October 18, 2018

  Market Notes
October 18, 2018


In Oz it was a horse of a different color but this is a color of a different vegetable. Last week we wrote about excessive red fingerling potatoes, today the red is scarce and the product is endive. While the price of white endive both domestically and imported has shot up a remained, the overpriced red has all but disappeared. The reasons for this are many. First one of the largest domestic producers has experienced root failure just at the end of their season. The forced second growth did not produce quality chicones. New roots will produce will be ready for harvest by the middle of November so by the first of December we will be all caught up. Thanksgiving will be tough, expect even higher prices. Internationally endive usually arrives by sea container and the more delicate red witloof cannot survive this ride. So the only way is to air freight a pallet (120 cases) and even that can loses along with higher prices. So the point of this whole story is; if the red endive is a no go, replace with red potato! You can slice ‘em thin, braise them in cream sauce, carve as a vessel, add to salads or top with caviar.


With the domestic stone fruit season long gone must we survive only in memory of the greatness of Andy’s fruit until next season? Not exactly. While there are no stone fruits until the cherries begin late spring of 2019 there are two other goodies to brag about. First are persimmons. Following the theory that Andy will pick no fruit before its time, these fruits come of the tree late, when they are at their succulent best. Just in time for your Thanksgiving table the persimmons will be picked mid-November. Then, in the middle of winter, as the days are shorter, the nights are colder and we wonder what exactly we are doing on this side of the equator, come the mandarins. Some smaller early varieties available for Christmas but the larger and sweeter triple crosses and heirloom varieties hit in February. Hope this teaser made you hungry. More details as harvest times approach.


Culinary Specialty Produce will be closed on Friday, October 19th. You will be at the PMA, so what do you care? We will be in corporate meetings all day and there is no way we will be whale watching in the Pacific and train riding in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Nope, we will be hard at work all weekend. Normal hours will resume on Monday October 22nd. We did this in alignment with the PMA so while we are traveling and meeting so will many of our customers. Of course we will be on cell phones and have mobile e-mail but we won’t be at our desks until Monday. We will do our best to work ahead and cover what we can in advance. Please contact us if you have any concerns but please trust we will be reaching out to you.


I’m part of a big family, so you may have trouble picking me out from the group. I’m one of the oldest members of the clan, all the way from the ancient Greeks and Romans. I’m proud of my heritage and that I arrived aboard the slave ships with those who know how to treat me the best. My young tender leaves are blue green and prime; the rest of my greens can go to your iguana, but neither of you will want my long stalk. I’m incredibly prolific – lots of greens from very few plants. As I grow, if you are kind, you can harvest my outer leaves and I’ll keep growing from the inside out for my entire season. Or if you’re one of those commercial farmers, you’ll wait till I crown, and then lop off my non-head all at once. You see, I’m a soul man . . . I’m smooth and young and I just need a good bath, then when you heat me up nice and long and slow, I’m succulent. Cozy up with me and let my aroma take you down to the pleasures of the south. Shred my leathery leaves; couple me with some hocks, then serve me up with black-eyed peas. My smooth, thick, tender leaves are hearty enough to replace meat – Brazil’s feijoada would not be complete without me. Prepare me with vinegar to get the best flavor. Full of potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins A and C. Find me at my prime December through April.


Answer To Last Week’s Quiz:…KAFFIR LIME LEAVES…Congrats To All Winners

Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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