Oct. 3, 2019

  Market Notes Oct. 3, 2019



      While everyone is thinking about pumpkin the late summer sun created perfect conditions for specialty tomatoes all over the state. Baby tomatoes including sweet 100’s and baby black crimson are as sweet, rich and balance as ever great for salads, pastas and salsa.  Specialty cherry tomatoes including teardrops, yellow grape and sun gold are great for munching skewering for the grill or slow roasting. Marinated in oil with mushrooms is also a popular use. Green tomatoes for frying are easy and heirloom slicing tomatoes are abundant. Along with the mixed heirlooms we also have straight packs on red and pink Brandywine, Marvel Stripe, Cherokee in chocolate and purple and Black Zebra. All of the above tomatoes are available conventionally or organically and depending on variety and amount can load at the LA or SFO market, from growers direct, or consolidate at a California dock of your choice. Sugar is up, variety is strong, volume is huge and prices are down. While they are not abundant we could still find some dry farmed reds if requested. Get the last taste of summer while you can.  Tomato pumpkin pie anybody? Perhaps a sauce?  


    It is one of those great times for mushrooms again.  This is one of the best menus we’ve seen in a while. There are domestic Chanterelles, button size, being foraged in Oregon, both beautiful and tasty. Fresh Porcini are also being gathered in Oregon along with one of our favorites, the Lobster mushroom. The Lobster mushroom is one of the firmest and meatiest mushrooms we know of. The red and orange color of the Lobster mushroom is perfect for the grill and amazing when smoked. We even found a source from the rare and sweet Milk Cap mushrooms.  Then, another wonderful mushroom from China is the Cauliflower mushroom. They are simply a wonderful addition to anything savory and hot. Soup, stir-fry, sauté or sauce the Cauliflower mushroom is easy to work with, very adaptable and adds an earthy “fall” flavor to everything. Check with your Culinary rep for pricing on overnight delivery or air freight rates. My, my, time for a mushroom pie.  


     Don’t call me Spud!  I am a card carrying member of the Convolvulaceae family and deserve your respect.  I’m as old as the hills, and your species has only traced us back 12,000 years, (we knew the remains in the Peruvian caves were a clue), but we are a lot more than prehistoric Dino food.  We are native to Central America.  It was that lowly pirate Columbus who sacked us and stole away to Europe, his home, not ours.  As far as the interlude in Polynesia goes, we’re still not talking.  By the 15th Century, I was well known in China and the Philippines.  By the 16th Century, I had become established in the southern United States.  Above ground, I am a long creeping stem that can grow up to 16 feet and produce leaves that are often used in place of spinach.  Although I have over 400 relatives, we are usually classified into two different categories, either firm and dry, or soft and moist.  Always cooked and usually consumed whole as a starch, our amazing sugar content (3%-6%), inspires additional uses in cakes, pies, breads, puddings, marmalades, cookies and muffins.  I have a thin edible skin that can be rough and can be white, yellow, orange, red, or purple.  My flesh ranges in color from white to yellow to orange.  The darker my color the greater my content of Vitamin A, of which I am an excellent source.  I am also a good source of potassium and vitamin C.

Answer to last weeks quiz…BEET…Congrats to all winners!

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702 Visit us at www.culinaryproduce.com “like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook© Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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