January 21, 2016

  Market Notes
  January 21, 2016


The first Nor-Easter is upon us. Land fall and accumulation is eminent. Early reports are tornado watch in the South Eastern states, blizzard warning in Washington D.C. and Maryland and a blizzard watch in the Mid-Atlantic States. The storm is anticipated to begin Friday PM and continue through Sunday. Some areas are predicting a very heavy snow, the type that brings down trees and telephone poles. Other areas are predicting light and fluffy snow, the kind that makes ten foot snow drifts. No matter what the I95 corridor from Florida to Maine is going to be a mess from Saturday through???? First and foremost we hope everyone in the path of this storm is hunkered down with all necessary supplies. Second we hope all utilities remain functional. You can assume the DCA, IAD, PHL, EWR, LGA, and JFK will be closed. Expect delays to non-arrivals from trucks up from Florida, and a Sunday night Hunts Point is questionable at this time. Culinary is in storm mode. As of Friday afternoon, all calls will be directed to our California office. If the electricity goes out and our phone servers are down we can still be reached at 831-288-0980, our California office direct. While Mother Nature gets her ya-ya’s out, we hope it leaves everyone safe with a spectacular memory to talk about.


We have gone through the sours and the season was good. Some Keiffer and Calimondin remain. We killed with the citrons; the Buddha Hands and the Etrog were stunning this year. We are rolling along with different varieties of Satsumas, Mandarins, and Kumquats, all moving well. But now comes the good stuff. Blood Oranges are full color and the combined flavor of sweet and sour is intense. Pixie Mandarins are around the corner and the Tangerine varieties abound. One of our favorites is the Shasta or the TDE’s. They are a triple cross tangerine that is to be appreciated like a fine wine. The flavor is sweet, rich and deep. It is not a huge crop and water restrictions have limited harvest even more, but if you can get them, get them.


So red grapes are tight for the next few days, but the next shipment from Chile and Peru will resolve that early next week. Cauliflower has finally eased up along with other row crops from the desert. Snow peas and sugar snap peas have shot up in price as Guatemalan imports are reduced but we can cover with our limited direct supplies from Mexico. Winter crops from California, Arizona, and Mexico are not flourishing this season because they crops are just not getting the expected heat. Cool nights and warm days are the recipe but the sun needs to be turned up a bit. Supply and volume are about even but don’t expect any market dumps this season. Farmer’s market visits are required for the very best tomatoes, but we have heirlooms, Kumato, and cherry varieties ready to load.


I wish they could get my name straight. From Callaloo to Inca Wheat to love-lies-bleeding, it’s all me but in many different forms. Even my primary name origin is confusing. It is derived from the Greek meaning unfading love flower. Found throughout the world but mostly in the tropics, I am an ornamental plant, a grain and an edible leaf. We also do food coloring, but that’s another quiz. My value as an ornamental is made quite obvious by my long clusters of beautiful red flowers and fiery red leaves. My plant grows up to 36 inches and each one of us can contain as many as 500,000 seeds. As a grain I am a historical staple. This changed when conquistador Hernando Cortés, in reaction to the Aztec’s donation of me in religious related rituals, ordered my field’s destroyed and removed by the hands of any farmers who planted me. So my humble Mexican beginnings were halted but not eliminated. My resistance to drought, ease of growth, and nutritional benefits prevailed and today I am popped, sprouted, used as a cereal, or a moist and sweet (yet unlevening) flour. As a green, I can be green, red, gold, or any combination of the three. My colorful tasty green is often substituted for spinach in soups, pasta dishes or vegetable dishes. Fry, steam or boil me briefly, as I do not require much heat to become tender. My amino acids are very well balanced (they don’t even wobble). I am rich in lysine, methionine and tryptophan, and provide an excellent source of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper and zinc. So in one form or another, regardless of what you call me, I’’ be there.

Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…ESCAROLE…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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