Market Notes February 23rd, 2023



    Last Friday we loaded a truck in Oregon with a Pennsylvania destination, our forward distribution facility for the east coast.  It got somewhere into Wyoming and then the road said  nope. Not from rain, not from snow, rather wind forced the road to be shut down. After two days of bonding with the wild Wyoming asphalt, the truck turned around, went back to the coast, headed south and is trying a route through Utah. Fortunately, this ride won’t involve Minnesota, but the whole mid-west is funky,  and the east coast is enjoying west coast weather. Its windy and cold in Northern California and Central California.  It’s snowing outside of LA. It’s over eighty degrees in DC and Manhattan. It’s bitter cold in Mexico causing increase in pricing, shortages, and quality issues. The cold front is moving towards Yuma, and if it hits there, is that a Hat Trick or a Perfect Storm?  You decide. Meanwhile, our Oregon truck continues to navigate east with high hopes for a Saturday arrival.  


    While North America is urning lopsided, New Zealand is at the peak of perfection.  Okay, forget about the Valentine’s Day cyclone that wiped out the green gage plums, there area lot of down under fruits that are now available up and over. Clutha Gold apricots, yellow flesh or white flesh donut (Flatto) peaches, organic yellow flesh nectarines,  purple skin or gold skin passion fruit, and of course the kiwiberry. Peacherines start in two weeks, and we are told that they will only be sold by the pallet. Combine this with domestic guava, Mandarosa mandarins, baby pineapples from South Africa and you got a one stop shop for incredible, seasonal fruit.  Consolidation anywhere in and around the LA Market.  


    The 18th century French dramatist and critic, Mercier said of my ancestors and me that we were an “inestimable gift to the numerous class of the needy” and that we were “to have the greatest influence on Man, his liberty and his happiness.” Even though many other European countries were cultivating us, many people of Mercier’s time thought we caused leprosy. But later that century, as a result of the French Revolution, it became a sign of patriotism to uproot your roses and replace them with us. By this time, and despite the initial rejection of my species, there were over 40 varieties of me. Now there are hundreds of variations of me. My ancestors originated in the Peruvian Andes and in the 16th century the Spaniards brought us to Europe. Although it is a mystery how we came to North America, the earliest recorded date of my cultivation was in New Hampshire in 1719. Suffice it to say that I’m as American as apple pie because Americans consume approximately 138 pounds of my relatives and me a year. I, in contrast to my relatives, am always getting left behind. Dug up along with my elders, yes, but then I pop out, get run over, or fall through the harvester. I just don’t make the grade. But I get the last laugh, I’m much more premium than my counterparts. I am harvested by human hands and get wonderfully delicate treatment. I can’t do anything to help your coffee, though my name might imply it. You could probably tee off with me, as my size is appropriate, but most likely I would explode before landing. Rarely skinned like my older relatives, I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy as I grow in red, white, or blue. I’m excellent roasted, grilled or cooked in the microwave. I can be halved, and scooped then filled with caviar, sour cream, cheese, bacon etc. I can be sliced thin and served under a cheese sauce. I am high in potassium and vitamin C, and contain eleven other vitamins and minerals. With me, as with your answer, size does matter!


The answer to last weeks quiz was….SALSIFY… 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