July 28, 2016

  Market Notes
July 28, 2016



So, what do you do when there is nothing new to grow and the summer is boring? You change the packaging, of course. New pack equals new product, and that is exactly what our premier California greens grower has done. And just in time for a food show, go figure. Now, all your favorite flavors (Spring Mix, Superfood, Half & Half, Herb Mix, Spinach, Arugula, Kale, Baby Heads, and Baby Romaine) are being packed in clam shells for both retail and food service. Along with the traditional 3# and 4# cases we now have available for shipping 5 ounce and 10 ounce clam shells which truly show off the product beautifully. These items will be on display at the PMA Food Service Expo this weekend in Monterey. If you miss the show and want to see some samples, let us know and we’ll make sure you have them.


Shipping out of the LA Market is a great thing. It has to be the largest fresh receiving market in the world. We know that Hunts Point ships more volume, but no market other than LA gets produce in volume that has been picked the same day or the day before. Still, with all that freshness, our customers hunger (See what we did there?) for more. So, enter the Santa Monica Market; where the Beverly Hills limos, clash with the wholesalers, jobbers, chefs, and homemakers, to get the tastiest and the unusual. (We have heard stories of farmer’s markets in Kauai where the customers line up to wait for the whistle or bell when they fight through the thunderous crowd to get the best lettuce. Eat your heart out Filene’s Basement.) Instead of the Wednesday madness to consolidate, our LA buyer has made contact with several of the SMFM growers who are willing to drop ship to our LA dock several times a week. We hope to provide availability the week prior and let you order from that. This way you will know what you are getting, you will know how much it costs, and you can consolidate earlier and more often. We are thrilled to bring the farm closer to the fork and look forward to introducing a lot of new items. Strawberry Parfait Apples anyone?


Okay, we panicked. It is better to anticipate problems and reveal instead of hiding and being surprised. So our grower went through the bins again and with some additional sorting is able to put up good product once again. We are also receiving some new crop from other areas so we can meet the demand. So next week we can fill all the orders we were slightly cutting back on. The super good news is that we are a mere two weeks away from new fields in California. This will also bring a new crop of colored fingerlings so we can keep the assortment going as well as offering straight pallets of color. The only product we have found that we are currently finding hard to pack good quality is white creamers. This could last through August into early September when the Pacific Northwest will begin shipping.


One of my earliest appearances is estimated to have been around 3400 BC. My first sighting was in Tehuacan that is south of Mexico. Almost immediately someone spotted me in Peru. Today I am primarily cultivated in South America and Europe. For the most part I am a long trailing or climbing plant, but a few of my relatives do the bushy thing. Yellow flowers and large shallowly lobed leaves protect me from the elements and snoopy passers-by. As a member of the cushaw family I have a smooth, nutty taste that is well complimented by cinnamon or nutmeg. By category, winter is in my name, but I am harvested during two other seasons. When harvested in summer I am tender and best suited for stewing, boiling, or baking in a pie. When I am harvested in autumn it is often fashionable to split me in half, parboil me (yooouch!), then stuff and bake me. My second harvest yields good meat for jams, preserves, or pickles. I am best when 10 to 12 inches long and about 5 inches in diameter. With a body shaped like a pear, my pale, tan, smooth skin peels easily to reveal my beautiful, finely textured, sweet, orange flesh (stay away if my skin is tinted green; it means I’m not yet ready). I am a great source of beta-carotene I am also a good source of Iron Riboflavin along with vitamins A & C.

Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…NASTURTIUM…Congrats To All Winners

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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