Aug 27, 2020

  Market Notes Aug 27, 2020



The smoky days and the red sun continue. For the most part the fires are not spreading and we are hearing higher containment daily.  While the loss of property is huge the causalities (although one is too many) are very few. The ash and smoke create a filter between their sun and the ground restricting many crops of their needed sunlight. The intense heat is now showing its damage in fields of melted tomatoes, burned lettuce and other crops that could not cope.  Perhaps the most interesting effect of the fires is the ash. Throughout the Salinas Valley and the Napa Valley ash has settled on everything. From a harvest point of view there is now another reason to wear a face mask.  Many products are being sold with ash and they are being sold FOB final.  There is not enough clearance yet to judge the final outcome the loss of jobs, product and property will be severe. If we had only swept the forest floor! On another note we are pleased to hear that the storm damage from Hurricane Laura will not be as severe as predicted.  At this writing we hear that the wind damage is bad but the storms are not as intense as expected. Let’s be thankful for small favors and pray for those in Laura’s way.  


So the trucking has already gone crazy, many crops are decimated or covered in ash, large gatherings are not recommended, and States are considering who gets to enter and leave their border. While things often get crazy during holidays, we think there is not going to a huge celebration for this one. Ad to everything else the confusion of what going to school actually means and we see a very laid back holiday weekend.  We could offer smoked fingerlings but it is probably too soon. Regardless, Culinary Specialty Produce global offices in New Jersey will be closed on Monday, September 7th in celebration of the jobs we no longer have.  Our west coast sales office will be open but beware than many markets and loading docks throughout the country will be closed as well. We will be in touch will all our Monday consolidators to review options and make alternate arrangements. So pool parties and BBQ’s aside we do hope everyone can find a relaxing moment with some loved ones and friends for a safe happy and healthy holiday weekend.   


    Like the onion, I have been around for so long (9000 years at least) that my mother, the original wild plant is gone.  I have learned to adapt to many different growing conditions in the same way that I have learned to respond to many different names.  From my immature leaves and shoots to my white, cream-colored or purple-gray flesh, most of me can be consumed.  My prolific cultivation and harvest easily explain my use as a staple food throughout one third of this planet.  Just to show off, we proved we could yield over 1,000 bushels on one acre of rich damp soil in just two years!  That ought to leave a challenge for the rabbits.  Although I have over 100 siblings and appear in shapes from oblong to round, we all come with thick brownish ringed skin that is rugged and hairy.  I do require caution as I contain toxic crystals of calcium oxalate, a sticky juice, just beneath my skin that can produce an allergic reaction if direct contact is made.  A simple solution is to use gloves or running water when peeling my skin.  You will have to put on the heat to consume me as my leaves and roots contain an indigestible starch that is neutralized when cooked.  I have a high starch content, a sweet taste often considered to have an artichoke-chestnut flavor, and can be used in the same way as a potato.  I have been boiled and ground and fermented into poi, sliced, dried, and smoked as a traveling food, and wrapped in banana leaves when cooked in an umu pit.  My leaves can be pureed, mixed with minced onion and coconut milk for umukai.  I am rich in thiamin, Vitamin C and Potassium.  Low in protein but rich in starch I am easily digested.


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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