January 14th, 2021
WE EAT WITH OUR EYES (and sometimes we swallow)
In the culinary specialty world we are always looking for the prettier plate. We search for that one special item, that one perfect color to make the meal “pop”, and the dish stands out and becomes memorable. Edible flowers have helped support this quest as have edible gold, petal confetti, Weather it’s a sprig of cilantro or a single chive topping a bowl of chili, a tomato rose next to the chicken salad, or a simple sprig of fresh green parsley next to the steak. Often this garni is appreciated and ignored and the plate comes back to the kitchen empty except for the decoration. It’s as if it was too pretty to eat. Microgreens have been a significant move forward in plate presentation, offering the powerful flavor of an entrée or the subtle beauty of a garnish. So, what if you blend premium microgreens with edible flower petals? All beauty, no beast! A beautiful alternative that can be used as a base, a garnish, or a side dish that is sure to create the always annoying food photo. Bright yellows, dark blues, variegated purple and rustic orange all combine with various shapes of microgreens and the presentation is eye-popping. You don’t have to make this, this mix already exists. It’s called Micro Fiesta Blend ™ as is produced by our favorite microgreens grower. If you have a penchant for the pretty plate of just want to gussy up dinner for your Valentine’s date, you need to see (and buy) this mix. Please contact your Culinary rep for photos, details and maybe if you are really nice, the “S” word.
KEEPING IT RED
While we are on the subject of things pretty and Valentine’s Day let’s do an early rundown of all the special produce you can adapt to show produce love. As the inauguration may be a gathering but shut out from being a celebration, Valentine’s Day is next up. Red potatoes and red on red fingerlings are available and with enough time we can cut them into hearts and ship them in cry-o-vac vacuum sealed bags. Same is true for red and candy stripped beets. Berries and apples all suit the seasonal color and a lot of culinary art can be created between the two. MandaRosa red mandarins are in season and are perfect for drinks and deserts. Baby red roses, both domestic and from Japan should be available and red tipped endive is always a big hit for the holiday. Culinary will carry a wide array of all things red and we expect as the restaurants remain closed, several of the specialty items may well end up in your local market. On the other hand, our country will still be in the midst of food box distribution for the hungry, so perhaps our hearts should focus there.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – WHO AM I???
I am famous for playing hard to get, yet the few that are graced with my presence find me on a small tropical tree cultivated in parts of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. I am the reigning queen member of the Guttiferaceae family and am actually referred to as “Queen of the Tropical Fruits.” I grow at my own leisure, which is usually in a timely fashion, and I am difficult to propagate, even down right persnickety. My thick vibrant skin is strikingly handsome. I share the same purplish red skin color as a pomegranate, but I am far more beautiful, both inside and out. My insides are segmented into small pulpy white to ivory sections. My pulp is delicate, yet powerfully sweet and juicy. My exotic flavor has been described as a mixture of pineapple, apricot, orange and grape. Taste me and I will practically melt in your mouth. My pulp can be pureed and used as a topping for ice cream, sherbet or tossed in fruit salad. Most take delight in scooping me right out of my chilled skin. In Indonesia, lucky for them, I am actually abundant, and I am often used in recipes for pickles and vinegar. If you are blessed with fashion sense, you may be wearing my eye catching color on your belt, shoes, wallet or gloves because my skin contains tannins, used for dying certain materials. I contain potassium and vitamin C as well as traces of iron and niacin. If my name were broken down you would find the name of another member of the fruit family, but believe me there is no relation. Contrary to popular opinion I never had a Bar-Mitzvah and have no religious affiliations.
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020