July 26, 2019

  Market Notes
July 26, 2019


    Hatch peppers are now being harvested and will arrive in major markets around the country next week.  Culinary can offer product grower direct or out of the LA market.  From a genetic point of view there is no difference between a Hatch pepper and a Anaheim except for the fact that the Anaheim pepper grows in California and the Hatch pepper grows in Hatch, New Mexico. Even though they are the same where they are grown makes noticeable difference in flavor. The heat and soil of the Mesilla Valley where the town of Hatch is located creates a pepper with a richer flavor. Or, it is a brilliant marketing scheme by the University of New Mexico where the seed originated. Either way the Hatch chili pepper is very popular, reminiscent of the love for the early spring ramps.  There are festivals, parades, focused menus and other Hatch related celebrations.  Great for roasting, the Hatch pepper has at least 4 grades of heat. From the mildest to the hottest they are; Big Jim, 64-1904, Sandia and Barker. The Big Jim and 64-1904 are available now with the hotter varieties available in a few weeks.  Product is packed in 25# cases and should be available through mid-August. In other pepper notes there is now a wide variety of hot peppers available including Hungarian Wax, Red Hot Cherry Peppers, Cubanelle, Habanero, Italian Sweet, and Red Fresno. Inventory is high so prices are low. Please check with your Culinary rep for current availability and pricing. Now you can dance your salsa and eat it too.


    The dog days of summer often wreak havoc on our baby greens. While the rest of the country is burning up, the Salinas Valley growing conditions ore currently optimal.  Cool nights and warm days is the perfect recipe for our salad components to thrive. Soon enough the heat will dominate and conditions will change but right now baby kale has never looked better, mesclun is vibrant, mizuna almost stands at attention, and spinach is near perfect.  But the best news is the often illusive baby head lettuce. Often not available baby heads are currently in great supply. When this happens we get some magic from our grower making this the best baby head lettuce deal ever. First you need to know that this a great value to start. Our standard pack is four pounds and up to six varieties. When the fields flourish the varieties stay the same but the case can weigh up to six pounds. That’s for domestic product, sustainably grown for just a bit more than the two or three pound case. For regular users or repackers this is nothing short of a phenomenal deal. Product loads in the Salinas area and drayage is available for local consolidation or cross docking in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Two day notice is required for local delivery or pick up and we will need another day to get to the markets. A little planning goes a long way.


     I’m the biggest berry around (1.5 to 3 inches across), but I’m named for my exotic flower.  My Amazon size is downplayed in deference to those who see the suffering of Christ in my flower.  A native Brazilian, I’m now at home in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and other warm climates so you will also find me in Florida, California, and Hawaii.  First, you must look past the distraction of my flowers (used as an herbal remedy for anxiety and insomnia), my decidedly ornamental leaves, and my lovely climbing vine.  Then, maybe, you will notice my orbs – purple are less known and are less acidic, richer and juicier than the larger yellow variety.  You can let me ripen on the vine ‘til I drop or harvest me early and let me ripen on the way to the consumer.  When I’m at my prime, my skin is wrinkled like an aging Brazilian beauty, but once you get past my thick, tough, ugly shell I’m full of yellow/orange  pulp sacs encasing edible seeds.  It’s my tropical fresh aroma and flavor that you’ll write home about.  My fruit is juicy, acid sweet, almost floral – lemon and honey and something exotic.  Most of my pulp is processed into juice, but some of my fruit does make it to fresh market.  Full of vitamin C, vitamin A and available most of the year. I’m wonderful eaten fresh, used in drinks, sauces, desserts and ice-cream. Of the seven different fruits in Hawaiian Punch, it is I who gives it its punch.

Answer to last weeks quiz…MANGOSTEEN…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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