August 13, 2015

  Market Notes
  August 13, 2015

Reports from the Salinas valley are pretty much the same. The three toughest items to come by are Spinach, Aurgula, and Frisee. These items have had both increased demand due to lacking eastern crop along with crop damage form the humid heat in the west. The items are being pro-rated and allocations are around fifty percent. Order heavy, order in advance, pick up early. For this area the price increases will remain.  Further south, it is hot.   Really, really hot. As we stated last week, the weather is taking a toll on anything with normally green tops. Baby Radishes in particular are struggling against the moist heat and bugs. Beets and bunch carrots are also showing the wear and tear. Additionally, heat in the Fresno area has dwindled supplies of Chinese Long Beans and English Peas to nearly nothing.   But be not, afraid, produce professionals. As always, when weather closes a door on one crop, it opens the door to another. There are plenty of very pretty Blue Lake Beans as well as very nice French Beans, both clipped and unclipped. New crop California Pomegranates are reasonable and pretty as are President Prunes! Cotton Candy Grapes are showing up in small amounts and are a wonderfully unique addition to summer menus.   Lastly, Australian Blood Oranges, Cara Cara and Meyer Lemons are just now beginning to show up in the US. They are lovely and flavorful and their supplies will continue to grow as winter approaches. Another crop we lost out on due to heat is Red Currants. It was too hot in Australia for good arrival here.

For those who followed it the “What’s Her Name I Can’t Tell Ya” potato, we can report it is on schedule, but more about that later, Bulk yellows, reds, and russets are loading out of New Mexico. We are starting to pack conventional russets in Northern Colorado so some counts will be available next week. Fingerlings are also loading in Northern Colorado and these are being trucked in from New Mexico for packaging in LaSalle. Organic Russets from Colorado begin next week. There are not Washington State potatoes repacked. They are truly from Colorado. Early reports indicate they are running on the small side so counts will be very limited. California is still running beautiful Fingerlings; one variety conventional, and two varieties organic. New California fields are being dug next week. This will give us additional conventional Fingerlings to assure a smooth transition along with some new white creamers. Purple A’s are also loading out of Edison.

The tomato season is on. Now e can offer specific varieties in either slicer or cherry sized. Dry Framed Early Girls are everywhere and at peak of production so for your canning customers, now is the time. While we have only seen these grown organically, the ten pounds flats of heirlooms and the twelve or sixteen pint flats of cherry tomatoes are available organically and conventionally. While they often look and taste the same, personal preference will be decided by price and your moral relationship with food. Either way, either size, now is a great time to offer summer tomatoes at a deal. Lots of local tomato production, festivals and deals pop up this time of year, so just remember us when they end. Loading from numerous locations between SFO and LAX. FOB, market consolidation, or local airport pickup available. Please check with your Culinary rep for size, style and price.

am not a papaya! I am a member of the Annona family (the only temperate member). I am not tropical. In fact, I am the largest edible fruit that is native to the United States. Boone and Twain were fans of me. McCoy’s were tied to my bark and executed. I saved Lewis & Clark from starvation. I even have my own festival and foundation. I am native to 25 United States ranging from Northern Florida to Southern Ontario (Canada) and as far west as Eastern Nebraska. I have an oblong shape, like a small potato with a green skin. On the branch I grow as a single fruit or in clusters of up to nine, resembling a tropical banana plant. This, along with my very sweet taste combining banana, mango, and pineapple, has led to the nicknames “Kentucky Banana”, or “poor man’s banana”. Historically I have been used for making brandy, but I am best purees, ice creams, custards, cookies, yogurts, and of course out of hand. I am a good source of vitamin C, Potassium, Niacin, Copper, and Manganese. I am high in protein and fat, and contain all essential amino acids.   I also produce natural defense compounds (annonaceous acteogenins) in my leaf, bark, and twig tissues that are being researched for anti-cancer drugs and natural pesticides.

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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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