Sept. 26, 2019

  Market Notes Sept. 26, 2019



      Now that it is over we can admit it, it’s been a very rough summer. Excessive heat made it very difficult to cool potatoes properly affecting harvest in California, Colorado and New Mexico. We sourced, and reworked and sourced and reworked and had one problem after the other. Purple potatoes turned white, beautiful fingerlings turned black but the wheel kept turning. That is now all behind us. On the west coast we have begun harvest in Tehachapi and the product looks excellent. This will lead into other cooler fields in the Bakersfield area where our crop is much more dependable. In Colorado, we will continue harvest through the first week of October but next week completes the new seasons sweat (three weeks at 55 degrees then down one degree a day until 45 degrees) and the product will become much more stable. We will also be able to reduce price for our east coast Just In Time distribution. During a brief visit to our Colorado fields we learned that there was actually a frost in July where the temperature dropped to 23 degrees, seriously confusing the potatoes. As a result, the potatoes are on the small side this year and we are seeing some slight freckles. Good sizing for the fresh market but less weight for the growers. Organic russets are looking good and are shipping well, while our organic reds are skinning a bit and will be much better in a few weeks when the complete their sweat process. Pee wee and marble potatoes from California appear to be a steady market right now but jumbo fingerlings are tight because all these early harvests are yielding potatoes on the small side. Bintje and Harvest Moon are around the corner and you will most certainly hear from us when they are cured.  


    Who knew? Apparently several people did, but not us until yesterday. Not only are pink pumpkins cool but there is a cooler story behind it.  There is a Pink Pumpkin Foundation that provides the seeds to growers who promise to give a portion of their proceeds to benefit cures for cancer. In sourcing the product we came across a grower in Colorado who told us the pumpkins turn orange first, and then pink.  They will not be ready until mid-October and are sold individually or in a 50 count bin.  This is our first year dealing with these growers so depending on destination the logistic may be challenging.  If you are interested in this program please contact your Culinary rep as soon as possible so we can tell the growers to reserve product. Growers are national and harvest times will vary, but we are thrilled to offer the specialty and support the program. Is pink pumpkin spice next?  


     As an old root, I don’t get no respect.  Years of pickling have made me sour.  I can be baked, braised, used in soups, or grated in salads.  I’m not just another jarred item for the salad bar anymore; in fact my juice is often used in spas as part of a weight reduction program.  Now I ask you, how trendy is that?  My greens have recently been used as components in mesclun, another happening product!  Believed to have originated in Northern Africa, my root was popular with the Romans while peasants ate my leaves the Romans discarded.  I have a thin skin and am very fleshy.  My colors include, white, orange and red.  Lemon juice is usually required for hand cleaning when working with me, as I bleed easily when bruised or watered.  The infants are eaten raw while mature members of our family require cooking.  As a pharmafood I am said to stimulate appetite and we are easily digested.  Our roots are in excellent source of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.  Our leaves are also a good source of potassium as well as folic acid and magnesium.  So, after all these years, I’m still the one to…

Answer to last weeks quiz…TIGER SQUASH…Congrats to all winners!

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

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