Market Notes Feb 6, 2020



      Russian Banana Fingerlings are in good supply.  Purple Fingerlings are very tight, and we are holding back on straight packs and saving them for mix only. Red Fingerlings are tight in California but abundant in Colorado. Florida begins harvesting rounds in the next few weeks.  White rounds very scare on the west coast. Organic russets are finishing up on the Norkota and will begin packing the Canela from cold storage by the end of the month. Harvest Moon continues to be used for chips and table stock while the Bintje, the original Pommes Frittes from Belgium, is finally getting its due recognition as the best potato for frying. Lots of new and exciting potatoes in the hopper waiting to get to generation five, where there is enough for fresh market distribution. Stay tuned, stay hungry!  


   It’s a week and a day away, so there is no more time to delay. Pick a vegetable, pick a color, and we’ll have it carved into a heart, vacuum seal it for freshness and overnight it to your door. You can show your love conventionally or organically. Edible red roses are a 20 count beautifully set in a place pack. Red, medium stem artichokes make for a lovely appetizer display or stunning center piece. Potatoes, beets, carrots, radishes, herbs, citrus and lettuce all convey the color the holiday demands and all are available. These items (and the labor to create them) will most certainly get tighter and as the week progresses,  so get in early and get all red,  red love you need. We highly recommend the French Fingerling potato as the red skin reveals a stunning red streaked flesh. Please reach out to your Culinary salesperson for delivery details.  


   We are out of the woods and have stepped into the light. Greens are shiny clean and bright. No more allocations, no more blight.  All prices are back to normal and quality on arugula and kale is no longer a problem. Spinach, both baby and teen, are looking great and in good supply.  We still need a fair amount of notice for baby heads but orders are being filled completely. Mixes are no problem at all. In fact there might be some late holiday deals if you are interested. Organics are a slightly different story. There has been so much crop failure in this category some growers are giving up with the southern deal and looking to start up in the Salinas Valley as early March 23. Usually the entire deal moves the second week of April but ground conditions may change that this year.  That leaves frisee.  Still slow to catch up, frisee is no longer being allocated and orders can go back to being filled within 24 hours. Price on frisee remains a bit high but that is expected to drop within the next two weeks as well. So, a solid 6 to 7 weeks of good stuff, then we’ll mess it all up again for the northern operation and spring season.  


      I am a perennial found throughout southern India.  I became a popular in Greek and Roman cooking after Alexander the Great’s soldiers introduced me to Europe.  Today I remain popular in Eastern and Arab countries but receive little attention in the west with the exception of Scandinavia, who, strangely enough, has taken quite a liking to me.  I am elite in my class, only being out priced by the likes of vanilla and saffron. Beginning as a thumb thick creeping root stock I grow up to 8 feet tall producing a three-celled pod containing up to 18 seeds. Long dark-green leaves with lanceolate tops and silky smooth bottoms protect my pod.   My yellow or bluish flowers can be found near the ground.  My Malabar variety is tops, but often substituted with the lesser qualities of the Cambodian or Sri Lankan varieties, respectively.  Although I can be found in ground or seed form, it is best to buy me by the pod to insure I am not mixed with imposters.  My pod color will vary by region due to the style of processing.  I’m sun-dried and green in India, oven-dried and brown in Asia and Europe, and bleached white in the United States.  Used as a substitute for gluten, I can be found in breads and cereals.  I also add flavor to eggnogs, wines and liqueurs, fruit compotes, fruitcakes and marinades.   I am a prime ingredient in curry and garam masala.  A few of my seeds steeped in boiling water makes a soothing tea that will aid digestion. Sometimes you will find me used as a replacement for ginger or cinnamon. I am a good source of potassium and also provide calcium, iron and zinc.

Answer to last week’s quiz ….. CARROT…..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