Market Notes July 20th, 2023


    It’s fun to claim to be the first, and sometimes we are actually right.  With that hope in mind, we are going to try it again.  Elephant garlic, that wonderful oven baked butter substitute (or compliment) usually hits the market in early August, but one of our Los Angeles vendors has it is in stock now. That’s a whole two weeks ahead of everybody else. Product is grown right here in the USA and it must be a farm they own otherwise they would not be the only ones with it.  This non-pungent allium is packed in ten pound cases and we are told that there is special pricing available. Size is a 26-32 count. Early, domestic, good, and cheap.  WOW!  This offer won’t last long so be sure to order before midnight tomorrow.  


   It has nothing to do with payroll, but it could well cause a new pandemic.  In this case please allow PPP to stand for purple potato pricing.  But while you are preparing yourself to enter the land of the absurd, a bit of recent history.  Along with the many winter and early spring crop failures, certain varieties of seed became very scarce. Yellow fingerlings and all purple seed are in that category.  Add to that growers, dealing with tough potato times are focusing on primary crops (read sure bet money makers)  taking fewer experimental risks. Overall bad for the specialty potato market both from an inventory point of view and a category development point of view as well. Okay, now the punch line.  There seems to be only one fresh market provider of purple potatoes  and his numbers are closer to a weather report than a price. This morning we are in the low to mid sixties possibly getting warmer as the demand for this limited product increased.  Product out of Stockton can be loaded in Edison or consolidated at your favorite dock in Los Angeles. If it is any help we do have about 60 cases of purple B’s at our potato dock in Vernon, California for about thirty-five per cent less.  Call if you care.  


 Although I am a member of the nightshade family and related to the potato, pepper, tomato, and eggplant, I am actually a berry.  Native to Mexico I have been cultivated since the Aztec civilization.  I am about one inch in diameter and most often picked when green.  I will ripen to a yellow or purple when ripe.  My feel is firm and my skin is always glossy as I am protected by my orange/brown-purple veined cape.  My cape is so spectacular that it is often peeled back decoratively for décor.  My taste is somewhat acidic and some say I have hints of lemon, apple, or herb flavors.  I am most popular in Mexican cooking, used fresh in salads, salsas, guacamole, gazpacho and the famous mole-verde sauce.  I am an excellent source of potassium while also providing good sources of vitamin C, Magnesium, and niacin.  As a pharmafood I can reduce fever, remedy rheumatism, and act as a cleansing agent.                   

The answer to last weeks quiz was….SAPODILLA… 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