May 16, 2019

  Market Notes
May 16, 2019


      The Ramp summit was flat and long this year which means three more weeks of Ramps in the right lane before they take the exit ramp and begin to ramp off. Prices remain steady and supply remains strong. What this also does is both diminish and delay the crop of Ramp bulbs which begin immediately after the greens turn yellow and lose their value. The extended season means there will be more fresh product and less by-product. Most other spring foraged items are also prime for picking. In the not foraged peak pantry there is wonderful domestically grown Italian Agretto, a great compliment to seafood and eggs. Also, you can now add dandelion to the extensive list of foraged greens.


     This happens every year. Our Colorado fingerling potato crop finishes up, we bring in product from other growers or ship from California inventory, and the price goes up. Then, in late-August when our new fields begin again in Colorado, we bring the price back down.  Last year we raised the price and have been steady with that price all season. This year we have no price increase so when our fields begin we will drop down to the same prices as the 2018 season. Also this year, unlike years past, we decided that it would be better to inform our customers of this price increase instead of surprising them at point of sale. So we wrote about it here and sent letters to our regulars. The response was a bit startling. While some were thankful for the advance notice others were angered at the nerve of us suddenly raising prices, as if we had never done this before. After reminding them we have done this for the past decade they calm down and stop threatening to burn our houses down. So, we’ll tell you at point of sale and you have now read it here third, forward distribution prices and east coast FOB prices are up.  California, however, remains the same.


Fresh figs are late, probably due to the cold temps in early May. This week’s rains and upcoming storms are making the strawberry market go crazy.  Warm days and cool nights make baby greens very happy creating great supply and quality on components, mixed and baby heads.  Local farms have pallet quantity on snap peas, fava beans and butternut squash. New crop fingerling potatoes beginning harvest now assuring no gap in the west coast production. Good Deals on frisee and baby green zucchini out of Santa Maria. Finger limes have begun small quantities available now. Our finger lime deal begins in about 6 weeks. Cherries will be late to market due to the recent rains.

Related to the breadfruit and the fig, I am the largest tree fruit in the world. I am native to India and Malaysia.  Portuguese explorers formed my name.  I can weigh as much as eighty or ninety pounds, but I am usually sold as four or five pound fruits.  My greenish-yellow skin is completely covered with pointed warts and I turn yellowish-brown when ripe.  With an intense fragrance, my ripe yellow or pink flesh is juicy with flavors of melon, mango, and papaya.  My large seeds, in fleshy sacs called “bulbs”, are often roasted and the chestnut flavor they impart is enjoyed by many a native. My seeds can also be boiled and ground into flour.  My seeds are rich in calcium and my flesh contains carotene.  My flesh can be made into preserves, dried, used in fruit salads, candies, curries, or meat dishes.  When unripe yet mature, I can be cooked as a vegetable, but watch out for the white, milky latex-like liquid I ooze in this stage, as it will make your hands and fingers stick together.

Answer to last weeks quiz..JABOTICABA…Congratulations to all winners!

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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