Jan 9, 2020

  Market Notes
Jan 9, 2020



      Nothing has improved in the desert growing region. There is continued rain, frost and below normal temperatures. This creates poor yields and limits supply. All of the bad things that happen during a shortage are now in play. First there is a complete disappearance of product. Zero harvest!  This allows the slow growing product to catch up. One of our premier frisee growers is doing this very thing. One hundred per cent out for two weeks. Then there are price increases.  Most of our growers have increased prices to cover costs. This is for all mixes and all components. Finally there are allocations which will start next week. Most field reports indicate a minimum of two weeks before there is a hint of increased production, but if the rains, low temps, and frost continue, we might see some closure in the southern exposure. We will keep you informed as needed.  


   So, hopefully we have made it abundantly clear that frisee is going to be very tight for the next two weeks. But did you know that frisee is not a lettuce?  It is actually chicory. And while the frisee is away the winter chicories will play.  And play you can!  While we are all familiar with Radicchio and Trevissano, this season bring the stunning Castelfranco, the delicate pink Radicchio, and the traditional Punterella. These items can be sold as single packs or as a chicory toy box. Either way, this winter crop can cure your frisee woes while adding, color, crunch and levity to your salads and sauté.  Oh yeah, great on the grill too.    


   We are at the peak of the winter citrus season.  The Moro Blood Oranges have color both inside and out and the Cara Caras are at peak of sweetness.  Finger limes are abundant, Red Pumello’s are prime, Oro Blanco and Melo-gold are in great supply. Tangelo, Minneola, Satsuma, Sweet Lime, Kumquats, are all at peak of production. On the sour side there are Kaffir limes, Seville Oranges, and Bergamots all ready and waiting to ship.  Buddha hands in all sizes are still available and as always there are Meyer Lemons. Sudachi is limited.  


    Native to Central America I am a tropical evergreen that can grow as tall as 33 feet but because my long trunk is not sufficiently woody and my leaves only grow on top I am technically not a tree.  Though I am ripe when my green skin is streaked with yellow I am often picked green and ripened at room temperature.  This allows me to survive the long distances I often have to travel to get to your market.  Long enjoyed by Latin American Indians and the Spanish and Portuguese made me famous worldwide and now I am cultivated in most subtropical climates from Brazil to India.  I am cylinder shaped and can have a bulbous end like a pear or be 18 inches long.  My weight can range anywhere from 12 ounces to 20 pounds.  I always have a center cavity filled with tiny edible black seeds that resemble peppercorns and have a peppery taste.  My flesh ranges in color from brownish-red to pink to golden-yellow.  I can be eaten like a melon and often doused with Port, Rum, lime or lemon juice.  When added to fruit salads I help keep other fruits firm.  Often I am pureed, pressed to make juice, cooked to make jam, chutney or ketchup, or stuffed with other fruits, chicken or seafood.  I am also used as a meat tenderizer.  When unripe my green ripe rind is often baked or boiled and eaten like a sweet squash.  While my seeds clear the intestines, my flesh is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Potassium and Vitamin A.    

Answer to last week’s quiz ….. RUTABAGA…..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

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