February 25, 2016

  Market Notes
February 25, 2016



With all the new varieties of potatoes now available for both retail and wholesale, it’s tough to get a new potato to catch on. First, you have to believe it is truly great. Second, you have to let the community know that the potato even exists. Then, you have to go tongue by tongue to develop a fan base. All that gives us the opportunity to manage growth and that is where we are at with the newly named Harvest Moon. With growing interest on both the east and west coast we are now able to provide product for just in time deliveries from forward distribution facilities in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Colorado and two locations in California. “Purple Is The New Yellow” for this slightly waxy all-purpose potato and it is starting to catch on. Currently available in 20# and 50# bulk the Harvest Moon retail bag is in development and private labeling is also available. Currently grown in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, we hope to have this potato available year round in partnership with our SPA partners. For samples please contact your Culinary rep. Your taste buds will thank you.


So western Fiddlehead Ferns have indeed arrived and if it is any indication, the entire spring foraged deal is going to be on the early side. Expect Miners Lettuce (Claytonia) is a few weeks and then there are the “who can live without them” nettles, but that’s not what you really want to know. Orchard and blonde morel mushrooms are in micro stages and we should see them within two to three weeks. There is very good news here on price as well. Early calculations indicate there will be an early abundance of fungi, so they will be very affordable for first of season product. Finally, the king of foraged greens, ramps will begin as early as mid- March out of West Virginia. These are quite limited, will cost a fortune and are only available via Fed-Ex. Early April should yield sufficient volume for FOB loading and air shots along with a reduced price. It is most interesting to note that we write this blurb every year, but it is usually in late March. May not be global warming but this year it is certainly seasonal warming.


It is now official. This was a very crappy domestic truffle season. The whites had a two week flush and then went MIA with a scant pound foraged here and there. Blacks basically refused to arrive. We never saw more than 8 pounds at a single drop. Most orders have been pre-ordered and many were just not filled. Some day we will cultivate these delicacies, but until then we are subject to secret spots and the noses of dogs and pigs. What we do have that are very nice are the black winter Perigord truffles from Italy. These are of excellent aroma and exactly what you would expect for the classic truffle. Even for these we need 48 hour notice.


My fruit and flowers were used by the ancient Romans for everything from perfume to honey. I was also considered a symbol of love and given to one’s intended as a sign of commitment. Even though I have been around for over 4,000 years my popularity remains very strong in Asian and Mediterranean countries and my status is growing in the New world. My yellow skinned fruit looks like a cross between an apple and a pear, but I am neither. While there are few that will eat me raw, I am best for the digestion when cooked. My intense fragrance and high pectin content makes me a natural for jams, jellies, and marmalades. In fact, the word marmalade comes from “marmelo”, which is the Portuguese word for my name. Added to an apple or pear tart I am that burst of extra flavor. I’m also great added to a pork casserole, or try me in a chicken pot roast for an unusual and exquisite flavor. We are a good source of potassium as well as containing copper and vitamin C. I also help cleanse the gastrointestinal system.

Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…GOURDS…Congrats To All Winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa, Mark or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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