April 14, 2016

  Market Notes
April 14, 2016



Everything is available for forage but it just might not be available every day. Forage grounds are now soft, warm and wet; perfect conditions. Orchard morel mushrooms from Southern California are done and fungi from the Pacific Northeast has just begun to trickle in. The Midwest has not gone into full foraging yet as they are focused on ramps. Speaking of ramps, we are a week or two away from peak of production but remember, this is a twelve-week program at most. Big news in forging is Eastern fiddlehead ferns have started shipping. Similar in taste to the Western fiddleheads, the Eastern variety is best known for its brilliant glowing green color. Summer truffles have begun and this year we have a direct connection to ship directly from Italy if the volume warrants. We can also offer sliced truffles in oil as well as truffle butter along with the Italian black summer truffles. Next we will be looking for early Paw Paws but we have to make sure they will ship. Ramos, fiddleheads, morels, spring garlic, cattail shoots, claytonia and truffles. Great ingredients for good eats!


Ume is short for Umeboshi. Umeboshi Plum is also known as a slat or pickled plum. Not only does this plum have amazing flavor, it has more amazing medicinal properties. From curing hangovers to “a Ume a day to keep the doctor away.” Turned into pastes, elixirs and pills, this oriental plum, ten centuries old is now available for shipping out of LA. Also, a little better than the pine berries and not nearly as delicate, are fresh goji berries. These will be limited and expensive while shipping integrity has not been fully established. Early variety cherries are now on the walk and this year the crop is early and sweet. White peaches and one of our favorites, apriums, are also available from domestic growers and packers which tells us all the fancy hybrids can’t be far behind. Fingerlimes are sporadically available and will be stronger in a few weeks. Finally, if you can get them, the Driscoll purple label blackberries are now being packed and they are some of the best of the year.


The deal is done. All equipment has been moved. All coolers have been turned on. With warm days, light rain, and cool nights the weather is perfect. The lines at the coolers have calmed down and truck loading is back to normal waiting hours. No product is being allocated although Organic baby kale can get tight for a day or two. Baby lettuce is packing heavy and colored mixed have huge eye appeal. Water supply is up and pricing is steady. Great time for ads and promotions. Check in for the latest deals


I am originally from the Middle East and Central Asia. I have been cultivated there for thousands of years. I am a member in good standing of the Umbelliferae family (you may have heard of my cousin hemlock, I know Socrates has). I am a biennial plant and have hundreds of varieties ranging in height, thickness and color. In fact my various colors almost cover the entire rainbow including, white, orange, red, purple, and if left out to long, black. I am produced globally but my largest crops come from the United States, China, England, France, Japan, and Poland. My uses are truly universal. Need to soothe a burn? Use me raw as a compress for immediate relief. Menstrual cramping got you bloated? Don’t run to the medicine cabinet, head for the refrigerator and munch out on me. Wanna make your wine more interesting? Use me in the fermentation process and cheer the results. On the culinary side, I have one danger. Excessive consumption will make your skin color, my primary skin color. This is a great alternative to the tanning salon. You will enjoy me in crudités, soups, salads, sandwiches, cookies, cakes, or classically glazed with brown sugar and butter. I am a dieter’s delight with my way low calories, and don’t even talk to me about fat, I have none! I am 87% water yet rich in vitamin A and Potassium. My slender shape also contains Vitamin C, Thiamin, Folic Acid, and Magnesium. My oil is rich in Vitamin E. These days you could very well find me skinned and topless, but don’t worry, that gets me to the plate more quickly. Children thrive on my babies, horses love the old folks. Why, with this many colors shapes and uses, everyone will find a variety that suits them. You shouldn’t have to jump in a hole to enjoy me anymore.

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Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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