Market Notes
June 8, 2017


The California weather has been simply insane this year. But, to modify a phrase, what the storms did not kill, certainly came back stronger. There is no better example of this than the early harvests and projections for Andy’s Orchards in Morgan Hill. Unfortunately many of the apricot trees did not set and the yield for the amazing Andycots will be tiny this season. Adversely, there is a stunning cherry crop. While most years the crop is so beat up by the late rains we can’t harvest at all, this year the rains were early so we have packable and shippable product. Still, we are culling out just under 50% but the product that remains is worthy of the name. The Bings and the Rainier are packed in ten pound boxes and are sized at 9 row to 9.5 row. The brix has been as high as 27%. No, that was not a typo, 27% is correct. Obviously we are at the peak of the pick for the first of the stone fruits and this is a two week window unless we sell out first. If you are into sweet cherries, this deal’s for you. Fortunately when these morsels are gone it will be the beginning of the Skyler Rae season, a worthy competitor. Cherries are available FOB, or consolidation in the LA or SFO area. Call for pricing and details.


Sometimes specialty produce is special on every level. Certainly we begin with unique product with jaw dropping flavor profiles as you cannot proceed without that. Then there is post-harvest, cooling, packaging, shipping and distribution. This berry program is such an animal. In the next few weeks the Santa Cruz and Monterey area of California will enter specialty berry production. Primarily grown for and sold at Farmers Markets throughout the central coast, Culinary has developed relationships with several of these amazing growers who are willing to cool and ship. We also have the coordinated logistics to do it. So, what is all the fuzz about? You’ll see huge raspberries, sweet blackberries and even some golden raspberries. Then it gets tempting. Want fresh Loganberries, Olilliberries, Black Raspberries Marionberries or Boysenberries. We’ve got a line on them and have the ability to ship them when they are available. These are picked cooled and shipped all in the same day. You need to have them on the shelf or at the restaurant within a day of receipt. The product is specialty in every step of the process and the result is rock star status. This program will make Paw Paw’s look easy to ship. Are you ready for the better berry? We are. Let’s rock the culinary world in a berry good way.


Like the onion, I have been around for so long (9000 years at least) that my mother, the original wild plant is gone. I have learned to adapt to many different growing conditions in the same way that I have learned to respond to many different names. From my immature leaves and shoots to my white, cream-colored or purple-gray flesh, most of me can be consumed. My prolific cultivation and harvest easily explain my use as a staple food throughout one third of this planet. Just to show off, we proved we could yield over 1,000 bushels on one acre of rich damp soil in just two years! That ought to leave a challenge for the rabbits. Although I have over 100 siblings and appear in shapes from oblong to round, we all come with thick brownish ringed skin that is rugged and hairy. I do require caution as I contain toxic crystals of calcium oxalate, a sticky juice, just beneath my skin that can produce an allergic reaction if direct contact is made. A simple solution is to use gloves or running water when peeling my skin. You will have to put on the heat to consume me as my leaves and roots contain an indigestible starch that is neutralized when cooked. I have a high starch content, a sweet taste often considered to have an artichoke-chestnut flavor, and can be used in the same way as a potato. I have been boiled and ground and fermented into poi, sliced, dried, and smoked as a traveling food, and wrapped in banana leaves when cooked in an umu pit. My leaves can be pureed, mixed with minced onion and coconut milk for umukai. I am rich in thiamin, Vitamin C and Potassium. Low in protein but rich in starch I am easily digested.

Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…PURSLANE…Congrats To All Winners
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015