April 30, 2015

cul  Market Notes
  April 30, 2015

This was our first season offering the Masquerade Potato ™ and we hit all the pitfalls of rolling out a first season crop. We sent seed out instead of samples, did not cure long enough and analyzed results from many different growing areas. We tried to send samples to Canada and overnight turned into three weeks. Then we watched as certain crops just faded. We also introduced the “A” sized Masquerade to many of the top distributors and retailers in the USA to very positive feedback. So we are now past the first year bumps and looking forward to next season. While we patiently wait for new harvest in November, we would like to tell you that next year we will have about 5 times the amount so we can manage programs from November through May. We will also be introducing a new 3# bag of “B” sized Masquerade Potatoes™ that can be packed 15/3# per bail. We do not believe that this multi-colored potato will change the world, we introduced fingerlings for that, but from your response, the Masquerade will fill a unique three season niche. Want to be part of next season’s Masquerade party? Contact your Culinary Rep for details.

orcini Mushrooms will remain tight and availability will be spotty throughout the season but everything else is now on. The latest addition to the seasonal forage is Eastern Fiddlehead Ferns. These vibrant greens stand out in appearance, flavor and crunch. Soups, salads, stews, simmer, sauté, or even smoked, these ferns are a great alternative for asparagus (which are sky high), beans, peas, broccoli, or any other cooked greens. Of course we still have the Western Fiddlehead Ferns for a few more weeks. Ramps are in peak of production and will remain so for the next two weeks. Movement has been average and product is arriving in large quantity so maybe we will see another price drop. We now have licorice root available along with the nettles, cattail shoots, strawberry flowers, morels and Italian black truffles.

Asparagus are outrageously expensive which is usually an indication that there is a holiday around the corner. It also could be that California is done and Mexico is late. Other than that the picking are pretty good for the busiest restaurant day of the year. Domestic figs have begun with two varieties. Stone fruit is early with cherries, peaches and apriums. Fingerlimes are scarce but available and strawberries are easy pickings. It is prime time for Argentina blueberries and California blackberries, while fava’s beans and English peas abound. There is no problem with baby greens though we hear organic romaine hearts are tight. Baby squash, French Beans, baby and full size heirloom tomatoes are all in good supply along with baby peeled carrots of many shapes and sized. Fingerling potatoes shine, marble potatoes roll and we have them all in many different colors. The warm winter may cause reduced yields down the road, but for this May 10th, it’s on for moms. They deserve it.

o strings on my head, but I do have a frond. When my coiled frond peaks through the soil it’s a sure sign of SPRING! It’s A foragers dream (and fortune), that they have not figured out or bothered to figure out how to cultivate me. Introduced to French settlers by the Malachite Indians in 1783, the French developed our culinary capabilities. I am only available to harvest for about two weeks in each area I grow before I unfurl into graceful greenery of inedible plumes. The eastern U.S.A. is my prime terrain, but I have a darker, grayer variety foraged out of the Pacific Northwest that arrives about a month before we do. My taste is a cross between asparagus, green beans, and artichokes, with a very appealing crunchy texture. I can be steamed, simmered, braised, sautéed, or boiled. I am excellent as a side dish with hollandaise, maltaise or butter sauces. I love a vinaigrette drizzle, and I do fine served in salads. I am an excellent source of vitamin A & a good source of vitamin C and fiber. I am a spring thing and summer finds me blown away. I am out of the dirt, but never with my head in the sand.

Answer To Last Quiz….DANDELION……Congrats To All Winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa, Mark or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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