June 22, 2017

  Market Notes
June 22, 2017


What the heavy rains leave behind can be pretty but there is unseen damage that takes time to develop. We are seeing very different patterns in harvest times, yields, and quality. Temperatures have also been at record highs in the southern part of the USA. Even with the available water, the dry, windy heat in central California is taxing many of the baby greens we ship. The root system of a baby green is, well, baby. The uptake of fluids, while readily available, cannot keep up with the wind and the heat. As a plant develops the root system and uptake increased and teen greens can better tolerate the arid climate. To this end many of the baby greens we have shipped do not have the strength (read shelflife) to stay fresh as long. This is not immediately evident when packing and we are sorting out the best of the sometimes substandard quality we receive. This is done to fill orders completely. Fortunately the end result is usually a top quality product. For the times of lazy looking tired arrivals we are working harder and looking closer to avoid the problem arrivals. Our growers are committed to constant improvement in the field, on the line, and at the dock. This will improve.


So the bump turned into a burp, but we were not the only ones burping. As it turns out the rains that prohibited our potatoes to dry and the cool nights that slowed down the set of the skin wasn’t only happening to our growers. Many other growers were suffering from the same condition and in many cases the shortage was worse. The time frame is pretty much the same; harvest is behind about two weeks. This is a surprise when the skin refuses to firm up. Fortunately we have potatoes, and their skins are now firm, but with all the shortages throughout the country all our customers have tripled their orders and we are having a hard time keeping up. Working two lines 12 hours a day we should be all caught up by next week. In the meantime there will be some allocations. Best news is new crop is looking really good. We have reasonable supply on both the east and west coast and inventories are steadily increasing. This week you are begging us. Next week we will be begging you. Thank you for your continued support. We promise to keep the deal interesting.


Although I am a member of the carrot family, I have no fear of being eaten by rabbits. I am beautiful and internationally popular. One of my names is derived from the word bedbug because it is said that I emit a similar odor. An ironic fact considering that I am known for increasing the appetite as well as for being a fragrant ingredient in various perfumes and cosmetics. Dating back over 3000 years, I was used by Hippocrates as a medication. The Romans added me to vinegar to preserve meat, and the Chinese Han dynasty (207 B.C. – A.D. 220) believed I possessed the powers to give immortality. In the Arabian fantasy The Thousand and One Nights, I was referred to as an aphrodisiac. My entire plant is useful, including my roots, leaves and seeds. My flowers are white, pink or pale mauve. My leaves are light green and look a bit like flat parsley, but my taste has much more bite. My long roots have a nutty flavor while my seeds have overtones of citrus. I am used everywhere in the culinary world and I play nicely with beets, onions, or potatoes. My leaves and seeds are essential ingredients in any good curry, and no good guacamole could survive without my leaves chopped into it. My roots thrive when combined with marinated mushrooms, tomato or pasta salads. While my seeds make a lovely tea, as a whole I provide vitamin A, potassium, and calcium. Used as a bitter herb during Passover and you will find me in many a stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner.

EndNote: The staff of Culinary Specialty Produce would like to thank Mr. Will Ladd for his tremendous support in the distribution of Market Notes and the produce quiz. We hope he enjoyed it half as much as we enjoyed his support. Will, you will be missed!

Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…JICAMA…Congrats To All Winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
Visit us at www.culinaryproduce.com
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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