustainably grown. The program offers 6 varieties of red and 6 varieties of green baby heads. They are not all available at the same time but it allows for variety and alternatives for BMX which is a 3/3 red/green assortment. The best thing about this program is weight. These cases weigh a minimum of 4 pounds and are often 6 pounds or more. For those that buy this product by weight we have not found a better deal out there. Unfortunately our Salinas Valley fields have not come on yet. We were hoping that the babies would be ready when we made the transition north but these fields have not grown as quickly. The good news is that we will begin this program by the middle of next week. If you have yet to appreciate the bigly benefits of this program please contact your Culinary rep for details, try a pallet or two or request a sample.


Fresh wild ramps ramped up, hit frost, ramped down, and are now coming on again. Such is the flow of this short 6-8 week season. Ramps are available daily but poundage is still limited. We expect peak of production to begin around April 12th and run through the end of May. West Virginia product will steadily move north into Michigan over this period. FedEx is available for smaller orders, orders totaling 70#’s or more can be flown via commercial airline for savings and orders over 5000#’s can be trucked. FOB pick up is also available in Michigan. A flush of blonde morel mushrooms are currently available at prices too high to talk about. They will be available for about a month. We also have orchard morels at much more reasonable prices. The morel market, from blacks, to browns and blondes to burns will fluctuate from now through July and possibly with the new global imports. Nettles, fiddleheads, and claytonia also available now with cattail shoots and eastern fiddleheads to follow shortly.


I am the seed of all time. Today I am used in stone ground crackers, but I date back to the Stone Age over 5000 years ago. In fact, I was one of the first spices ever used. Technically I am a fruit, grown like an herb, but used as a spice. Originally cultivated in Asia and Europe, I can also be found growing wild in Canada and the U.S. The Egyptians thought I warded off evil spirits, and many thought I had the power to retain things like a thief in the night; or prevent fowl from flying off, and even keep lovers from being fickle. That’s why I was used in love potions. My fruit is harvested for my so-called “seeds”. I am a member of a group of aromatic, umbelliferous plants, and am characterized by my carminative, vermifuge, antispasmodic, stomachic, and stimulant properties. I’ll bet that Hanna- Barbara didn’t know that Fred Flinestone used me as a seasoning on his brontosaurus burgers and that helped everybody because it relieved his gas. Wilma and Betty depended on me to ease coughs and colds. Even Dino would consume me while grazing to help prevent worms. Along with sarsaparilla I am one of the three major ingredients in the famous ale of the eccentric Dr. Butler. Used to flavor liquor and liqueurs like gin and schnapps, my “seeds” are also used to flavor candy, mouthwash, ice cream, bread, potatoes, vegetables, and pickles. Some say my “seeds” have a licorice flavor, others say a mild spicy taste with a hint of dill or mint. My roots are thick and tapering like a parsnip, but are more tender and taste better. My leaves resemble carrot tops and can be used in salads or as a seasoning in stews and soups. Parkinson said “It is also made into comfits and taken for cold or wind in the body, which also are served to the table with fruit.” I am used in perfumes, soaps, creams, and lotions. But whether you call me a vegetable, a green, a seed, or fruit, I am high in potassium and calcium and three other major minerals. And once the oil is taken from my “seeds” they become very high in protein and fat. You will often find me caught in the rye.


Answer To Last Week’s Quiz:…NECTARINE…Congrats 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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