Sept. 12, 2019

  Market Notes
Sept. 12, 2019



     Last week apples, this week pears. Are we trendy or what? Pear harvest is just beginning in California and many are heirloom varieties. The fresh crop is diverse from the Mountain District areas. The weather in these areas has been perfect this year and the resulting quality is excellent. Some of the more common varieties like Bartlett and Bosc will be packed now through November. Other, lesser-known varieties, such as French Butter, Forelle, Seckel, begin packing next week. Then there is the Warren pear. Named after Thomas Oscar Warren, the man credited for discovering this variety growing outside of a Post Office in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the Warren Pear is a favorite amongst those that have been lucky enough to have tasted them.  Many believe it is a cross between the American Giant Seckel and a European Comice. It has that classic European buttery texture and a concentrated sweetness. Overtones of the season prevail. Hints of cinnamon, vanilla, honey and toadstool phlegm (just kidding, wanted to see if you were paying attention) make this stunning red blush pear complex like a fine wine.  While fruit-loving foodies have been fans of this variety for some time, the variety gained fame when mentioned by both Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. There are only four to six growers of this pear in the country so most often you will see them in the markets for brief periods. Harvest begins in late August and winds up in late November/early December. Currently, this is a grower direct product for us but there will be times when market loading will be available. Please check with your Culinary rep for availability, pack size, and price. Organic Warren pears are available now, grower direct.


     Our first load of organic russet potatoes will ship this Friday and we should have steady supply from that point forward. These first of the season potatoes are of the Norkota variety. Organic reds are also available but the organic yellow potatoes are about two weeks away. Fingerlings have been rough lately but I think we are out of the weeds, finally. Many of our deliveries suffered from the “one bad apple” syndrome, but it was actually about twenty. All yellow fingerlings we are currently shipping now are new crop. The problem is heat in two ways. In some cases we cool very fast to get fresh product to market and some potatoes retain the heat and blowup. In other cases we can see the heat damage right out of the field and we have to sort through hundreds of bins to get decent product. Good news is in about two weeks we will have product that has gone through the proper sweat and will be very stable. I addition to that we will ship our first southern Colorado product of the season. These are cured and if they arrive well, we will be able to return to spring pricing for our just in time east coast forward distribution. Next week we’ll tell you about our amazing French fry potato, the Bintje, and the week after that we are back to the amazing Harvest Moon™, the shiniest potato on the market. Pee-wee, marbles, creamers, and jumbo are all currently available through our west coast distribution services.


     I am a wild herb of the mustard family. I am an heirloom perennial most often found growing along the shores of the Atlantic, Baltic, and Black Seas. Originally from England, I have been cultivated in France, Asia, and even in the United States, but to find me there would prove most difficult indeed. England is my home. They tell me I’ve never “seen the light” but how could they expect me to do that when they put a bucket over my head every time I break ground. My stalks (obviously white) are plucked at their prime, when we are crunchy and tender, offering a mild subtle, nutty flavor. I am best when steamed and like asparagus, work best when served with a mild sauce or enjoyed simply with melted butter. Sometimes my leaves are used but they have to be prepared separately as they will cook much more quickly. My young stalks can also be eaten fresh where they are chopped in a salad like celery. All this trouble, buckets on our heads, steaming, snipping, and still I am not beet!

Answer to last weeks quiz…Swiss Chard…Congrats to all winners!

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702 Visit us at “like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook© Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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