Monday, April 27, 2009

Specialty Produce Market Update

New and Continuing Items Available 04-27-09

Baby Pineapples- Steady supplies pretty much year-round. Grown in South Africa all year long and great for consumption as well as decoration.

Blood Oranges-Blood Oranges are winding down out of California, sizes are larger and market is up. Blood Oranges out of Italy have started but have very light crop this year. They are also called Pigmented Orange or Moro Orange.
Baby Brussels Sprouts- Grown in Mexico and packed in 12 half pint clamshells. Available with promotable volume from now through the first week of June.

Black Garlic--Black Garlic is Garlic that is aged through a natural and patented aging process using temperatures and humidity settings without roasting or cooking the Garlic. The taste of it is sweet and sour and it has a tender, jelly-like texture. It is used both in food and medicine, sold by the pound and require a one day notice. Just received a fair amount, get it while it lasts.

Cape Gooseberries- Grown out of Columbia, the fruit is about 1-2 inches in diameter and grows inside its husk. Product also available out of New Zealand with limited quantities. They have smooth waxy skin and the fruit is sweet and juicy with many yellow seeds inside. They are great eaten fresh or cooked in preserves.

Cara Cara Oranges- The bright orange exterior covers a deep, rich pink pulp, which is extremely sweet, and few to no seeds. They are packed in half cartons and are at their peak season December through February. They are also referred to as Pink Navel Oranges and best when eaten fresh.

Cherimoya- Should have steady supplies grown out of California through the end of May until crop out of Chile starts in July.
English Peas-Grown in Mexico and California, and packed in a bushel and 1/9th cartons. The English Pea is a green, pod-shaped fruit, widely grown as a cool-season vegetable crop. Great as a side dish or in a soup mixed with Celery and Green Garlic.

Fava Beans- Currently grown out of both Mexico and California packed in bushel and 1/9th cartons. Fava Beans have a distinct flavor and creamy texture that makes them a great addition to a wide variety of dishes. Fava beans should be shelled and peeled before eating they are great steamed and served with a little olive oil, salt, and lemon.

Feijoa- Have very good production for the next couple of months grown out of New Zealand.The Feijoa is an egg-shaped fruit with a thin lime-green skin. The flesh inside is cream-colored and encases a jelly-like center. The texture is gritty, close to that of a pear. The flesh tastes like a combination of several other fruits, usually described as pineapple, guava, and strawberry. Eaten fresh or can be used in preserves, desserts, and beverages. Grown out off New Zealand and tray packed.

Fiddle Head Ferns- We have decent supplies out of the North West and available for a couple of months.

Figs- Excellent supplies available, we have both Brown Turkey and Black Genoa varieties market seems to have fallen a bit in price. California crop begins end of May. They are medium sized, bell shaped fruits that are purplish-brown with light pink flesh. Currently from New Zealand and tray packed.
Fresh Green

Almonds-Growing demand for immature green almonds as a garnish and gourmet ingredient has created a "fresh" market for the almond as a hand-picked delicacy.

Green almonds are sold in the hull, to preserve their freshness. The delicate green kernel is wrapped naturally in a soft green, fuzzy hull that is similar to an immature green peach in spring. Currently grown in California and packed in 25-pound sacks.

Grape Leaves-Fresh Grape Leaves are great for preparing Greek Dolmades(stuffed grape leaves). Homemade are far superior to the canned. If you have never tried fresh dolmades, try them stuffed with meat and rice. Grape Leaves are grown in California and are available for about a month.

Green Garlic- Product has about a month left before the end of the season. Young Garlic, which is harvested before the cloves have begun to mature. The flavor of Green Garlic is still garlicky, but is much more mild with less of a bitter bite. When cooked, the green garlic sweetens, lending a new layer of depth to a dish.

Kaffir Lime Leaves-Come from the Kaffir Lime tree, a lime tree native to Indonesia. The leaves are highly aromatic and suitable for various Asian cuisines, including Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian and Laotian cuisines. They are easily recognizable by their emerald-green, doubled sections, which makes them appear as if two leaves are joined together. Available year-round and sold by the pound
Korean Melons- Grown in Mexico packed in 14 pound cartons and range from 9-12 ct. This bright, yellow and white ribbed gourd has white,crispy flesh arid is aromatic. Eat fresh in wedges or cube and add to fruit salads. Use as a garnish or serve with ice cream

Kumquats-Grown in San Diego County and are available with good volume from now through August, market seems to be off a little. The word Kumquat is Chinese for "Gold Orange". Kumquats have a very distinctive taste. It is the only citrus fruit that can be eaten "skin and all." The peel is the sweetest part and can be eaten separately. The pulp contains the seeds and juice, which is sour. They are packed in either 10-pound bulk or 12 / 12 ounce clamshells.
Meyer Lemons-.Full production grown out of the Northern California area. They have a wonderful tangy aroma and are sweeter and less acidic than a standard Lemon.
Mixed Fingerling Potatoes- A mix of Russian, French, Rose Finn, and Purple Peruvian. Supplies are currently new crop out of Idaho and Washington.
Nectarines and Peaches have just started out of California with very low volume and small sizes. Will see different sizes in the following weeks as well as volume
Passion Fruit-The fruit has passed the point of its peak season out of New Zealand. Supplies will be extremely short but we continue to have supplies.Supplies will be decent through May, gap June and July. Crop grown out of California begins in August.

Pomegranate Seeds- New crop out of Peru packed in 12/ 5.3 oz clamshells.

Purple Asparagus-Grown in California and packed in 11-pound units. Should have supplies through the second week of May. Similar to the Green and White Asparagus in appearance, Purple Asparagus is larger at the base. The delicious flavor and crisp tender texture of this unique variety offers a slightly sweeter taste.

Ramps- Ramps,also know as Wild Leeks appear as the snow begins to melt, their scallion like bulb is rooted just below the surface. They have an assertive, garlicky-onion flavor. Edible from the tips of the leaves to their fleshy bulbous bottoms. They can be served blanched and sautéed in risotto or pasta, or seared with some exotic mushrooms as a side dish. Currently out of Michigan and sold by the pound, available for the next few weeks.

Red Chinese Spinach- Red Amaranth is sold as 'Chinese Spinach' (though it is not spinach). The plant has dark green leaves splotched and deeply veined in red. It is delicious, cooks quickly and has even more nutritional value than spinach. Recognized by its pink roots and oval leaves which may have patches of red along the center vein

Rhubarb- A hot house variety, packed in a 15# carton and grown in Washington/ Oregon. Available through early October. Fantastic for Rhubarb and Strawberry pie recipes.

Sapote-Supplies are extremely short, not much fruit coming out of California until June. The White Sapote is successful wherever oranges can be grown. In California mature trees are found from Chico, southward. They are tray packed and in very good volume.

Sea Bean- Fresh bean that grows in the sea in the form of a long, pencil thin, cylindrical green stem that may have spherical-shaped, spike-like buds on the ends. Can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, sautéed, or stir-fried to add a unique presentation for fish and seafood dishes. Grown in Mexico, packed and sold in 5 pound units.

Seville Oranges- A popular bitter Orange grown in the Northern California region. It has a thick, rough skin and an extremely tart, bitter flesh full of seeds. Because of its high acid content, the Seville is not an eating orange but, because of that same acidity is extremely popular for making marmalades as well as liqueurs. Packed in 40-pound cartons and available in limited supplies.
Starfruit-Supplies should be steady for the next month or so out of Taiwan packed in 8-pound cartons.

Coming Soon...

Mexican Perlettes- Should see some Wednesday of this week.

Rambutan- We should see some middle of the week out of Guatemala.

White Peaches- Out of California Monday 04-27-09.

Gold Tamarillos- Hope too some in a couple of weeks out of New Zealand.

Lychees- Grown out of Mexico, hope to see some in a week or so.

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