September 23rd, 2021

  Market Notes September 23rd, 2021




Northern Florida has begun harvesting yellow tomatoes. Fortunately, this area was not devastated by this years round of storms. In about two weeks, harvest will begin in the Ruskin area and that’s when volume should ramp up. Load volume should be available by then.  We will also have LTL service to the west coast and east coast. 5×6 will most likely be the largest size available this year.  Out west, heirloom tomatoes have become quite a problem in the central coast area of California.  The warmer than usual days and the colder than usual nights have had a devastating affect on the tomato crops.  Fruits are either ripening too fast from the heat or cracking overnight from the cold. Several more fields are scheduled for harvest before the first frost so we are hoping for improved conditions.  Organics from Mexico are just starting up, providing much need supply for cherry and slicing varieties.  


While the extreme temperatures are not great for tomatoes, it is near perfect conditions for baby greens. The stress makes the greens tough and brings out the color.  Mesclun mixes are looking great, bursting with color and variety.  All mix components are available, and they have good legs for cross-country rides. There is also a good supply of baby lettuce heads along with the infamous BMX. For the greens they really are in-synch with the harvest moon. Now would be a great time for ads on both conventional and organic greens.  It won’t last long though. In six weeks will be looking at a southern transition and all the challenges that brings.  So the time for baby arugula that holds up and frisee with a good blanch is now.  


Fall is not the best season for truffles, winter owns that prize.  But the Burgundy truffle is a delightful alternative to the often bland summer truffle. Similar to the summer truffle in looks, the comparison stops there. Burgundy truffles offer a bigger stink and a unique flavor.  When fully ripe, the Burgundy truffle displays gold veining on a mocha brown flesh. Once past the thick exterior skin, the famous earthy flavor of truffles is combined with notes of garlic and hazelnut.  All in all, a delightful truffle at a very affordable price.  Or you can pay double for frozen Perigord. Please check with your Culinary rep for all our truffle deals.  


   My name in Malawi translates to “Buttocks-of-the-wife-of-a-chief”.  There was a time when I was widely enjoyed, but today I have fallen into neglect.  Originating in India or Persia I spread quickly (via seed, not via ground cover) to Europe and America.  Once said to be eaten by “French men and pigs when they can get nothing else”, I am considered a common weed and nuisance to gardeners.  I am a ground hugging fleshy, fat leaved plant growing no higher than four inches and easily found in both hemispheres.  I have over forty relatives and while most are green, a few are as gold as gold.  My stems are a rubbery pinkish-red and can grow twelve inches, spread out in a network like flat vines.  I can be picked before maturity and will continue to flower and see post harvest.  I have a slight acidic and peppery taste and can be cooked or used fresh.  I am a great textural addition to fresh salads or I can simply be boiled, salted and served with butter or oil.  The thickness of my leaves makes me a tasty addition to gumbos, soups, and stews.  In the Middle East I am an important ingredient to a fattuoch salad.  My stalks and leaves can be marinated in vinegar, blended into mayonnaise, or chopped into omelets.  I am a good source of potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin A.  I also supply Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron.  I contain mucilage’s and antioxidants.  As a pharmafood I make a good diuretic, intestinal cleaner, and emollient.  

Answer to last weeks quiz…CHIVES…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., 2020

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