June 6th, 2023
WE’RE BACK, IT SLAPS!
Yesterday, our first load of fingerlings departed California, slated for Sunday arrival on the east coast, and Monday distribution. Today we loaded our first overnight truck for our forward distribution in LA. FOB loading began today as well. For all intents and purposes our gap, brief though it was, is over. We had the opportunity to visit this crop earlier this week and we think our customers will be very satisfied. The color is so bright, you’ll have to wear shades. But there are some notes about the crop. While we were shown bins in the dark the potatoes we got to see were a field run (see blurb below). They were polished and shiny but notably on the smaller side. Not to worry, they are still 95% in the 2” to 4” range, but within that range there are more 2”-3” than there are 3”-4”. The box pop looks great. There is a reason for the small potatoes, and it is the same reason the harvest was late. Cool weather in Bakersfield. That’s a sentence you rarely hear. It was in the high 70’s for our visit when it would usually be in the high 90’s this time of year. The cool weather has delayed harvest and reduced yields. This, unfortunately, will keep the price up and the season shorter, but it is certainly better than no product at all. We need not be reminded of last year. Even with the potential 20% lower yield we will have enough product to cover our customers through July when our next harvest is due.
SUBERIZATION vs.FIELD RUN
Potatoes like to cure. For some varieties and locations, it is essential, for others, you can take a risk. The process of “sweating” a potato is called suberization. It is the process of providing dark air circulation to freshly dug potatoes and slowly dropping them down one degree in temperature every day, every few days, or every week. This depends on the incoming temperature of the potato. This process continues until the temperature is in the 40’s, usually lower than 45 degrees. Depending on the facility this can take days, weeks, or months. There can be another option. When potatoes are in very high demand, and the temperature at harvest is not extremely high, you can do a field run. This means bypassing the cold storage and the suberization process, and going directly to washing, sorting, polishing, and packing. Then cooling down to the low 40’s and ship. If the fast drop in temperature is not to drastic, like dropping 40 degrees in three days, the potatoes can create internal breakdown rendering the process useless. But if the drop is 10 to 15 degrees it is OK. Why are we telling you this? The product we ship this week and next will be field runs, while the remaining product will go through storage where the lenticels will close up and the skin will harden. We recommend you store these potatoes at 45 degrees, and we have no doubt they will move quickly. By the week of 6-12 we will begin to use the suberized product on all our fingerling varieties. That’s when we can begin to ship mix. There won’t be a quiz, but hopefully this answered a few questions. Thanks for sticking with us, you’ll be pleased with the results.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – WHO AM I ???
Don’t call me daughter, although I am a delectable member of the Purslane family (Portulacacae). I am a small but loveable breed, and I am often found in the underbrush, but usually mistaken for a weed. My white notched wildflower blossom is in the center of what appears to be a single cupped round leaf but is actually two leaves fused together. My single shoot grows no more than twelve inches tall, but my stems spread out from my base to form groundcover. As an early spring plant, I am succulent and have long and narrow leaves. I have been spotted in shades of purple and brown, but I am primarily green. During the California Gold Rush my leaves were anticipated with great joy because they were quickly consumed to help people fight off scurvy. While I thrive in the early warm weather of spring, the summer heat will dehydrate me quickly, thus making my life a brief one. Whether you enjoy me under my American, Indian, or Spanish name, my showcase leaves make me a wonderful addition to any salad. As a green I am a uniquely intense source of vitamin C.
The answer to last weeks quiz was….CUCUMBER… Congrats to all winners.
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
Visit us at www.culinaryproduce.com
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020