May 3, 2018

  Market Notes
May 3, 2018


While some Mexican asparagus growing areas are showing spreading and seeding, California and Washington State both have good product and quality. Expect all Central America products to jump up in price next week as the fresh flowers for Mother’s Day dominate the air space that doubles in price. Carrots (orange and rainbow), beans and baby squash are all in good supply. Snow peas and snap peas are in weak supply due to the beginning of the rainy season in Guatemala. Supply will remain tight until harvest begins in Peru somewhere in the middle of June. Mango from Nicaragua and papaya from Brazil are all in good supply. Stateside the yellow tomatoes from Central Florida are all but done. This product will be scarce for the entire month and will pick up again in early June when the Northern Florida farms begin.


We should call this peak week. For the next ten days our harvest of fresh ramps will be the highest of the season. We also have everything in stock. By the end of next week the spruce tips will be gone. Until then we will have the tips along with eastern fiddlehead ferns, domestic porcini, three flavors of morel mushrooms, nettles, claytonia, and here is something new, living Salicornia (sea beans). Figure three more weeks on the ramps and then we jump into the fresh ramp bulbs. Chanterelle mushrooms are still being imported and we won’t see domestic product until late May. So, as far as selection goes, this coming week will offer the greatest variety of the foraged season. Possibly the week after that as well, then the fading begins.


Most of you have not heard of this because we made it up. We wanted to have our own day and in no way does in coincide with our owner’s birthday. On NCD, which this year is Monday, May 7th, you’re encouraged to try a new food. It can be as simple as a new twist on a favorite dish or a new spice. It can be a new restaurant or a dish you have never tried before. It could be a new ethnic cuisine or the search for the best on the planet of a dish you love. It could also be a new variety of a TV dinner, but let’s not go there. Fry some jicama, grill some starfruit, flame some burros, stuff a watermelon, the more creative the better. We hope you indulge in this gastronomic educational growth celebration and learn to like or hate something new. Munch on!


My family is believed to have originated in India and then spread to Asia sometime between 3,000 to 10,000 years ago, depending on whom you ask. Currently I am grown just about anywhere there is warm weather. I am a member of the cucurbitaceae family, and it is believed that I am closely related to watermelons. The Sanskrit name for my family is soukasa. I have many siblings who are similar to me, but I am one of the old American heirloom varieties. My family members are the ones Leméry of England refers to when he says they “are hard on Digestion, because they continue long in the Stomach” and he only recommends that children who are of “an hot and bilious Constitution” eat them. I am more desirable than my long slender green siblings are because I am younger, sweeter, crisper, and more easily digested. My dimensions are 3 x 2 inches, I have a high sugar content, am shaped like a lemon, and I turn that color when overripe. I will become very chewy if left on the vine too long. But as a youngster I am sweet and crisp with pale brown flecks, and I have white juicy flesh. Considered to be and mostly used as a vegetable I am actually a fruit. Usually eaten raw, sometimes pickled, and rarely cooked, I make an excellent summer salad vegetable and a beautiful garnish. Although I am 96% water, I am a source of vitamin C, thiamin, and riboflavin.


Answer To Last Week’s Quiz:…CHIC PEAS…Congrats To All Winners

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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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