Market Notes/Quiz

  Market Notes
January 13th, 2022



   They are out of the ground and firming up, the fingerlings are looking great. We are very fortunate that our crop was not affected by the late rains. The sizing is excellent in the 2” to 4” inch range. Shipping has begun this week and we hope this crop will last us through May.  Now some challenging news. We intend to visit our grower in the next two weeks to confirm but as of now we have no fingerling assortment to offer in our conventional harvest. We are told they are available organically but those costs are obscene and we would be arrested to print them here. We hope our visit will have different results but suffice it to say we will have no assorted fingerlings for the next two weeks. Also, looking ahead, as this crop is expected to run through the beginning of May and our summer crop does not begin until late May we are seeing the possibility of a 2–3-week gap.  But we have months to solve that problem, and like all the other gaps we have covered, we hope to cover this one too.



   Sunday and Monday are usually busy days for us with east coast deliveries from Florida, Pennsylvania, and California. There is a large storm from Western Canada expected to wallop the mid-Atlantic States on Sunday and Monday. As a matter of safety, we are postponing all Sunday and Monday pick-ups and deliveries. The challenge of arrivals and re-loads amongst limited labor and black ice seems like a bad bet, so instead of letting our customers we will ship Monday for Tuesday and Wednesday deliveries and Sunday pick-ups will be changed to Monday. We will be in touch with all affected customers and now that we have said this there will probably be not a drop of rain, snow, or ice.


     Native to the Mediterranean, I was first cultivated as a source of soda ash, which was used to make glass and soap. I was commonly used in Italy and Spain until a synthetic process was discovered in the 19th century. However, I continued to be used as an item for cooking in two Italian regions. I am an Italian spring green that is very popular in Tuscany. My plant resembles chives, but my flavor profile is salty and slightly crisp even after cooking. I am related to spinach and beet, though it’s not immediately obvious, since my leaves are needle-shaped and succulent in texture Lightly braise or blanch me as a side dish, add in pastas, and on top of pizzas. I pair well with garlic, lemon, and seafood dishes. While very popular in Italy I have become the latest trend in high-end Italian restaurants in the U.S. when is season.  When full grown, I am a 18″ wide, 24″ tall bush that looks like a huge chive plant or rosemary plant.  My flavor is a bit bitter, a bit sourish. You can just braise me in some olive oil with garlic and serve as a side dish. You can also boil me and simply dress me with olive oil. I can be eaten raw when very young, but I am most commonly boiled and eaten as a leafy vegetable.  I recommend cooking me in boiling water until my leaves soften but my greens still retain some crunch to the bite.. The young leaves bring a nice crunch to a salad and have a mild salty, minerally flavor. When cooked, my taste is quite similar to spinach, and just like spinach I am most commonly steamed or sautéed and then dressed with lemon and oil, usually as an accompaniment to fish. The unusual shape of my leaves makes me eye catching on the plate. I’ve often been found to twine myself up appealingly with spaghetti. (It’s a personal thing).  I am rich in vitamin A, calcium and phosphorous and an excellent source of chlorophyl

Answer to last quiz….CARROT…Congrats to all winners!

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020