Dec. 10, 2020

  Market Notes Dec. 10, 2020



The specialty tomato market has tightened up. This is affecting both the conventional and organic markets. Teardrop tomatoes from Babe are not available. The Salinas Valley Organic growers have been frozen out. This time of year most of the product comes from Mexico, particularly the Baja area. That area is now in transition, from northern Baja to southern Baja. This transition will create a two week gap this year. So organic cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, teardrop tomatoes and rainbow tomatoes are going to be scarce to non-existent. Production should ramp up just before Christmas. We are looking into other area in southern Mexico to cover during this period.  


While tomatoes are short there remains an overwhelming opinion that this is not going to be a rocking holiday season.  Caterers are depressed, retail buyers are cutting back on their bids, and foodservice operators have all but been silenced once again. It’s holiday time and in many cases supply is significantly greater than demand.  Nowhere is this more evident in both availability and price of off-shore produce. The condition is global so places like Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil do not have many options to move their products.. If there is an upside to this it is the pricing. For this time of the year they are as low as we have ever seen within the past thirty years. Asparagus priced in the low teens and no problem finding pencil or jumbo sizes. Single digit pricing on peeled carrots or French beans. Baby squash are readily available at late summer prices.  The holiday market has been humbled and is a bonus for those who can use these specialty products.  Great deals on berries, imported fresh herbs and tropicals as well.  On the domestic side, yellow slicing tomatoes and red grape tomatoes are in full swing. FOB and delivered pricing are both available. Please check with your Culinary rep for details.  


     This will be the last Market Notes of 2020.  Next week we will offer up the 26th Annual Culinary Specialty Produce Christmas song and the week after is the now infamous Culinary Specialty Produce Top Ten. The entire staff of Market notes thanks you for your continued support and looks forward to providing you more tongue-in-cheek information about produce product, pricing, philosophy and of course, a quiz. So Happy New Year, Merry Christmas and tonight, Happy Hanukkah!  Market Notes will return on Thursday, January 7, 2021.  


    I am the fruit of a tree belonging to the Laurel Family.  I have three major family types, small thin skinned, large bumpy skinned, and large leathery skinned.  My skin color ranges from light green to purplish black.  My flesh is a pale yellow-green with a smooth, rich flavor.  I got my name from the Aztec name for testicle because my shape is similar.  I will ripen after harvesting and you can speed up the process by putting me in a paper bag or in warmer temperatures.  When cut open, I will discolor rapidly, so use me fast or give me acid so I can retain my color.  There is a silly myth that says if you bury my one large pit in the dish you use me in, I will not turn color.  I am here to tell you that this is just not true, trust me, we’ve tried it and we’re never quite the same.  I contain 17 vitamins and minerals.  A cup of me pureed contains 1,378 milligrams of potassium and small amounts of sodium.  That very same cup of me also contains 324 calories, of which 88% are calories from fat, though most of it is monounsaturated.  I am used in salads, sauces, dips, and on special and rare occasions you can find me as a major component in the sauce for agave worms.  


The answer to last weeks quiz is _ MINERS LETTUCE OR CLAYTONIA_ 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., 2020

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