May 14, 2015

cul  Market Notes
  May 14, 2015

We took a small step backwards this week as a late frost hit the Michigan Upper Peninsula, greatly reducing the amount of fresh ramps available. Fortunately that frost is now gone and new shoots are coming on. This is the good news. The bad news is that this growth will be the final harvest of the tasty fronds. Depending on the weather and the demand we see no problem with filling orders with good crop for next week, but for the week after it’s touch and go. So, while the garlic may be whistling (yeah, we got ‘em), the ramps have another two weeks at most. If you are depending on product, we strongly recommend placing orders early next week. In other foraged news, Morels are slightly on the rise but remain in the high teens to low twenties. Fiddleheads should be available for another three weeks on both coasts. Nettles, miner’s lettuce, and cattail shoots are still being foraged, and Italian Black Truffles are in season and in stock. Strawberry flowers are available along with squash blossoms and purslane. Get it or forget it!

e live in an amazing time. Yeah, so it’s not the future that we were promised when we were kids.   With the exception of Prince and Elton John, no one is wearing skin-tight shiny silver outfits. Dogs have yet to attain the power of speech like Mr. Peabody. We are not rubbing elbows with various and colorful extra-terrestrials like in the bar scene in Star Wars. Monkeys are NOT ruling the Earth……yet. Lastly, and we think most regrettably, we have yet to pilot a jetpack at breakneck speeds through the streets of Manhattan. We want our JETPACK!! But progress is, evidently, slowly being made. The FAA has granted the very first permit for an aerial drone to be used for crop dusting. In a 23 page report the FAA reasoned that the unmanned flights were safer than airplanes requiring pilots. (23 pages to determine that a pilotless plane crash would theoretically result in fewer pilot deaths…….wow. But we digress.) We are very excited to see the government embrace the possibilities presented by drone technology!! Not wanting to be left behind this trend, Culinary is now offering drone delivery of orders over $13.8 Million. Yes, it may seem steep but getting through the approval processes at the FAA, USDA, FDA and The Department of Homeland Defense don’t come cheap, folks. So, be the first on your block to have your product delivered by drones!! Call your Culinary Rep and place your $13.8 Million order!!! Taking orders now for 2018 delivery, on Friday. 50% down.

While we love to talk about new products such as the Masquerade and another new variety of potato with a shiny purple skin and a brilliant yellow interior, we are often scooped by the stone fruit industry. Maybe someday we will have a guacamole potato or a cherry eggplant but until then you just gotta love the new varieties in the stone fruit category. Available now for Los Angles consolidation are Flying Saucer Nectarines, Lemon Velvet Apricots, and Raspberry Apricots. Add this to the Nectacotums and the Apriums, and the basic Pluot and you have a virtual new dictionary of fruit. We like to wait till mid to late June for the sweetest of the stone fruits but these names sure make the early deals sound good. We can’t wait to market the grape cherry plum tomato eggplant fingerlime. C’mon, admit it, you’d buy a case.

have been growing in Europe and Asia since prehistoric times. I have been bitter my whole life so most folks are not real fond of me. My flowers are a bright yellow and white and from a distance look like the blanched center of a head of frisee. My flowers go well with gooseberries, can be made into fritters, or used to add intense flavor to various drinks. Due to my bitter taste I have traditionally been left as sustenance only for the poor. Today I can be found growing on country roads throughout the summer but leave us alone unless you want a meal of dust and pollutants. When we are prime, we are shiny and black. No matter where you find me or my flower, use us fast or we will simply melt away. Syrup and Wine are probably my most popular uses but I have been seen in pies tarts, savory pork sauces, fools, and made into vinegar. I have often been added to thin cheap wines to enhance their flavor. Outside of the culinary world I have been used for making dyes. I am a good source of vitamin C other than being bitter; I have nothing to do with age.

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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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