Market Notes
September 7th, 2023



    As the rainy season kicks in throughout Central America, imports become challenged in several ways.  First there is the inability to harvest on the saturated mountain fields. Then, there is the transportation to ports for air or ship that which can be shut down or delayed as roads are flooded out.  Finally, once through US Customs, the quality of the product is questionable and almost always has limited shelf-life. Fortunately, California has us covered. Currently central California growers are in great shape. Weather conditions have been excellent, creating great quality and good supply.  French beans, baby lettuces, and baby squash are just the beginning. Fennel, romanesco, and teardrop tomatoes are also in good supply. Baby carrots, either peeled  or bunched with tops are available in many colors. Other root veggies include beets, radishes, and turnips, all available in multiple sizes and packs. Greens are abundant, from baby lettuce packs and numerous mesclun varieties, to frisee and several varieties of organic baby kale.  Celery root, parsley root, baby leeks, and kohlrabi finish out the specialties, but let’s not forget radicchio and baby romaine.  Please contact  Culinary  for FOB pricing or cross dock delivery. Air freight delivery to your local airport is available as well.


   We have come to the end of another wonderful season at Andy’s Orchards. For the few that receive weekly along with those who sojourned from Monterey during the many summer conventions, you know what a wonderful program it is. This season started off rough, eliminating much of the early apricot crop (read Blenheim).  The rest of the season was pretty much on course.  Even when everything is perfect this is a ten week program at best. The multi-variety kicks in for about an eight week period.  Great things don’t last long.  Speaking of lasting long, there has been a slight change that will only affect super-tasters. Andy prides himself in picking fruit at the perfect stage when sugar and flavor are maximized. Along with his amazing growing techniques, this results in the finest stone fruit most folks have evet tasted and they pine for more. This season the fruit is picked one day earlier, compromising maybe 1% of flavor in exchange extended shelf-life. This allows us to ship to new customers when product is available and allows more time to get to the end user. That’s the wholesale part. A visit to the retail store gives access to the best baby strawberries, corn, cherries etc. We can’t ship this stuff, it’s too perishable, but we seriously envy the folks who live in Morgan Hill and surrounding towns.  Like a school system, it’s a reason to move to town!  We can’t wait until next year.


   My family is believed to have originated in India and then spread to Asia sometime between 3,000 to 10,000 years ago, depending on whom you ask. Currently I am grown just about anywhere there is warm weather. I am a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, and it is believed that I am closely related to watermelons. The Sanskrit name for my family is Soukasa. I have many siblings who are similar to me, but I am one of the old American heirloom varieties. My family members are the ones Leméry of England refers to when he says they “are hard on Digestion, because they continue long in the Stomach” and he only recommends that children who are of “a hot and bilious Constitution” eat them. I am more desirable than my long slender green siblings are because I am younger, sweeter, crisper, and more easily digested. My dimensions are 3 x 2 inches, I have a high sugar content, am shaped like a lemon, and I turn that color when overripe. I will become very chewy if left on the vine too long. But as a youngster I am sweet and crisp with pale brown flecks, and I have white juicy flesh. Considered to be and mostly used as a vegetable I am actually a fruit. Usually eaten raw, sometimes pickled, and rarely cooked, I make an excellent summer salad vegetable and a beautiful garnish. Although I am 96% water, I am a source of vitamin C, thiamin, and riboflavin.  

The answer to last weeks quiz was…FAVA BEAN… 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