May 28, 2015

cul  Market Notes
  May 28, 2015

As the Euell Gibbons for beginner’s season winds down, fresh Ramps are the first to disappear. Any forages with volume that pickers bring in, wilt before our packers eyes. From too cold to too hot in two weeks. So now we offer ramp bulbs, the same flavor but no greens. We thank everyone that supported our program this year, making it the biggest ever. So now we will just have to suffer with garlic, leeks, green and torpedo onions. These also combine well with Morel and Porcini mushrooms both in stock with prices that are finally affordable and then some. Last, but certainly not least we are still shipping Fiddlehead Ferns from both coasts. I believe they are slightly different varieties but over the years the western Fiddleheads are looking a whole lot greener, giving their eastern cousins a run for their money.

That summer wind, that is not exactly rushing in, has certainly removed the winter chill creating first of the season domestic baby squash. Fresh from the fields of Central California we offer picture perfect, baby green zucchini, baby yellow patty pan, and baby green patty pan, Why is this special? The freshness factor! No 6 hours truck drives and customs inspections are required to put these yummy beauties on your truck. By harvesting in the AM, cooled by noon, and loaded on your truck that night or consolidated at your dock in LA the next morning this program offers an unrivaled freshness that will be apparent in flavor and shelflife. Packed in 5# or 10# cases these babies are currently being offered at very aggressive prices. And what would a squash season be without squash blossoms? We’ve got ‘em. Flowers pack out in 50 count or 100 count clamshells and we even have a 5# baby green zucchini with squash blossom attached. Please check with your culinary rep for details.

With all the insane produce news this week like the twelve thousand dollar melons (we do mean fruit) and potatoes filled with surgical instruments we were stuck by how quickly our ideas are stolen. Only 9 days after announcing our drone program, along comes another company ready to rent you a drone along with a pilot to run it. This will accelerate drone use for those who are considering it but do not want to put up the bucks. Not to be outdone, Culinary Specialty Produce intends to test this service to find out their secrets, test their integrity and possibly gain an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. Next week we will use this service to drop seven bunches of baby beets (varieties to be named later) on our sales manager Mark Pittengers’ head thereby creating the first specialty produce drone delivery. Stay tuned for details and we recommend you get your orders into Mark before this experiment.

I am the fruit of a small South American tree, Bixia orellana. I reside in a seedpod with a prickly exterior for protection. A pulp that makes for a very popular food dye surrounds me. In the 16th Century, Spaniards were amazed to find I was used by Mexicans to redden their chocolate beverages. American Indians once used me to color their bodies orange red, but today I am used to color cheeses, butter, smoked fish and baked goods. Although I am primarily used for my color, I do provide a slight musky flavor. I am often crushed into a powder and used as a regular condiment in Latin America and India. I am often gently heated in oil or lard simply to provide color and then cooled and stored for later use. Available in a powder, paste or seed form I am an essential ingredient in pibil, a Yucatan dish where I am used to marinate chicken parts providing a glowing color and a pungent flavor. In Southeast Asia, I am essential in the production of ukoy, a shrimp and potato cake. In some cultures I am used as a substitute for saffron. Saffron has much more flavor, but is significantly more expensive. I have no real vitamins or minerals of any value to speak of, but I am definitely a good source of color.

Answer To Last Quiz….SWISS CHARD……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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