March 11th, 2021

  Market Notes
March 11th, 2021



While we rarely talk about it, Culinary Specialty Produce has herb deals throughout the country and a few outside of it. Along with micro greens and edible flowers, we Fed-Ex, UPS, fly, or arrange for delivery for most common herbs and several of the weird ones.  Our Hawaiian Basil program allows us access to many of the Polynesian and Asian herbs grown on the islands while our mainland hydro-basil program is perfect for beautiful retail displays.  We offer clamshell herbs in various sizes and bulk herbs packed in quarter pound bags up to one-pound bags.  We can pack herb blends for specific recipes. We handle the special packaging for the delicate herbs (tarragon and chervil), and with our national network of growers we find the least expensive way to bring them to your door. As food-service and restaurant operations continue to celebrate re-opening the demand for fresh herbs will increase. Look to Culinary to fulfill your growing needs.  


One of the earliest causalities of the Covid virus and subsequent shut down was one of our favorite growers, Scarborough Farms.  We were saddened when we first heard of this loss and then quickly rejoiced as we heard their closure had been cancelled. Ultimately the 12th hour hopes were dashed and product from Scarborough Farms ceased. Along with a great staff and wonderful greens and roots they created and iconic product within the specialty produce niche, and that was their blanched frisee.  Nobody did this as well as Scarborough. So fine a job they did with their blanched frisee, other growers did not even try to compete. This left a gap in the greens category that we are pleased to report has been filled. While not quite as stellar as Scarborough’s signature frisee, we have seen at least two of our growers step up and offer a beautiful blanched frisee. We are proud to offer this frisee in 12 or 24 count and our hopes are that a recreation of the pure blanch circus frisee won’t be far behind.  Give us a call to get the good stuff.  


      Last week, in this space, we mentioned that finger limes were all but done.  We can now make that official. Our last shipment went out this week and there is nothing left on the trees.  The good news is that it is a short, 6-week gap. Our grower tells us that there will be a brief flush of product in May and we will be offering up whatever we can get our hands on. Pre-orders will be accepted beginning mid-April.  


   I’m the biggest berry around (1.5 to 3 inches across), but I’m named for my exotic flower.  My Amazon size is downplayed in deference to those who see the suffering of Christ in my flower.  A native Brazilian, I’m now at home in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and other warm climates so you will also find me in Florida, California, and Hawaii.  First, you must look past the distraction of my flowers (used as an herbal remedy for anxiety and insomnia), my decidedly ornamental leaves, and my lovely climbing vine.  Then, maybe, you will notice my orbs – purple is less known and is less acidic, richer and juicier than the larger yellow variety.  You can let me ripen on the vine ‘til I drop or harvest me early and let me ripen on the way to the consumer.  When I’m at my prime, my skin is wrinkled like an aging Brazilian beauty, but once you get past my thick, tough, ugly shell I’m full of yellow/orange pulp sacs encasing edible seeds.  It’s my tropical fresh aroma and flavor that you’ll write home about.  My fruit is juicy, acid sweet, almost floral – lemon and honey and something exotic.  Most of my pulp is processed into juice, but some of my fruit does make it to fresh market.  I am full of vitamin C, vitamin A and available most of the year. I’m wonderful eaten fresh, used in drinks, sauces, desserts and ice-cream. Of the seven different fruits in Hawaiian Punch, it is I who gives it its punch.

The answer to last weeks quiz was…MINERS LETTUCE (CLAYTONIA)…Congrats to all winners

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702 Visit us at “like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook© Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020

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