FINGERLING POTATO UPDATE
We are definitely entering a period of transition. Our remaining Colorado crop is all but done. We have about three more loads, if that and they are all destined for our east coast forward distribution. Being the end of the season these loads will have the best of the last. That’s a nice way of saying they are the bottom of storage. We will cull out over 50% of product to make the best case we can, but let’s face it, they don’t get younger. We are looking very forward to early June when we will start packing out of Mosca, Colorado with new crop from New Mexico and then from Northern Colorado. Harvest and sweat for new crop from the San Luis Valley will start in early August and other than new potato crop, packing won’t resume until early October. So how do we remain a year round supplier for fingerlings? Simple, we cover the few weeks between Colorado’s end and New Mexico beginning with new crop from California. This presents two issues, both financial. First a higher FOB cost and second cost of transportation. Of course trucks will cost more from California, but currently the price for over the road trucking is soaring. All total, for good quality we are talking mark ups in the mid-teens. For those of you on the west coast, you have already seen a price increase and your trucks are certainly costing more as well. So, in order to maintain consistent availability we are going from average and well-priced to better quality and much expensive for about three weeks and settle a little higher than normal with new crop. Confusing but true, that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
MOTHER NATURE SPEAKS
Aside from the land devastation, the property devastation and fortunately limited casualties, the volcano in Hawaii and the earthquake and eruption in Guatemala have created gaps in the commerce of produce. Young ginger from Hawaii can’t get to the mainland and many herb programs have halted. The airports in Guatemala have been closed for the past four days so the only arrivals have been from boats. This has shut down the blackberry deal along with snow peas, snap peas, French beans, and baby squash. Volume of the items from Guatemala is expected to drop 30% to 50% for the next two to three weeks. Good weather and yields from Mexico are expected to help fill the gap.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – – WHAT AM I??
I’m a popular edible in my native eastern Asia, but outside of Japan, Korea and China, you’ll mainly find me listed on not-wanted lists, such as the Alien Plant Invaders list and the FDA MedWatch Safety posting. I’m really beautiful, but it is true that my two species of woody climbing vines grow so quickly I choke out other plants. And, I admit that I contain nephrotoxins that in large doses or over time cause problems when undetected in traditional Chinese herbal remedies. But, on the other side of the argument, my flowers are fragrant and we fruits look rather otherworldly, like flattened sausage pods. In September and October, my long purplish shell (2-5” long) splits to reveal thick, semi-transparent flesh, with little black seeds. Insipidly sweet, you can eat me raw with lemon juice, or pureed into a cream or drink. My plant’s soft young shoots are a treat in salads. Pickle them or stuff my bitter skin with miso and chicken and deep-fry. Make my dried leaves into tea. Make sturdy baskets from my vines. Here at my Asian home, I’m a historic honey; anywhere else; I’m labeled as an infestation or an undesirable. You’re more likely to find us in Japanese literature than near your home. The five-leafed variety of my tree, sometimes called chocolate vine, can be found growing throughout the eastern U.S. as an ornamental tree (a.k.a. alien invader). My fruit is a good source of fiber and potassium as well as being anti-rheumatic, depurative, diuretic, stomachic and tonic.
Answer To Last Week’s Quiz:…LONGAN…Congrats To All Winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015