Market Notes
December 1, 2016



We have been bragging about the great taste and the multi-uses of the Harvest Moon Potato. We bragged about the brilliant color of the golden flesh and the smoothness of the purple skin. We bragged about offering the product both conventionally and organically. We bragged about food-service and retail packaging. But it took a brewery in Denver, Colorado to make the Harvest Moon Potato really hot. Can’t get much hotter than frying them into thin stunningly golden potato chips. Then they add a twist. Adding sugar, onion powder, vinegar powder, coffee, honey, and ground ginger, Morgan Handmade Rations has created “Potato Chips for Beer Lovers.” Packaged in cute retro mini paper bags, the 1.5 ounce package is no doubt designed to absorb the craft beer consumption at numerous breweries in the Denver area and beyond.. This product is expanding and hopes are for nationwide distribution. Harvest Moon is the exclusive potato used for “Potato Chips For Beer Lovers.” The potato (not the chips) is available FOB or delivered. Please contact your Culinary Rep for details and deals. Shine on Harvest Moon !!!


The weather gets colder, the fruit gets sweeter. While some citrus has yet to hit its prime, other varietals are prime time. Satsuma’s, an early Mandarin, are such a fruit where the picking is certainly prime. Juicy, high sugar, seedless, and a zipper skin combine to make for an extremely attractive fruit. Betcha can’t eat just one. Domestic Cara Cara oranges are now being boxed from early harvest. There is slight color inside but neither their sweetness, color nor flavor, is fully developed. Give these a few more weeks for prime. Same can be said for Blood Oranges, of which there is some early crop as well. Sweet Limes are at peak and there is not a better time to enjoy the huge health benefits from these healing fruits. Just a few more weeks away until the second class of mandarins begin; the tangerines. Then we are at peak of season. FOB’s throughout California, air shots and LA consolidation available.


Currently there are five different varieties of truffles available. They include Chinese, Burgundy, Black Perigord, White Alba, and domestic blacks. The next few weeks is the peak of perfection for the imported truffles and unfortunately, when everyone wants them for New Year’s, they are a bit past their peak. In other words, now is a great time to grate. On the fungus side of foraging, we on the last of the Chanterelles as they are replaced with Hedgehog, Black Trumpet and Yellowfoot Chanterelles. Porcini are a week by week call on both the domestic and imported product.


I’m not so much exotic looking as exotic in origin. A native of India, my thanks to Missionary Brewster for bringing me with other families to North America. You’ll find me growing in Thailand, China, Hawaii, Southern Florida, Southeast Asia, Mexico and other tropics. Don’t be fooled by my appearance. I may look plain and dull, a bit rough on my smooth shaped outside, but inside, you’ll be awed by my aril. Explore my aura. Split my shell at the stem end and peel back my thin shell to find transparent to translucent white flesh enclosing a large smooth inedible seed. I’ll feel like a soft fibrous grape to the tongue and taste juicy, sweet, delicate, tropical, pineapple, grape . . . . My taste and texture challenge description — mellower in taste than my better-known close relatives and more modest in appearance (no warts, spines, hairs, or bumps), I’m equally as good in their recipes. Chinese make shampoo from my seeds which they call “eye of the dragon” because of a white eye-shaped spot on the dark brown seed. I grow in clusters high atop an ornamental evergreen shade tree. Our family is called soapberry because of our high saponin content. I’m most delightful eaten out of hand or served mixed with other tropicals, rice, vegetables, salads, or lightly cooked in sauces, poached or added to stir fry. I’m also preserved in syrup or dried to look like a large raisin. Or just freeze me in my shell. I bring you Vitamin C and potassium, magnesium and copper. If the birds and bats don’t eat us all, you can most easily find me in Asian markets in July and August or imported throughout the year with other tropical fruits. And, that’s really the —- –d short of it.

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