Aug. 1, 2019

  Market Notes
Aug. 1, 2019



    From Iran to Europe, from Europe to New Zealand, from New Zealand to the USA and from Andy’s Orchards to you, the original Reine Claude Verte (AKA Green Gage) cultivar has remained virtually unchanged. The Green Gage plum tree does not produce a harvest every year. In fact, it produces fruit every other year.  With the help of hand pollination, this year we will have fruit.  Starting August 8th and hopefully through August 23rd the Green Gage plum will be available through Andy’s Orchards in Morgan Hill, California. The Green Gage plum is small and round and does not pack well in a tray pack so they are sold as 5# bulk. The harvest of this fruit has to be precise in order to get the best flavor and texture so when that small window ends we will be offering a second grade which is awesome for culinary purposes. Often described as sublimely sweet, the Green Gage plum is not only a favorite stone fruit, for many it is their favorite fruit, period. For those familiar with Andy’s you know nothing lasts long. For a single variety to last more than two weeks is rare but the forecast is for a strong crop. To that end we are recommending a pre-order on the five pound cases. Drayage is available to markets and airports but it will be costly so it is best to pick it up at the tree if you can. For history buffs, the Green Gage plum was featured in the famous gardens of Jefferson’s Monticello home where they were grown in quantity and studies. The honey-plum flavor of the Green Gage is best eaten out of hand, but the fruit is also well suited for canning, preserves, desserts or drying. Please get in touch with your Culinary rep next week so you can share in this special harvest of truly amazing fruit.


    No, it is not a misspelling; we made up a new word. Potightoes stands for variety or sizes of potatoes that are tight. And currently we have a few. Purple “A” potatoes are available but there are only a few growing areas right now so there is not an abundance of product. This is also true of most of the colored creamers. Some out of Stockton, fewer out of Arvin and poor quality out of Eastern Washington.  We have been able to do OK on small quantities but pallet quantities are scarce. Price is reflective on this from the yellows to the purples. Pee-wee (small fingerlings) are hit and miss as they are most often a by-product of the standard 2” to 4” fingerling. Yellow pee-wee seem to be the most abundant while red are almost non-existent. This year we offered pink pee-wee for the first time but they are just about gone.  Mid-August brings on lots of new growers in new areas so the availability should increase and hopefully the price will decrease. Harvest is being gobbled up as soon as they are available so please stay ahead on these spuds.


     I’ve gone from growing wild, to slave plantations, to industrial production.  A perennial grass, I am grown in about 80 countries in the tropics and subtropics and can grow from 6 to 23 feet in height.  My cut shoots are 1 – 2 inches in diameter.  I am first documented in India in 1000 BC. Early on, I was used in medicine; Dioscorides, a first-century Greek physician, considered me “worth my weight in silver.”  You’ll find me mentioned by Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Isaiah in the Old Testament. Europeans viewed me as a fabulous food and expensive medicine brought through deserts to their ports.  In fact, in 966, Venice’s fate and fortune were founded on me and on the trade of silks and spices. My most popular output is — cut; crushed for my juice which is extracted with water; purified, concentrated by evaporation, and crystallized. In ancient times, you might have chewed me, or in an Arab harem, made me into a depilatory.  For nouveau cuisine, cook me as a skewer for shrimp.  Raw, I am 96-99% sucrose. Originally a rare and valuable plant, I became so popular that by 1979 there were more of my products produced than could be consumed.  Today, ecologists propose my juice as an alternative food source for pigs and poultry, and scientists are mapping my DNA to help understand plant genes.

Answer to last weeks quiz…PASSION FRUITE…Congrats to all winners!

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