September 10, 2015

  Market Notes
  September 10, 2015

       Like a tennis player who is fighting to hold on in a fifth set tiebreaker (how timely is that?), summer is desperately trying to hold on and the fight she presents is compelling. The east coast is enjoying an Indian Summer but the nights are cooling down fast. Not quite time to shut off the air-conditioning.   East coast beach resorts are reported to be extending their seasons to capture every sunbather and hotdog pizza lover they can.  On the west coast we have had a break from the 80 degree nights and 110 degree days.  But it was just that, a break.  After about 4 days of warm days and cool nights, we are back to scalding days but with cooler nights, not to mention the lightning strike fires.  Greens went from recovery to heat zapped to cool. This would be tragedy if it rained but no worries there. It’s pretty much day to day with root tops and greens. This can only get better and we expect that next week. While this year the  Autumnal Equinox and Yom Kippur fall on the same day (something lined up right) that summer wind will keep drifting in, as long as it can.

        While we will gladly take credit for being the first (which means nothing in this business) to provide Fingerling potatoes on a year round basis we are certainly not the only.  Over the past decade the gaps have been noted and filled in many times over.  So much so that unless there is some universal crop failure or seed poisoning, there is no such thing as a gap in Fingerling availability any more. They are grown in too many places with crops throughout the year. Nor are we at point of saturation due to the uneducated masses that have yet to discover the amazing flavor the Fingerlings impart. That said we are pleased to report that there are currently three new areas being dug as you read this; Edison, California,  San Luis Valley, Colorado, and LaSalle, Colorado.  While California will feature mostly yellows our Colorado growers offer the all Red Amarosa, the Red Rebel and Purple Peruvians along with the yellows.  The overall opinion of the Colorado crop is that the Fingerlings are running a bit on the small side.  Very few over 4 inches.  We are also on our first commercial harvest of “What’s Her Name? I Can’t Tell Ya” but we can’t talk about that……..just yet.

     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. Guess that didn’t work out. But, in the Arabian fantasy The Thousand and One Nights; I was referred to as an aphrodisiac and you can’t prove that wrong!  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, you will find me in many a stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner.


Answer To Last Quiz….OREGANO……Congrats To All Winners
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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