FRUIT NOTES FROM ALL OVER
Cherries from California got off to a great early start but quantities have dwindled due to seasonal rains. This has caused a great deal of cracking on the stone fruit which reduced the amount of fresh market product available. Prices have shot up but quality is good. There is good news on the horizon. The Washington State crop is expected any day and not only is it early, it is abundant as well. The rain giveth and the rain taketh away. Moving on to melons it is mixed melon season and it is all domestic. Varieties including Galia, Canary, Golden Honeydew, and Hammi, along with the standard loupes, dews, and waters are all over the markets. . This market is coming on strong and there are great deals to be made. Charentais can’t be too far away. Apricots are coming into peak season and some specialty varieties have already hit the market. Red Velvet and Yellow Velvet are available along with white peaches and white nectarines. Pluots and peak of season is a good six weeks away but these early cultivars are intense. Winter citrus continues and while you need to be careful there is still good supply of specialty lemons, limes, navels, mandarins, and oranges, blood included. Ortanique, a super juicy orange/tangerine cross usually from Florida or Jamaica, are now loading out of Central California. Finger Limes are coming on slowly. We hope to begin our retail program in time for Memorial Day. If not, just after.
What a difference a year makes. Two years ago the warm winter reduced the fruit set. The lack of water limited the crop and the sugar. There were no Baby Crawford Peaches and the Green Gage Plum trees looked like they barely survived a fire. Flash forward to 2015 where the rains were good and the winter was cooler and the magic at Andy’s is back! Unfortunately the cherries were cracked by the rain and that crop is down about 30 per cent, but the Blenheim’s are bursting with juice and will be ready within the next few weeks. The Baby Crawford trees are full of fruit and the Green Gage trees are budding. With the limited acreage, and only one magician, there is never a huge harvest, but there will be product for shipping and shirts to be ruined. For those of you who might be new to Market Notes or not familiar with Andy’s Orchards this is simply the finest stone fruit in the country possibly the world. Last season was a bit of a bummer but still the fruit was awesome. This year we can share. Stay tuned for varietal updates.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – – WHO AM I???
Originating in the hot sultry climate of the Mediterranean region and then spreading to Southern Europe, and much later to North America, I am the herb for all occasions. I am the perfect herb, growing as a vine or a bush, and I have over 400 different varieties. Sometimes referred to as French, English or the Mother, my Greek name means “courage”. The Greeks truly thought of me as an aphrodisiac as noted in the poem below. But I have also been thought to produce happiness, thriftiness, strength and courage. My other medicinal uses include treatment for nervous conditions, asthma, sore throat, whooping cough and stomach cramps. My versatility has let me stand the test of time as a culinary giant. My tiny leaves are very soft, but use me with restraint, because I have a strong pungent flavor and leave a faint clove aftertaste. I am one of the herbs in Bouquet Garni. I’m used in breads, beverages, salads, sauces, meat entrees, eggs, cheeses, vegetables, oils, vinegars and even fruits and desserts. Pick a few of my blossoms early and serve them on your favorite summer drink.
“Here of a Sunday Morning / My love and I would lie / beds his lover down / among the springing . . . — A. E. Houseman
Answer To Last Week’s Quiz…DAIKON RADISH…Congrats To All Winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015