April 22nd, 2021
Ramps are at peak of production. Picking, cleaning and shipping is moving at warp speed. A quick note about ramps. We pick our ramps including the root as we have found the shelf life is greatly increased. That said, we do support a very sustainable program that guarantees a healthy crop every year. More on that next week. Along with the wild ramps, there are many other foraged offerings available. These include Pacific Northwest morel mushrooms, wood sorrel, nettles, miners lettuce, fiddlehead ferns and flowering onions from Oregon. Winter truffles are done (after all, its spring). Italian summer truffles are expected to start next week. East coast fiddlehead ferns should begin harvest in three weeks. Great offerings for the foraged menu.
POTATO NOTES FROM ALL OVER
Purple A sized potatoes seem tight nationwide. What is out there lacks quality and sizing. Great deals on all other purple potato sizes out of Center, Colorado. Fingerling potatoes are starting to wind down from this area as well. This year we will be done by the middle of June. Organic Russets are all but done as we wait for the Washington State product to begin. New crop harvest conventional and organic rounds harvesting now out of central California. New fingerling crop to follow from the same area. Food box and food bank product also available in totes, with some packed in two or three pound bags. There was a gap in the marble size round potatoes but that is quickly ending. Marbles will be abundant once the holiday rush is done.
MOTHER’S DAY- JUST ABOUT TWO WEEKS AWAY
We rarely predict the action during a holiday period because we are almost always wrong. That said, we think this year is going to be a whopper. Whether it’s from stir crazy families, the end of the last freeze, or the promotion of open restaurants and aggressive meal preparation from markets and specialty shops, product is moving swiftly. Production lines are running extra shifts and booking run time can be as much as three days out. Trucks are also getting crazy. More money in loading fresh flowers than fresh fruit. Cost is up and equipment is scarce. This will get worse before it gets better. But these are good problems as the action in our industry in definitely on the rise. Let’s see what goes crazy next week. Stay safe, eat out.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – WHO AM I ???
I’m the best plant since sliced bread. I am the “The Supermarket of the swamps” according to Guru of nuts and twigs, Euell Gibbons, “the cat’s meow, and the ducks feather.” You’ll go wild over my ability to soothe your sore gums and cure your sweet tooth. I feature prime nesting grounds for red-winged black birds and marsh wrens. I also offer material for human shelter and warmth in the form of lean-to’s and garments. I was used during WW I as an artificial silk, a substitute for cotton, and as a down for gloves and coats. You too can create wondrous and unique garments that will wow and dazzle your friends. I’m a versatile plant, because not only can I be used for shelter and garments, I can also be used for weaving baskets to hold your favorite cakes and pastries made from the flour-like pollen of my flowers. Did you know that the pollen from just one acre of me can provide as much as three tons? My roots can also be made into flour or a thickener for cooking when you separate the fibers from my roots. When boiled I taste like a mashed potato and when macerated I make a sweet syrup for the pancakes you’ve made with the flour from my pollen. Eaten raw, my shoots or stalks are like celery sticks and can be used in salads, roasted, or sautéed. When steamed I taste much like asparagus and my flower spikes can be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob. I am a plant ahead of my time, high in protein available year round. Roots in the winter, shoots in the spring and flowers in summer. Who can beat that?
The answer to last weeks quiz was..NOPALES or CACTUS LEAVES…Congrats to all winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702 Visit us at www.culinaryproduce.com “like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook© Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020