June 15, 2017

  Market Notes
June 15, 2017


What began from Oprah Winfreys’ introduction is now in your pantry courtesy of the USDA and ten years. It took a decade to get there but they are now a commercial reality. Ten years after the hybrid of a priority and common blueberry, Kingsburg Orchards brings the product to market under the Family Tree label. While the price is too obscene to mention the attributes are worth a few sentences. While the label says Pink Lemonade Blueberries you might not know this otherwise. At first glance they look like very unripe cranberries, but the comparison stops there. The Pink Lemonade Blueberry has a slight, pleasant tartness to combine with the overwhelming sweetness this berry contains. For those who want the great flavor of blueberries without the staining color this will be the new chic fruit, berry and flavor. The lack of pigment does not interfere with the strong antioxidant and other nutrient values blueberries are known for. As price drops and markets expand, look for these in breads, ice-creams, yogurt, pancakes, muffins, and fruitcakes. Move over berries, there’s a new kid in town and everybody’s talkin’. First product expected to be in the LA Market by the time you read this. Case is 12/6 ounce clamshells per flat.


Sometimes it just doesn’t go smoothly. No matter what you do, how much you prepare how much you follow up, sometimes things just turn sideways. This could not be truer than with our continued ramp up of fingerling potatoes from our California fields. Unlike Colorado, where the harvest is one huge operation into storage, we harvest in many fields over the course of year. So, between heavy rains and cool weather that keep the skin from firming up, equipment breakdown and trucking disasters we have been very bumpy within our distribution. We can assure that logistics are on truck, equipment is humming, but there is still a delay with skinning delaying our digs. To overcome this problem we have brought in high quality outside product to cover while our potatoes cure properly. While this will resolve our distribution problems it will affect cost. For the next two weeks our prices are going to jump a few bucks per case. As we are usually very competitive we do not believe this disruption will be terribly severe. Also we will have the right product where and when you need it. Post bump we will let you know about the new processing facility we are three weeks away from operating, but maybe we will tell you about that in a little while. We promise you WON’T be disappointed. Thank you very much for your patience and continued support.


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 a fair amount of iron.

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