Jan 16, 2020

  Market Notes Jan 16, 2020



      Rain, morning frost, and cool temperatures continue to impede the growth rate of baby greens. Spinach, arugula, frisee, baby kale and head lettuce are all exposed to this slow growth. Yields are affected as well.  Florida is just beginning to dry up so the tomato market is opening like a stuck window, very slowly.  There is good supply of yellow tomatoes in smaller sizes. Root vegetables, which were once just damaged tops are now in flooding fields which has dramatically affected the baby radish market. Savory, tarragon and chervil are hit or miss on a daily basis as volume is greatly reduced. Off-shore beans and baby squash are showing regular damage from the Guatemalan rains and the California citrus season has lost over twenty percent of its crop. Global warming has caused weather patterns to change affecting the expected temps, and yields. The season has been officially pronounced goofy and will most likely remain so in one form or another into mid-April. Different fields, different yields, so there should be some bright spots along the way. Buckle up and stay tuned.


   Our premier potato grower in central California has begun harvest of their winter crop and things are looking up. While the never ending supplies of yellow fingerlings continue, we are also looking forward to purple and red fingerlings to be harvested early next week.  When the Amarosa and purple Peruvian are run, we will be back in stock on our fingerling assortment which we have not had for over a month. Round white potatoes are also available in A, B, and creamer sizes. Round reds and purples will follow in the next few weeks. We offer these products FOB Edison, California and also provide pallet consolidation in and around the LA market area.  


   Is it a tuber or is it a fungus. Other than some domestic black, the peak truffle season is done. The stinky days are gone for the season but some very affordable alternatives are available for a bit.  Beautiful porcini mushrooms from South Africa along with Hedgehog, Yellow Foot and Black Trumpet mushrooms top the list for winter mushroom offerings. Check with your Culinary rep for our weekly finds and the rare imports. Every Monday we are updated with global forages and these products are just a phone call away. You can add it to your micro-green orders.  So what’s one extra Fed-Ex delivery?  


   I am a very traditional winter tuber.  Native to the Mediterranean I was widely used by the Greeks and Romans, but it was not until the Middle Ages that the variety used today was developed.  I reigned in popularity until upstaged by the introduction of the potato.  Related to carrots, with a texture like turnips and leaves resembling celery I have a yellowish fruity flesh with a flavor reminiscent of hazelnut.  I am best in the winter when exposed to a light frost and my starch is converted into sugar.  This is why I am usually harvested after the first frost.  On average I measure seven to twelve inches in length and two to three inches in diameter.  For the newborns you can just clip the ends and go.  Adults require a good peeling and elders have to be cored.  Similar to the ways of the Romans I am still very popular in stews.  I have also been used to make beers and wines.  My golden colored, rich sherry-like wine is still popular today.  Other uses include puree, fried, (like French fries), roasted (parboil for a bit first please), glazed (like carrots), or shredded in salads.  I also taste great on my own, either cold with a vinaigrette, or simply as a side dish.  My flesh turns black when exposed to the air so use me immediately or place me in vinegar or lemon water to retain my color.  I am an excellent source of potassium and folic acid.  I also contain Vitamin C, magnesium, pantothenic acid, copper, phosphorus and Vitamin B6.  I am also high in calories and carbohydrates.    

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