February 22, 2018

  Market Notes
February 22, 2018


February is Potato Lovers month and if sales are any indication, next year we can call it Fingerling Lovers month. Sales of fingerling potatoes are currently brisk and we are prepared. Shipping out of California, Colorado and Pennsylvania we are ready to exceed your needs. We had one hiccup last week but now all areas are producing top quality product. Fingerlings should run smoothly through May when we will have another transition. One cool thing about specialty produce that will always remain is turning customers on to produce they are not familiar with and watching them take ownership of that new item. Apparently there is a lot of room for that growth in the fingerling market. Marble potatoes are steady with an occasional gap on the purples. Creamers are steady out of Washington and Oregon on the conventional side, but organics are a different story. Purple A’s and B’s are also strong from this region. Reds remain strong while the yellows are dwindling and will be gone within a month. Purple organic creamers are hard to come by. Pee-wee (2’ and under fingerlings) are available in three colors but only conventionally and most of them are spoken for. Organic russet are easy and now pretty much traded on price. Harvest Moon™ purple/gold potatoes are available with promotional allowance and are not moving as quickly as we would like. Deals to be made on the Midnight Moon that include, BOGO, ads and in-store demos and a chance to win your own planet. Retail and club size packaging is available for most varieties when both conventional and organic options. The only pack we have not yet mastered is the 6 ounce or three potato packs for the home delivery market. But give us a year, we’ll get it.


You can’t mess with Mother Nature. She does what she wants, when she wants and it is ours to like or hide from. If she wants to give us fresh Morel Mushrooms in February, who are we to complain? If Nettles are now on the market, is it really polite to ask how? If wild spring onions are popping out of the ground now, is there even a complaint report from to fill out? We think not. In fact we are happy to be able to offer these items so early in the year. For truffles, thank the lord, have not lost their sanity. They are black and they are of the winter variety. They are available imported ($$$$$) or domestic ($$)


I AM EVERYTHING AND MORE. People have the nerve to call me just a berry, but you’d never see me that way. A cliché of 70’s nouvelle cuisine, I originated in China over 700 years ago, but they only used me as a childhood tonic. The French call me “vegetable mouse,” and I must admit that I’m a rampant climber, deciduous and attractive. When cut, I release actinic and bromic acids to curdle your milk, soften your meat, and keep your gelatin nervous. Caress my skin if you want to eat it; on a picnic enjoy my fruit, then use my skin to patch your bicycle tires; or after dessert save my skins to make pillowcases. See, I told you I’m everything and more. On the culinary side, it took an inventive marketing mom to really make me famous in the U.S. While of few of my plants are hermaphrodites, we usually work as a harem, one male for every four or five females producing 100 lbs. of fruit on one vine. You’ll find me year-round, since my two main producers have complementary seasons. I’m also a handler’s delight, since I have a resilient skin and can last 3-4 weeks in your refrigerator or 6 months in cold, humid storage. Even after 6 months, I retain 90% of my Vitamin C. I need room temperature to really ripen. I get sweeter and mushier as I ripen, despite losing some vitamin content. Scoop, peel, slice, chunk, juice, or just bite in; use me like a strawberry or melon. Even with all my attributes, it just isn’t enough; they’re marketing my smooth-skin baby cousins and my new gold variety. I have ten times more Vitamin C than lemons and lots of potassium, and I’m diuretic and laxative. One oval berry can have as many as 1400 seeds, containing essential fatty acids.

Answer To Last Week’s Quiz:…LAVENDER…Congrats To All Winners

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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