June 11, 2020

  Market Notes June 11, 2020


If it weren’t for a few signs and lots of masks, a trip to Morgan Hill is like stepping into the past. While the immediate vicinity is growing houses at an astonishing rate, Andy’s Orchards remains the sacred temple of stone fruit on seven acres and a few back yards. The store has a new front but the operation remains the same, and with product this good why should it change.  It’s early in the season so the focus is on cherries primarily wonderfully sweet tart Bing and smooth, to die for Rainier. That does not include the minimum ten other varieties each with its own amazing flavor. They display intense properties of sweet sour and familiar. The Cherry Pie cherry tastes so much like the pies you really don’t need anything else, then cherries so lusciously tart you can imagine the tempting game sauce it would make. As expected the tour was an honor and a gift. Other highlights included an early sampling of a red donut nectarine and raspberry pluots that were not ready to taste but the flesh was stunning deep dark red. Can’t wait for the speckles to appear. All in all it looks like a strong season at Andy’s. There are lots of Green-Gage plums (until the deer break the branches) a very healthy amount of Candy-Cots (if it doesn’t get too windy) and a good supply of Baby Crawford peaches.  The famous Blenheim apricots begin in two weeks and the ride rolls forward from there, for about twelve weeks. Due to reduced demand in the foodservice sector this year there are good opportunities to distribute the best stone fruit on the planet (Hyperbole? Who us?).  Call for cherry information, orchard updates or just stay tuned.  


Snow peas have almost tripled in price and snap peas are limited in their availability.  French beans have spots on them and baby squash has a compromised shelf-life. Bet you can guess why. That’s right, Central America and particularly Guatemala is entering the rainy season. The deluge is not all encompassing so some areas remain dry while others are pummeled.  So, things are spotty, quality is hit or miss and sometimes it is best just to leave it behind. Asparagus are still arriving well and prices are way down. To date, peed carrots both orange and rainbow are not affected. Good thing domestic product is strong with great quality and demand isn’t soaring.  


    I’m often called a homely tuber, and being thin-skinned doesn’t help.  Some people consider me a cross between a potato and an apple. My roots can be traced back to the days of the Aztecs and Incas, and I have always been very popular throughout Central and South America. Today I am also grown in Asia. Although I am a legume, I am grown mainly for my tuberous roots. I have a nubby, pointed end, white juicy flesh, and a thin fibrous dusty brown skin. When full grown I can be as large as one foot in diameter, and weigh as much as 22 pounds, but I am usually dug up when I am about 5 inches in diameter and about 3–5 pounds. Cold kills, so you won’t find us in regions that have frost. Don’t even think about growing us anywhere north of the Texas Oklahoma border. I have two varieties: pachyrhizus tuberosus & pachyrhizus erosus (the second is the one you usually see). I have a sweet nutty flavor. While I’m watery when young my older, dried up relatives are usually ground into flour. I maintain my crispness when cooked. I get a beautiful tan and taste very sweet when deep fried. I can also be simmered in soup or sliced raw into salads, baked, steamed, boiled, or mashed. Use me like water chestnuts or grate as a passable (milder) daikon radish substitute.  Loaded with starch, I am also high in vitamin C, and I have some iron.




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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