October 13th, 2022
TRUTH ABOUT TRUFFLES
The white truffle season has begun. For the past two to three weeks foragers in Italy and Eastern Europe visit their secret locations to dig for these prize tubers. The season starts slowly and with the White Truffle Fair in progress as we write this, availability is scarce, and price is high, but we do have access to some of the product that makes it to the USA. First Class White Truffles are food art and are charged as such, but Extra Class are just as good and cost less. While stupidly expensive, it is good to know that the White Truffle season peaks in mid to late November and by the time Christmas and New Year’s rolls around (when they are most in demand) these tubers are often past their prime. In affordable truffle news the Burgundy Truffles are now at peak, with reasonable pricing and nice large pieces. So garlicky intense white or the rich nutty brown, the time for truffles is now. If you dare, please contact your culinary rep for prices.
MORE FUNGUS AMONG US
We know, truffles are tubers, not fungus, but it sounded good. While the spring and summer domestic mushrooms are all gone the assortment dwindles, but there are some standouts. Button Chanterelles mushrooms from Canada are now available. The color is rich, the size is perfect, and they are very well hydrated. We will be lucky to get a month of supply for this forage. Domestically, Lobster Mushrooms are shipping from Oregon. This is the meatiest mushroom on the market. For grilling, the Lobster puts the Portobello to shame, and in a sauté as well. While some claim the name is due to a seafood flavor, we believe this is the striking red skin color that creates a resemblance to the crustation.
WINTER CITRUS UPDATE
The sour side of the citrus program is close to peak. Etrog’s and Buddha Hand are now available. Yuzu fruit and Calamondin are also available. The specialty grapefruits have also hit the market. This includes the Pumelo, Oroblanco and the Melogold. These are all crosses with grapefruits and each other, with the Melogold being the sweetest, or lowest acid. Meyer Lemons are in stock but that is a year-round deal. Finger limes are available in green or red. Kumquats, Key Limes, and Blood Oranges (not the sweet ones) round out the selection. On the sweet side it’s a bit early but the Cara-Cara are in stock, Mandarosa Mandarins are shipping in 25# cases, Washington Navels and Valencia Oranges complete the sweet side. Lots more to come.
NEW PRODUCE QUIZ – WHO AM I ???
In China I am dialect of record and the language spoken by government officials. But throughout the rest of the world, I am the proud name of the largest group of edible citrus. Most consumers think of me as a single fruit, but there is actually a category that totally devoted to me. Within that category we vary greatly. We have many different textures, some of us are seeded, some of us are not, and our trees have few similarities. One thing we do have in common is our “slip-skins”. We strip down easy which makes us popular at bars and one quick weekend getaways, but we can really be enjoyed anytime. Dancy is the one who most likely started the deal. From there we have been divided into four categories ranging in location from Japan to the Mediterranean basin and from Indonesia to the commons everywhere else. We love to hang around the hot desert sun, waiting to be picked, packed and shipped, and slurped. We are best eaten out of hand, but we can also be used for sweet and sour sauces, and salads of rice, chicken, or fruit, or with seafood. We have also been spotted decorating cakes, hiding in Bavarian creams, and on special occasions, chocolate fondue. Obviously, we are an excellent source of vitamin C, but we also supply potassium, vitamin A, and folic acid.
Answer to last quiz….PISTACHIO…Congrats to all winners!
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2020