May 5th, 2022

  Market Notes May 5th, 2022



   Last week we told you that we were digging that day and we did, for about thirty minutes. It took that long to figure out that the fingerlings had not set and needed a few more days before the skins would remain on the potatoes when dug. We dug again on Monday and this time the potatoes kept their jackets on. This week we are telling you that we have product going south to the LA area and we are loading pallets headed east as well. This is the first of the new crop and will be the only game in town (possibly the country) for about two weeks.  By the third week of May, another fingerling grower will begin harvest and there will be a third grower with product by the middle of June.  Welcome to the beginning of the end of the shortage.  What does this all mean?  First, crop will be available. Second, colors and mixes won’t be far behind.  Third, demand still outweighs supply. Forth, prices will remain high until there is enough product to create competition. That might not be until Colorado product begins in the late summer.   While the logistic and price whirlwind continue, supply will eventually meet demand.  


    The ramps are still ramping but there is a new kid in town and indeed everybody’s talking. The beautiful bright and crunchy eastern fiddlehead ferns. A close relative to the western fiddlehead the eastern variety is brighter and crunchier.  They also look great on a plate. Morel mushrooms are peaking in supply and porcini mushrooms are trickling in with promise to increase.  Prime greens and prime fungus make a great combination for a foraged menu. For the devotees we also have spruce tips and nettles you can top with just harvested garlic scapes.  


   Three days of celebration this weekend brings.  Let’s start with Friday, which is Cinco de Mayo, probably not celebrated in France. Saturday is the fifth international culinary day where everyone is challenged try a food or drink they have never had before.  Then, after being hungover from too much  mezcal or too many margaritas and feeling sick for trying frog eye strudel, on Sunday we get all dressed up and take mom out for Mother’s Day brunch.  


    My first recorded use was in China on or about 2700 BC.  Originally I was used medicinally as a powerful laxative, and a known cure for venereal diseases.  I was not until the eighteenth century that my stalks became part of the food supply.  As a family we are almost indestructible as a perennial with stalks growing up to 24 inches long.  My leaves contain oxalic acid and are lethally toxic if ingested in any quantity.  You will find us in frolicking in the fields from late winter to early summer and hothouse grown all year.  While our indoor relatives have all the good looks and cleanliness, we’ve got the flavor.  Although I am used as a fruit, I am actually a member of the buckwheat family.  Often combined with strawberries or ginger, I’m great in a fruit soup, fruit pie, as a sauce for meats, jams, sorbet, ice-cream, and have even been seen fried or poached.  In a pinch I can probably be used in sword fights.  

Answer to last quiz….TAMARILLO…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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