A PAIN IN THE ROMAINE
As the madness continues every industry blog, rag, and mag appears to have an opinion. The FDA basically doesn’t care, Walmart ignored the whole thing and PACA is based on what stage the deal is in. From our point of view there are additional considerations that are tangential and have been completely ignored. Baby romaine was given the same treatment as the full heads and there was no consideration for the differences between the two, which are vast. If the government is going to make a blanket statement that has seriously affected agri-business economy, wouldn’t it be nice if they were accurate? Certainly romaine from certain areas is fine. Baby romaine is grown, processed, packed and shipped differently. Baby heads should be indicated along with mesclun, of which baby green romaine’s (and baby red romaine’s) are components, by the FDA that these products are safe. If you are going to make a statement on a category it must be done completely in order to avoid panic, promote safety, and indicate accuracy. This was a blanket move, that could have been a ploy for a new third party certification with a fancy name, a lazy move on a week when government officials were not available hence a Hail Mary announcement, or plain ignorance. There is no reason the recall could not have indicated growing areas and even farms. The fact that the largest buyer in the country ignored it makes this all a bit of a joke, albeit and expensive one at that. All of a sudden Stuck In The Middle With You is not such a pretty song any more.
HOLIDAY STUFF WHEN TRUCKING GETS ROUGH
First the easy stuff. Culinary Specialty Produce will be closed Tuesday December 25th and Tuesday December 31st. Bet you can guess why. Our global resource center (Richard’s cell phone) remains open 24/7 with responses in English from 8-10 AM daily. We will also try to steal a little time on each of the eves if business allows. Prior to these closures, specifically beginning next Wednesday, transportation including trucking, airlines, trains, drones, and donkeys will get sparse, weird and confused. And that’s if there is clear weather. The sooner the better applies here and we strongly recommend booking loads and trucks as early as possible. Even the overnight carriers will get overwhelmed and product is lost delayed or accidentally delivered to an unknown address in Tunisia (good for Tunisians, bad for us).
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – – WHAT AM I??
OK,I am a fungus, I admit it, but an often ignored fungus. I am the one you’ll use when the others are gone, and though I’m not as pretty I’m a better value and taste very similar. Having nothing to do with candy, dentistry, landscaping or pork, my name is often misleading. Most foragers are happy to know that I am maggot free and I have no poisonous look-alikes. I’m a safe date. I have a white, pale orange, pale pinkish-tan or orange-brown cap and stalk which is two to six inches in diameter. My cap edge is rolled in when I’m young but becomes lobed or wavy as I mature. One of my unique features is the pointed spines beneath my cap. I am found wild throughout the United States and Europe from midsummer to mid-autumn and throughout the winter. I am a firm fleshy fungi with a very delicate flavor so don’t disguise me. A simple sauté often suits me best. Slim Jim from the Old Hotel Milano put me to my best use with a sauté including reduced pancetta, rosemary, and pine nuts. This recipe had customers begging for more. For vegetarians you can substitute olive oil. I am also a great addition to sauces and soups. I am rich in potassium and iron.
Answer To Last Week’s Quiz:…CELERY…Congrats To All Winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015