Market Notes February 9th, 2023



  ALMOND SOUP- This aphrodisiacal soup contains powdered almonds, yolk of eggs, chicken stock, and cream.   BASIL- According to a nineteenth century physician, basil “ helps the deficiency of Venus.”  In Italy basil was used as a love charm by young girls.   CARROTS- Among Arabs, carrots are eaten as an aphrodisiac. Stewed in milk sauce, they are recommended as helpful in sexual activity.  In Greece the carrot was popular as a sexual medicine; it was called a philtron.   GINGER- In Turkish, Indian, Arabian, and other Oriental love recipes, ginger is frequently present as an ingredient in amatory concoctions, often taken by mouth along with honey and pepper.   MANGO- The following treatment is suggested in Hindu eroto-logical literature as a stimulant: “Arris root, dressed with oil of mango.  Place in a hole in the trunk of the sisu tree for six months.  Remove and make into an ointment for application to the genitals.   PEPPER- Used as a condiment.  Compounded with nettle-seed, it was credited with exciting sexual impulses.  Both white and red pepper are considered to have this property.   POMEGRANATE- According to Pliny the elder, the Roman encyclopedist, the pith of the pomegranate tree was conducive to sexual activity.  The fruit of the pomegranate  is known in many cultures as a symbol for fertility.   QUINCE- Reputedly, jelly made from the quince has a decidedly erotic effect.   ROCKET- Rocket, which is brassica eruca, possessed, according to the ancients, the virtue of restoring vigor to the genitalia.  Hence it was consecrated to Priapus, and also sown around the sites of his statues.   TRUFFLES- Brillat-Savarin, the nineteenth century French gourmet and author of La Physiologie du Gout, tells a story in which amatory expression was violently manifested as a result of a dinner that included game and truffles.  


 I don’t pump blood and I never mastered that sleight of hand trick.  Although I am often not the center of attention, I am always the center of the tree.  While I have over 40 relatives only half of us are capable of producing this.  Enjoyment of my soft velvety texture requires total annihilation of my parent plant, and complete removal of my center.  In South America I am grown for this exact purpose, but the rest of the world obtains me through felling.  On some Indian reservations (the only place I can be harvested in the United States) I am simply a slice of the tree and often bussed to my destination. Talk about culture shock!  It takes us ten to fifteen years to grow, and you will destroy me for one or two pounds of product.  Then, you have the audacity to complain about my cost. I am located at the base of my large leaves and my entire part can be up to 32 feet in length and weight over 6 pounds.  But, by the time you remove my inedible fibrous husks to reveal my sought after pith, a couple pounds remain. I am extremely delicate and provide a wonderful crunchy smooth texture and nutty flavor. Blanch me first to avoid any bitterness. Often served fresh as a salad by myself with a drizzle of Hollandaise or vinaigrette, I can also be cooked in my leaves, pickled, and fermented to form a sort of cheese, braised, sautéed, fried, or steamed. While I am most convenient when canned, today I can be found fresh in vacuum-packed bags or in water. My external layer turns color very fast when exposed to fresh air but with a quick outer layer peel I am bright and new again.  

The answer to last weeks quiz was….GRAPES… 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