Market Notes
October 19th, 2023



    We know it is actually the IFPC Summit or Convention but we call spring mix mesclun so it must be okay. Whatever you call it, the movers and shakers of the produce and floral industry all gather to celebrate Mickey Mouse, how wonderful our industry is. This weekend in Anaheim, California There are parties both private and for the group, educational sessions, and tours, and finally the trade show. Two glorious days of hawking and begging,  buying and crying, along with what is often a once a year visit with other produce players. It is an exciting, charged environment and from what we read, each year is better than the year before. For those attending, we wish you a safe and most excellent experience. Enjoy Anaheim, we’ll be here to process your orders upon  your return.


   Now that the common specialty potatoes have gone through the sweats, so have we. Everything is available, all shapes all colors and all sizes. In some cases, it’s name your price, in others it’s how many loads do you need.  It’s a good thing for the potato industry that has been expensive and goofy for the past few years. Now it is time to focus on the  potatoes that you did not know you want. First up is the Harvest Moon Purple potato. Yes, it has the gold flesh so bright you have to wear shades, but unlike many of its cousins, the Harvest Moon’s flavor profile is memorable. Perfect for a medley or on its own, the Harvest Moon potatoes will make an impression. FOB out of Colorado, cross dock by arrangement to Ephrata, Pennsylvania or Vernon, California. Samples available.


    Next up is the Masquerade (AKA “The Laker Baker”) potato. This is a collaboration between nature and art. The Masquerade is a dark gold skinned potato swirled in purple. Another potato with a brilliant yellow flesh and great taste. When baked, the colors hold and you will have three color show stopping, center-of-the-plate potato. On its own, twice baked with bacon, onions, and cheese, drizzled with chili the Masquerade potato will shine.  Also grown and packed in Colorado, like the Harvest Moon, logistics are the same.  


   You probably know me by my Japanese name, or maybe by the name I grow wild with in North America.  While all parts of me (purple burry flowers, leaves, seeds, and roots) have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, it is my root that the Japanese are responsible for first using as a food and seasoning.  Actually, you can eat my young leaves and stems in the spring.   But you’ll want to wait ‘til my underground treasure is a bit older before eating (around 4 inches in length with a 1” diameter at the wide end of my taper) – but don’t wait until I’m old, or I may taste woody.  I am nurtured under rather bare stems on 3-4 foot mature plants that bear large, rough, heart-shaped leaves—dark green above and pale beneath with pinkish veins – with short white hairs on leaves and leaf stalks.  Like most sweet young things, I’m most tender when young, and should snap when bent.  When well prepared, I have a pleasant, crisp texture with an earthy taste ranging from mild to sweet to strong.  When I am very young, peel me and eat me raw, but I’m perhaps best cooked.  Bring me home dirty – the dirtier the better – just wash or brush clean and rub off my dark skin with a knife back (as you would a carrot or parsnip).  Some pound me to tenderize, but I suggest a julienne or shaving.  A water bath should remove the bitterness that can result from my inulin.  With lots of vitamin B and minerals, my pithy white flesh is delicious shredded in soup and salads, stir fried, boiled, roasted, or stewed with other root veggies.  I’m available all year round from California, Hawaii and Japan.  

The answer to last weeks quiz was…FUZZY GREEN ALMONDS… 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