Market Notes Dec 12,2019
POTATO FAMINE FICTIONNo more French fried potatoes? That seems to be the fear lately as reports of crop failures and harvest shortages are reported throughout the Midwest. We can assure you that if there is any reality to this it would not affect the inventory until mid to late summer 2020, prior to the next harvest. While French fries are not a commodity like pork bellies or orange juice, sometimes the fearcasts can cause a false shortage in order to raise prices on both raw and processed product. While we are not frozen food brokers we know enough to know that frozen products can be inventoried many, many months in advance. So there is plenty of time for the growers, buyers and processors to adjust and/or locate additional sources. That said, we would welcome a brief shortage of the French fry potato as it would seriously increase the fingerling and other specialty varieties. Maybe even go back to the potato that started it all, the Bintje. Oh yeah, did we mention we have loads? Kidding aside, have no fear, fryers will not be lonely.
TUBBING IN THE RAINNo, it is not a new Olympic sport, but it would certainly be fun to watch. Tubbing is actually a slang term for a process of gently drying and cooling baby greens for salad mixes. Directly from the field, and often again after processing, baby greens are put in bins and inserted into a “tube” for drying and cooling. A few decades ago this was a breakthrough technology that is very common today. However, when the rains are excessive and the tube is not able to remove all the water the end result is greens that are clumped. With the excessive rain in Yuma and surrounding areas we are seeing a lot of baby green blends as well as components arrive with this clumping condition. This has affected at least five of the growers we are aware of and we are learning that this is more of a weather condition than lack of proper processing. While processors are doing their best to improve this situation, heavy rains are predicted for at least the next five days. Baby heads and frisee are somewhat exempt as they are sold as whole heads. We will update as we learn more.
PRODUCE QUIZ – WHO AM I???Considered an ornamental plant, I am native to South America, and though I am quite pretty, I am useful as well. Let’s start from the top and work our way down. I am a flower, and edible flower when grown for culinary uses, delicate and beautiful in shades of bright yellow, orange, or red. I am always used fresh and add a spicy peppery zing to fresh salads. I am so versatile I can be used as a drink garnish or stuffed and deep fried. Moving down, my buds can be pickled in Tarragon vinegar and used in place of capers. My leaves can be used fresh or sautéed in olive oil with shallots as served as warmed greens. But wait, there’s more! In several of my varieties I produce an odd shaped tuber called Anu, a mild non-acid potato like starch which can be consumed after ten minutes of boiling. Finally I have great medicinal properties. I have been used as a stimulant, expectorant, antiscorbutic, and a diuretic as well as a topical remedy. I have recently become part of a lotion used to prevent hair loss. Even my seeds can be used as a purgative. In botanical Latin I mean watercress, but that’s definitely not what I am all about.
Answer to this week’s quiz…ALLSPICE…Congrats to all winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702 Visit us at www.culinaryproduce.com “like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook© Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015