Market Notes August 17th, 2023



    If you read Market Notes with any regularity you will know how much we admire Andy’s Orchards in Morgan Hill, California.  When there are conventions in Monterey, we encourage travelers to venture out for the best stone fruit on this planet. The small volume limits the orchards distribution to Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and, of course, Morgan Hill. This season one of the most cherished fruits the orchards produces was prolific in it’s yield and there is available product. Let us say that again, available product from Andys Orchards.  The Green Gage plum is the jewel that is available. Green skin, gold flesh, ping-pong ball sizes these mouthwatering morsels of heavenly nectar are perfect for welcome baskets, desserts, game sauces, or just out of hand. This is indeed a ANDYS RARE PLUM OPPORTUNITY (ARPO).  We’ve even worked out the details to make it real easy to obtain.  We can fly “E” containers from SFO airport direct to most major cities throughout the country.  An “e” container holds 40/5# cases and Culinary will handle all the details providing a FOB price at your local airport.  We have even convinced the grower (although it breaks his heart) to harvest a little less ripe to make sure you get lovely plums, not plum pudding. This is a 2/3 week deal as we only have about 8 “E” containers available.  Product is picked to order and can be in SFO the same day picked if ordered early enough. This is a rare opportunity for some truly amazing fruit. A blurb from Andy about the history of Green Gage plums and operating instructions are included with each box.  


    This is going to be a tough report. This is the time of year when we act all professorial and pretend to teach about the huge benefits of dry farming. We relate to the glorious release of the amazing Early Girl tomato, which when grown in the dry farming style is one of the richest tasting tomatoes of the season. Most people think it tastes like sauce. Years ago, Monsanto bought all the seed so for many the growing opportunities became limited to local farmers markets. Dirty Girl and Coke farms are some of the local farms here in the Santa Cruz area that still grow them although their production is down. One of the larger growers and promoters of the dry farmed Early Girl tomato was Happy Boy, and at this writing they appear to be out of business as we have been unable to reach the farm.  Happy Boy was devastated by the California floods this year. We contributed to a go fund me  effort but it did not pay off.  Perhaps this great organic specialty farm will resurface in the future but for this season, Early Girl’s won’t last long and Happy Boy is gone.    


   Best known for my dried seeds my name comes from the Latin for “Greek Hay”.  My vast, quiet legacy includes being used by Egyptians to embalm their dead, to an ingredient in oral contraceptives.  I am an herbaceous annual and I stand out about 18 inches tall.  My laurel shaped leaves are very pungent, as are my long thin pods that house 10 to 20 quadrangular, brownish yellow, pulse like, pea size, seeds that are very bitter.  Trust me, if you were stuck in one of those pods, you’d be bitter to.  Either way my seeds must be dried to remove my bitter edge.  Grown in the Mediterranean region for hundreds of years, I am most often associated with the foods of India, particularly curries.  My leaves and stems are used in fresh salads, as are my sprouted seeds.  Roasting my seeds yields a caramel flavor and I am often found as an ingredient in candy and syrups.  My dried leaves, also known as methi, are often used in Middle Eastern root vegetable dishes.  As a pharmafood I was a regular in Roman herbals.  Egyptians used me as quinine and made flour from our seeds that was used to treat boils and abscesses.  My seeds have a high calorie and mucilage content and are believed to be lactogenic, tonic, as well as an aphrodisiac.    

The answer to last weeks quiz was…AKEBIA… 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., 2020