Market Notes October 12th, 2023



    We finally got the largest carrot grower in the country to let us know what is going on with the commodity carrot deal. The central California area was hit with some heavy rains throughout the current growing period followed by high heat and the result was funky carrots. Size was stunted and that produced low yields. The damaged fields are still being plowed but as the yield remains slight, the decision to disc the remaining fields are an option.  This crop was supposed to cover orders through mid-November so the shortage and allocation will continue for a month.  New fields in Lamont, California begin then and after filling the pipeline, supply will return to normal.  


   Good quality, blanched frisee has been tight for the past few months and some weeks simply not available. Culinary uses three different growers to keep our customers in good supply and all three have had the same response. Unusual temperatures have slowed down the harvesting process and demand has been up.  We do not have contract deals, but the growers are claiming they are not able to cover their contract deals. Price has jumped up a few bucks as well.  It seems harvest is increasing as of next week and more frisee will be available.  Hopefully the price will drop soon after that, but at least there will be frisee to load.


    They’re baaaaaaaack!  Well, almost.  Baby red beets were never a problem, and they remain that way.  Candy stripped (Chioggia) baby beets are back in full supply.  Baby gold beets will be allocated until Wednesday and then the flood gates open on them. So now you can Go-Go (sorry had to do it) and get all the beets you need. FOB is Santa Maria, and we can dropship both north and south from there.  Lots of other specialty goodies to go along with that as well.  


   There is evidence that the Assyrians and ancient Persians ate me, but the Greeks were probably the first to cultivate me.  The Romans even referred to me as the “Greek Nut”. I do know that I originated in parts of Western Asia, and from there spread to the Mediterranean.  Now I also grow in California, Australia,  and South America. I require warm weather to grow, and take up to five years to reach my fruit baring age. People who cultivate me now often use honey bees because I am genetically self-incompatible and need the assistance of bees for my pollination. The Hebrews used me as a symbol for haste because I blossom suddenly, but the Greeks and Spaniards used me as a symbol for good luck. Medieval Europeans used me instead of cow’s milk in order to avoid the rules of fasting days. Pliny, Plutarch and the Englishman, Gerard, thought that I was a reliable cure for drunkenness. My culinary value is unmatched. I can be used in anything from  fruit salads to  chicken dishes, to Danishes and syrups.  I can be fuzzy, green, and liquid, or I can be fuzzy green and solid, or I can be brownish and solid. Some of my varieties are considered toxic because I contain prussic acid when raw, and so my bitter form is banned from sale in the United States, but my sweet side provides a nutritional powerhouse because I am packed full of calcium, fiber, folic acid, potassium,  and Vitamin E.  

The answer to last weeks quiz was…ANGELICA… 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