Market Notes July 23, 2020
TOMATO TIMEThey’re baaaaaack! The summer tomato season is getting ready to explode. For the past several weeks they have been creeping up on us; first the cherry single variety, followed by the cherry assortment which are now in abundance, then a few heirloom slicers, then a lot of heirloom slicers and finally the organic heirloom slicers. Everything is now available, mixed or single varieties ripe and ready for the west, green and turning for the east. The ten pound flats are at premium pricing now but in two to three weeks they will be quite abundant and growers will be looking to make deals. So now is the time to lock in a great summer and fall deal for conventional or organic heirloom tomatoes. Please check in with your Culinary Rep for a great saucy deal.
SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ORGANIC RUSSETSCall it another perfect storm, somewhat Covid19 inspired. It began in March when the demand tripled. Restaurant demand dwindled but supermarket demand was like Thanksgiving every day, exceeding the food-service demand, putting the counts into the retailers. Then, the Colorado storage supply, which was already diminished, had quality problems putting the big boy year round contracts in jeopardy. Finally, as will happen when products are tight, promised inventory magically disappeared creating a gap for the first time in 15 years. For the past month or so, organic russets were nowhere to be found. Last week we have seen the beginning of new harvest but they have all been used for bagged or for counts, no 50# pound, #1’s or totes. Beginning next week, all those problems will be solved. We will have availability on totes, 50# pound #1’s, 10/5’s, 5/10’s, 16/3’s, and counts from 90 to 50. We can load in Washington State, Oregon and New Mexico. The demand will remain strong so orders might be prorated and loading times delayed, but at least they are back on the planet. We expect the pipeline will be full in a week or two. By the end of the first week of August we should be back to normal and rocking. We strongly suggest you stay ahead on your orders to keep supply steady.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – – WHAT AM I??I am the seed of all time. Today I am used in stone ground crackers, but I date back to the Stone Age over 5000 years ago. In fact, I was one of the first spices ever used. Technically I am a fruit, grown like an herb, but used as a spice. Originally cultivated in Asia and Europe, I can also be found growing wild in Canada and the U.S. The Egyptians thought I warded off evil spirits, and many thought I had the power to retain things like a thief in the night; or prevent fowl from flying off, and even keep lovers from being fickle. That’s why I was used in love potions. My fruit is harvested for my so-called “seeds”. I am a member of a group of aromatic, umbelliferous plants, and am characterized by my carminative, vermifuge, antispasmodic, stomachic, and stimulant properties. I’ll bet that Hanna- Barbara didn’t know that Fred Flintstone used me as a seasoning on his brontosaurus burgers and that helped everybody because it relieved his gas. Wilma and Betty depended on me to ease coughs and colds. Even Dino would consume me while grazing to help prevent worms. Along with sarsaparilla I am one of the three major ingredients in the famous ale of the eccentric Dr. Butler. Used to flavor liquor and liqueurs like gin and schnapps, my “seeds” are also used to flavor candy, mouthwash, ice cream, bread, potatoes, vegetables, and pickles. Some say my “seeds” have a licorice flavor, others say a mild spicy taste with a hint of dill or mint. My roots are thick and tapering like a parsnip, but are more tender and taste better. My leaves resemble carrot tops and can be used in salads or as a seasoning in stews and soups. Parkinson said “It is also made into comfits and taken for cold or wind in the body, which also are served to the table with fruit.” I am used in perfumes, soaps, creams, and lotions. But whether you call me a vegetable, a green, a seed, or fruit, I am high in potassium and calcium and three other major minerals. And once the oil is taken from my “seeds” they become very high in protein and fat. You will often find me caught in the rye.
THE ANSWER TO LAST WEEK’S QUIZ WAS …DAIKION RADISH.…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