Aug. 22, 2019

  Market Notes
Aug. 22, 2019



    At least twice before in these pages we have badmouthed the Purple potato as a category. Dry, tasteless, longer to cook and so on. Yes they have an earthy flavor, so does dirt. They remain lacking the richness of a yellow, red, or pink fingerling. In fact, most yellow potatoes will excel in a bud contest when compared to purples. Yes, they do add color to a mix when raw and can make for a beautiful garnish or potato sheet but overall they do not score high in the flavor scale. Well, the Purple Peruvian potatoes must have heard us. While sometimes we see a white ring or the interior color has a faint speckled white on purple flesh we have found that some of our Peruvian Purple fingerlings, an heirloom variety, are marbled with purple and white. The exterior is still long and thin with deep eyes (turd looking) and totally purple that is perfectly characteristic of the Purple Peruvian so the only way to know is to cut them lengthwise. So buyers beware. We do have another purple fingerling variety called Purple Fiesta. These are a slightly long egg shaped potato but their flesh is solid purple. They have slight russeting on the skin but will blend very well with yellow Russian and French red.  We do, fortunately have a good supply of both.



   The organic russet market appears to be suffering with quality problems from many growing areas. Colorado crop seems to be the best quality but prices are possibly beyond reason. We expect this market to be volatile for the next few weeks when a larger number of Colorado growers with have product. Fingerlings are all new crop with fields coming on in New Mexico, Northern Colorado, Oregon and Central California. Our crop won’t be ready for about a month at which time we will be able to lower our cost for east coast forward distribution. Purple A’s are easy but red and white creamers still remain tight with quality, price, and availability changing weekly.  Harvest Moon, a purple skin yellow flesh potato we adore will be ready to ship by September 16th. Pee-wee fingerlings and marble rounds are available in limited supply and both require about three day notice for FOB pick up. This year, early on in the season we will have a limited supply of Bintje potatoes.  Bintje is a yellow potato that is excellent for frying. We plan on offering the Bintje European heirloom variety by the end of September.


    Yes, it’s coming; we’re closing, more on that next week.  


    I am the world’s most expensive spice.  Cultivated in the Mediterranean area since ancient times, they say I originated in Asia Minor, and who am I to argue?  A favorite of the Phoenician traders, they took me everywhere.  Thanks to them, I can be found in Spain, my major producer, as well as Cornwall, England, where I was traded for tin.  You won’t notice my underground corm, but you’ll be mesmerized in autumn by my lilac-purple flowers with protruding red stigmas.  My stigma is the main thing.  Only have three stigma per flower, you will need about 251,789 of my flowers just to make one pound of me.  If you’re lucky enough to find my flower, call your friends and relatives because my stigma has to be picked from my flower by hand. Because of this intensive process, you will often find me adulterated with the likes of water, oil, safflower, arnica, turmeric, or marigolds.  To keep me pure buy me as a thread not ground.  Remove air and light, and I’ll hang around.  If you come across my meadow variety, stay away; it’s a killer and will make you crocus.  Look for my sativus variety, as it is most prized and will taste best.  Used in bread as part of a traditional Christmas feast in Sweden, I am also an essential ingredient in paella and bouillabaisse.  A nice bath before use allows me to blend thoroughly.  We’re not big on nutrients but we’ve been known to relieve flatulence and stimulate menstruation.  Just a pinch of me will do, or I’ll turn your food purple through and through.

Answer to last weeks quiz…CREAMER POTATOES..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., 2015

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