February 11, 2016

  Market Notes
  February 11, 2016


What is the “Harvest Moon” and why is the Harvest Moon special? Astronomers define Harvest Moon as the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox This means that the Harvest Moon can fall in September or early October, coming anywhere from two weeks before to two weeks after the equinox. Why does it have special importance? In the sky you have what looks like a full moon several nights in a row because it is more parallel to the horizon. While we also get an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, this is also the time in the field when we harvest a potato of the same name. Formally known as the Midnight Moon, that name is now replaced. Trademark protection and improved visual imagery create the reasons for this exciting change. While the name and promotion might have changed this potato still remains worthy of all potato lovers’ consideration. The smooth firm purple skin reveals the most brilliant yellow flesh you have ever seen, reminiscent of the Harvest Moon (get it?).This slightly waxy potato is all purpose but shines when mashed, sautéed, or used in potato salads. The color and beauty of a Harvest Moon in the sky has nothing of the outstanding flavor of the potato on your plate. Harvest Moon potatoes are available in 20# and 50# food service cases and retail is in development. Potatoes are available organically from September through February loading in Colorado and from May through October loading in California. This is our first season on the west coast so we might be a bit ahead of ourselves. Within two Harvest Moons we should have both organic and conventional available year round. You no longer have to wait for August for the Harvest Moon in the sky. Mother Nature now has them available on the ground, year round. So support nature, request samples or order a load. Quick potato note for Valentine’s Day: Take the curved end of a carrot peeler and carve a straight line 1/8th inch deep down the center of a whole potato then slice perpendicular to that line for instant potato hearts.


Truffles are available both domestically and internationally but we believe that the pink of stink has passed and the strongest truffles are past us. That said, there are beautiful black truffles from Spain and Italy and white truffles from France. Domestically there are Oregon blacks and whites available but due to the crazy weather there is no prediction as to when or how much. They are very hit and miss so if domestic is your thing, please stay ahead on your ordering and don’t expect your orders to go out the day you place them. Chanterelles from the Netherlands are new to our shores this year and will certainly give the Hedge Hog Mushrooms a break. Lobster mushrooms are dwindling as they usually do this time of year and Black Trumpet Mushrooms, a winter standard are at peak. Bluefoot are limited and Hen of the Woods (Maiitake) are in fine supply and available in retail packaging. Pioppini, and Alba cultivated mushrooms are steady and ready when you are. We ship mushrooms and truffles via overnight carrier, commercial airlines, or we can consolidate at your favorite dock in SFO or LA. Please check with your Culinary rep for delivered prices.


I am the proud, the sweet, the fruit of the Chicle tree. I produce a milky latex that is boiled down to form the major ingredient in chewing gum. I am native to South America, but I am also grown in the West Indies, the Philippines, South Florida, and other tropical climates. Some say I look like a cross between a potato and an apple. I am round, lemon shaped or oblong, about 3 inches in diameter with a russeted rough, grayish brown edible skin. I have four inedible black seeds (used to make tea) with a soft, sweet, fragrant pulp that is fine grained. The flavor of my flesh can be likened to the flavors of brown sugar or maple syrup. When consumed with my milder, slightly bitter skin, like an apple, my intense sweetness will mellow. My honey blonde deep reddish brown melt-in-your mouth pulp can be eaten out of hand or used in pancakes, rice custard and sherbet, fruit salads and wine. I can also do amazing things to a root beer float. I am quite high in fiber and considered to be a good source of potassium. I contain vitamin C, sodium and iron as well.

Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…CREAMER POTATES…Congrats To All Winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa, Mark or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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