Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Armenian Cucumbers

Introduced from Armenia to Italy in the1400s, Armenian Cucumbers are hard to find, but are one of the best-regarded slicing cucumbers.

Botanically, a close relative of the honeydew melon, our Armenian green cucumbers are locally grown in California, just east of Paso Robles. A field melon and of the species Cucumis melo, this Armenian variety has several aliases including Syrian cucumber, Turkish cucumber, Metki melon and snake melon.

It's crisp, thin-skinned, and mild-flavored, and it has soft seeds. Usually served raw in salads, sandwiches, drinks, sushi, and hors d'oeuvres to add crunch, but they can also be cooked like Zucchini.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Late Night Offerings.

Operators are coping with the economic downturn and the resulting stall in samestore
sales by seeking out new ways to squeeze all possible profit opportunities
out of their fixed investment. More often than not, this means taking a look at
extended daypart opportunities. For many operators, the hours between
10 p.m. and 5 a.m. are the new frontier.

In the Night Kitchen
Late-night dining is a growing trend. Technomic/American Express polls show that once a-week usage of restaurants between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. nearly doubled between 2007 and 2008—from 13% of respondents to 25%—and the proportion of diners who said they rarely or never visited restaurants late at night decreased by 14%. The more recent poll showed that almost half of consumers (45%) were “night hawks” at least once a month.

How Restaurants Lure Night Hawks

A demographic breakdown of the 2008 data provides further clues:
> Late-night diners are mostly young: 64% of those under age 35 reported dining
out or getting takeout after 10 p.m. several times a month, versus just 22% of
those 35 and older.

> Late-night diners are disproportionately male: 53% of males, versus just 39% of
females, reported that they eat out or get takeout between 10 p.m. and 5 p.m. at
least once a month, and 42% of males, versus 33% of females, said they dine late
or pick up late-night takeout several times a month.

Meals or Snacks?
Late-night dining is closely tied to snacking. In a Technomic report on consumer snacking Trends:

48% of consumers reported that they customarily eat mid-evening snacks

39% said they have a habit of late-night snacking

44% of those polled for a 2009 Technomic consumer report on appetizers said they would like restaurants to offer more late-night appetizer and snack menus.

It’s clear that late night is a growing opportunity for restaurateurs, with a “twenty-something” customer base at the core. These late night consumers may extend a night out at a bar or nightclub to include a meal afterward, or get hungry late at night and team up with a group of friends for a late meal. The trend to late-night snacking also matches up well with culinary trends toward small plates, samplers to share, and global street foods.

Although all age groups and both genders are interested in seeing more late-night snacks in restaurants, young consumers find them particularly appealing; 52% of those aged 18–24 would like to see more late-night appetizer options. Research conducted for Technomic’s dinner occasion report found that consumers in the 18–24 age bracket were also more likely to eat dinner later in the evening, but that begs the question of what the word “dinner” means to these consumers, who have largely abandoned the practice of consuming three protein and- sides meals a day at set times in favor of spontaneous grazing.

Up Late and Ahead of the Pack: Best Practices
Restaurant and foodservice operators have stepped up with new menus, new marketing ideas and more flexible service formats to meet changing late-night demands. Operations leading the way include:

Taco Bell- took early ownership of the late-night segment by inventing a word—“Fourthmeal.” Within a few months of the 2006 launch of the “Fourthmeal” promotion, units were reporting overall increases in check averages during late-night hours, which extend up to 4 a.m. at some units. “Fourthmeal” has always been defined by a cultural affinity for the young and hip—and their music—rather than by special menu
items. Initially, the company chose four emerging rock bands to display the Taco Bell logo and other promo material on their vans or instruments in exchange for a month of free late-night meals. In its most recent annual “Feed the Beat” contest last fall, Taco Bell chose 100 bands from across the nation and provided them with $500 in Taco Bell Bucks for free Fourthmeals after shows. The bands’ music was played on Taco Bell’s microsite, www.feedthebeat.com, where customers could vote for their favorite. The three favorite bands each won a recording session to produce a music single, with the three songs promoted this spring on Taco Bell’s website.

Wendy’s caters heavily to younger consumers with its Dollar Menu and drive-thrus open until at least 2 a.m. (promoted with the tagline “Eat Great, Even Late”). Wendy’s has zeroed in on the late-night daypart at the expense of breakfast, which has been temporarily discontinued at many units.

> Denny’s pairs its Allnighter Menu, which emphases shareable offerings, with a late-night vibe far different from its daytime image: restaurants play alternative rock music and servers wear casual attire. In May, Denny’s launched a new “Creature Comforts” ad campaign to showcase the Allnighter menu, with late-night TV ads depicting four “creature” buddies enjoying a late-night Denny’s experience. Webisodes of the four characters are also posted on the DennysAllnighter.com microsite, each character has a profile page on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, and each is featured in an interactive iPhone game application. Denny’s expanded the Allnighter menu this spring with snack-sized value options priced from $2.99, including Pancake Puppies, Nachitos and Half Moons Over My Hammy.

Tips for Building Late-Night Traffic
Late-night dining, however, is not merely an opportunity for major chains with the resources for multimedia marketing campaigns. In fact, it can be a perfect market niche for a neighborhood independent restaurant with a loyal clientele. But—like anything else in the restaurant game—it’s far from a sure thing, especially in the current economy. Here are some suggestions for success:

1-Realize that late hours aren’t right for everyone. Just ask the unhappy Burger King franchisees who have sued the chain, complaining that extended hours aren’t profitable for them and also raise safety concerns.

2-Before expanding hours, introducing special menu items or launching an expensive marketing campaign,
carefully evaluate your existing and desired customer base and weigh the prospects for incremental business against incremental costs, including additional labor. 2.

3-Define your market. Who will use your restaurant during the wee hours? College students? Factory workers getting off the late shift? Theater-goers stopping by for a bite after the show? What would appeal to them and bring you a profit: dine-in service, takeout or both? Your decisions on menu offerings, ambiance
and marketing depend on the answers.

4-Make sure menu items are fresh, interesting and craveable. If you are going to offer or promote certain menu items for late night, they will probably encompass appetizers, finger foods and platters to share. The younger consumers who are the most frequent late-night diners are also the most appreciative of bold
and ethnic flavors, so trendy global street foods (such as satay skewers, taquitos or churros) or craveable American finger foods (mini-burgers, mini-hot dogs, wings with a variety of flavors and sauces, mini-donuts) are likely to be the best bets.

5-Don’t forget the primacy of value. While menu innovation and craveability are important, moderate price points are central to the value equation as seen by the mostly youthful base of latenight diners, particularly in today’s recessionary economy.

6-Convenience is essential. Convenience is important to all diners, but particularly the young who have “places to go and things to do” and expect to see up-to-date technology in restaurants. Convenience-enhancing technology is particularly important for takeout and delivery. Operations that offer online and mobile phone ordering are likely to see far more late-night traffic than those that don’t.

7-Encourage young consumers to become late-night regulars. Younger consumers, with perhaps fewer long-term financial plans affected by the recent economic turmoil, may be the last to give up dining on restaurant food as well as the first to return when things begin to improve. If your operation is a hit with
the younger crowd, consider offering late-night frequent diner programs or employing other marketing tactics that are geared to retaining a steady stream of business from these young consumers. And don’t forget to mix things up with frequent menu introductions.
CEO Profile: Corona site ideal, U.S. Foodservice exec says

08:27 PM PDT on Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Press-Enterprise

In January, Graylon MacFall assumed management of the Corona division of U.S. Foodservice, a $19.8 billion national food distributor. The Corona facility ships to hospitals, schools, hotels, prisons, government cafeterias and restaurants -- big chains such as Sizzler to independent mom and pop eateries -- from San Diego to Las Vegas.

While the economic recession has prompted other businesses to downsize, the Corona distribution center, with 280,000 square feet of warehouse and office space, is expanding its staff, particularly its sales force, to offset declining revenue by attracting new customers. During an interview, MacFall explained his growth strategy.

Q: Why did U.S. Foodservice open a warehouse in Corona?

A: We feel that once we get out of this economic storm, the Inland Empire is going to be one of the fastest-growing areas in California, and we have the only food service distribution center in the region. All of our competitors are distributed out of San Diego or Los Angeles.

Q: How does this give you an advantage over your competitors?

A: It means it is easier for us to call on and service customers in the Inland Empire. Also, it is less expensive for us since all of our deliveries are made on tractor trailers. With the increase in the price of fuel that we just saw this past year, the savings have been significant.

Graylon MacFall, 46, is president of the Corona division of U.S. Foodservice. The company is expanding under his leadership as a distributor to schools, hotels, restaurants and more in the Inland area.

Q: How else do you make yourselves stand out from the competition?

A: We are adding employees. We have grown our total employee base by over 11 percent. Most of those are sales associates, and some are management. We realize the economic downturn we are in is not going to last, and when the economy does rebound we want to be well positioned.

Q: I understand that the Corona distribution facility, since July of last year, has been working hard to recruit customers among independent restaurant operators. Why is that?

A: The reason we are taking that course of action is because that's where we see an opportunity for more rapid growth, although franchises and chain operations are still an important customer market for us. We have added over 150 new accounts among independent operators.

Q: What changes have you initiated since you started in January?

A: We are trying to be a better partner with our restaurant customers by providing assistance with menu management. We think it is important to offer them ways to promote new products that will help them build their business.

Q: How would you advise someone to prepare for a career in food-service distribution management?

A: As with any industry, if a person wants to get into management and climb the ladder, they would need a good education. Our division presidents come from different business areas -- management, sales, financing and warehousing and distribution. As long as you work hard and demonstrate you can provide value to the company you work for, you will be given opportunities to succeed.

Graylon MacFall

Company: U.S. Foodservice-Corona division

Title: President

Employees: 320

Age: 46

Education: Texas A & M University

Weekly Commodity Market Update

Date: June 24, 2009


Block Cheese steady "The CME Group cash cheese market was weak and Friday prices closed below a week ago. Both block and barrel prices are again below the dairy product support prices of $1.10 per pound for barrels and $1.13 for blocks. Cheese production and offerings remain heavy with most manufacturing plants operating on extended schedules to clear the milk supplies. Retail promotions continue to stimulate sales in selected markets. Wet, cool weather has hurt food service orders from some summer vacation locations.
locations..(Source: USDA Dairy Market News, Week of June 15-19, 2009) "

Butter AA steady "Cash butter pricing at the CME continues to edge lower and closed the week at $1.2050. On Monday, June 15, the Kansas City Commodity Office announced that all of the butter that was purchased under the dairy support program earlier in the year, 4,639,010 pounds, was sold back to the trade under invitation #1. Prices for this sellback ranged from $1.1581 - 1.1750 per pound and averaged $1.1641 per pound. Current churning schedules across the country are seasonally active, although trending lower as cream volumes become more competitive. Many butter producers continue to indicate that current churning is often heavier than demand, thus surplus volumes are clearing to inventory for future use, although these inventory clearances are declining. Butter demand is light to fair and most often at expected levels.Source: USDA Dairy Market News, Week of June 15-19, 2009)

Poultry -
Georgia Dock steady Effects of grilled chicken intro. Starting to wind down. Should be near the peak price.
NE Boneless Breast steady Should see some retail focus next week. Should be steady this week then trending up.
NE Select Boneless Breast steady Should see some retail focus next week. Should be steady this week then trending up.
NE Wings steady Continued steady demand and constrained supply will not let this market drop. At or near the low. Should see prices move up later in the summer from this point.
NE Jumbo Wings steady Continued steady demand and constrained supply will not let this market drop. At or near the low. Should see prices move up later in the summer from this point.
NE Tenders steady Becuase of limited food service demand this market is moving on bonless breast substitution. As boneless breast goes so will will this market keeping a similar gap in pricing.
NE Small Tenders steady Becuase of limited food service demand this market is moving on bonless breast substitution. As boneless breast goes so will will this market keeping a similar gap in pricing.
NE Boneless Thigh Meat Special Trim steady As exports rise and falls, this item will do likewise as leg quarters are sent overseas versus deboned for domestic use.

Boxed Beef
Boxed Beef Cutout, Choice steady Inexpensive Pork and Chicken is forcing the Beef industry to compete for market share. Price appreciation within the Beef complex is unlikely. Short term market stability driven by the upcoming holiday will offer stablility to the market short term.

Boxed Beef Cutout, Select steady Inexpensive Pork and Chicken is forcing the Beef industry to compete for market share. Price appreciation within the Beef complex is unlikely. Short term market stability driven by the upcoming holiday will offer stablility to the market short term.
81% Lean Fine Ground Beef gradual increase Inexpensive Pork and Chicken has taken market share for the Ground Beef complex which is reflected in the per pound price. Packer have not been able to rally the market. Expect market stability

Inside (Top) Rounds - Commodity Trim, Choice steady Inside Rounds are slowly increasing in value. The price is under valued for this time of the year and will drift higher as middle meat complex depreciatates.
Inside (Top) Rounds - Commodity Trim, Select steady Inside Rounds are slowly increasing in value. The price is under valued for this time of the year and will drift higher as middle meat complex depreciatates.
Heavy Lip On Rib Eyes, Choice steady Seasonal peaks in volume/demand have been achieved but prices are temporialy holding steady to slightly higher in front last minute demand for July 4th.
Heavy Lip On Rib Eyes, Select price increase Seasonal peaks in volume/demand have been achieved but prices are temporialy holding steady to slightly higher in front last minute demand for July 4th.
5/up PSMO Tenderloins, Choice steady Demand for Tenderloins has been surprisingly high which has translated into higher asking prices and unexpected market stability. No change expected during the next 2 weeks.
5/up PSMO Tenderloins, Select steady Demand for Tenderloins has been surprisingly high which has translated into higher asking prices and unexpected market stability. No change expected during the next 2 weeks.
0X1 Strip Loins Boneless Strip Loins, Choice gradual decrease The high point of seasonal demand has now come and gone. Last minute retail interest in USDA Choice Strip Loins should prevent downward price adjustment near term. No Roll Strips Loins however are being discounted.
0X1 Strip Loins Boneless Strip Loins, Select price decrease The high point of seasonal demand has now come and gone. Last minute retail interest in USDA Choice Strip Loins should prevent downward price adjustment near term. No Roll Strips Loins however are being discounted.
Heavy Top Sirloin Butts - Commodity Trim, Choice steady Top Sirloin Butts are a market opportunity which will is reflected in the price. Worth a closer look. Market support or interest in the Top Butt has been limited.
Heavy Top Sirloin Butts - Commodity Trim, Select gradual decrease Top Sirloin Butts are a market opportunity which will is reflected in the price. Worth a closer look. Market support or interest in the Top Butt has been limited.
Tri Tips, Fat On, Choice steady Generally steady into July 4th support by CA retail volume
Tri Tips, Fat On, Select gradual increase Generally steady into July 4th support by CA retail volume
Flap Meat, USDA Choice steady Retail interest in Flap Meat has driven price higher. Market avaialbility from the packers is limited which is justifying the higher price in the mind of the packers
Flap Meat, Select gradual increase Retail interest in Flap Meat has driven price higher. Market avaialbility from the packers is limited which is justifying the higher price in the mind of the packers
2/up Ball Tips, Choice steady Top Butts seem to be a better option in both price and quality short term. The Sirloin is one of the best price values in the Beef complex
2/up Ball Tips, Select gradual decrease Top Butts seem to be a better option in both price and quality short term. The Sirloin is one of the best price values in the Beef complex
Boneless Beef Briskets, Choice 0 0
Boneless Beef Briskets, Select steady The Brisket market remains steady. Like to no downward price adjustment are expected until mid July.
Outside Skirts, Commodity Trim price increase The packers trying to force Outside Skirt prices higher.

Pork Overall category update Cash prices for hogs are stabilizing; Retailers are beginning to feature pork at very competitive prices which should assist in bringing back some of the last domestic demand

Pork Loin Boneless w/Strap steady Boneless loins have been on an up and down trend of late; long term 6-8 week forecasts call for increases on both Strap on & product
Pork Loin Boneless Strap Removed steady Boneless loins have been on an up and down trend of late; long term 6-8 week forecasts call for increases on both Strap on & product
Pork Loin 21dn 1/4 in. lgt Bone In gradual decrease Prices are expected to trade steady this week, move slightly lower next week prior to moving slighltly higher in July; lackluster demand has capped any major seasonal upside potential
Loin Back Ribs steady Prices on back ribs are expected to drop significantly over the next 3-4 weeks
Hams 20/23 gradual decrease Ham values are expected to remain fairly steady with only a slight swing up or down through the remainder of June; $'s are expected to rebound in July
Pork Bellies 14/16 gradual increase Sideways to slightly higher trades are expected through the end of June; $'s are expected to reach their summer high's \by late July/early August
Pork Butts, 1/4 in. trim 5-10# price increase Steady trades are expected this week prior to moves downward next week; mid July prices should rebound to current levels
Spare Ribs price increase Spare rib prices moved considerably higher last week; prices are expected to work slightly higher this week prior to decreasing significantly by mid July
Sow 550 & up price decrease Liquidation appears to be underway as Sow prics have begun to tumble; future declines are expected as demand for Sow based products is non existent
Pork Trimmings 42% (Combo Fresh) #N/A #N/A
Pork Trimmings 72% (Combo Fresh) #N/A #N/A
Beef Trimmings 50% (Combo Fresh) steady Seasonal demand driven by retail should begin push prices higher
Beef Trimmings 90% (Combo Fresh) steady Seasonal demand driven by retail should begin push prices higher

Domestic Shrimp steady "The climate in the Gulf region is still dull. Sales are
being characterized as fair, to in some cases moderate, but not near the level
needed to absorb current inventories and anticipated production. As a result,
the HLSO shrimp market ranges barely steady to weak. PUD production is
reportedly in a bit of a lull, but recent and anticipated future production are
weighing on the market."

Mexican Shrimp steady Mexican Shrimp is still on schedule for June harvest of farmed product and August/September for wild harvest. Pricing on current inventories are steady.
Asian Blk Tigers steady "Supplies of 21-25 count and smaller shrimp are limited
although off erings have steadied somewhat. The balance of the HLSO
market is steady."
Vannamei Shrimp (Asian, So Amer,Indian) steady "The farmed white HLSO shrimp market is steady to full steady
at listed levels for a fair demand. Supplies of 41-50 count and smaller shrimp
are fairly tight."
Domestic Catfish steady "Pangasius Frozen Fillets (Vietnam): 5 & up oz. fi llets fi rmed
slightly. The market holds a steady to full steady undertone as
supplies prove to be just adequate at newly quoted levels.
Cod steady Cod inventories are very good in all sizes across the board and much more affordable this year than last, and there are still some scattered landings in the Gulf of Alaska.
Pollock steady Pollock fillet and block markets remain strong; inventories of 2/4 fillets are scarce and demand is solid. It's doubtful we will have enough of these to carry us to "B" season. Other sizes will be tight, but supplies should be adequate.

Salmon Wild/Farm Raised gradual increase "ATLANTIC Supply is tightening which has been anticipated for some time. Less fish in general is available from Chile, and fish that is available is smaller than what is normally processed, so the larger sizes of portions (8 & 10 oz) will be the first ones in short supply. Look for the market to continue to tighten through the balance of the year and into 2010. KETA Inventories of 2008 Keta Salmon in China are moving steadily as we approach the start of the 2009 season. It appears there won't be much carryover of Hokkaido Keta from last year to this year. Alaska processors are looking to pre-sell much of the catch to customers requiring MSC certification. The first indications of the catch in Alaska will occur in late June in the Prince William Sound fishery. Preseason forecasts call for a total run slightly higher than 2008. SOCKEYE Extra inventory is becoming available, as Europe’s demand has fallen off slightly. Pricing should begin to soften in the next few months. COHO Inventories are good and prices have stabilized. 2009 production will not be available until August.
Crab steady KING CRAB There is still a lot of conflicting information about the spring king crab fishery in the Russian Far East. There has been a lot of recent publicity about efforts in Russia to nationalize the fleet but it is unclear as to exactly when that would happen. There have been some early landings already in the Russian Far East, but again whether the fishery will continue in its normal cycle for the remainder of the season is yet to be seen. In the meantime, the direction of the market is unclear until the supply situation is clarified. SNOW CRAB The catch in Newfoundland through the 21st of May is at 37% of the quota. Pricing has stabilized a bit in the last couple weeks, but still a little unsettled. Some Japanese companies have made commitments however they are quite a bit less, in volume, than last year, in some instances as much as half. Things should be much clearer over the next three weeks or so. DUNGENESS CRAB Inventories are good. Pricing has stabilized, and will move up a little in the coming months as fishing pressure on the coast has diminished and most of the current catch is going live. Next potential product will come from Alaskan Fisheries this summer

Scallops steady "The news from the open areas is that the catch rate continues to be very good. To date, the vast majority of the landings (~80%) are in the 10/20 ct range, with u/10 and 20/30 ct making up the balance of the catch. We anticipate this trend to continue, and the spread in price between u/10 ct and 10/20 ct is expected to persist. Offerings for smaller scallops from South America are exhibiting good value in these sizes, and prices on Bay Scallops remain flat. "

Oil & Shortening Overall category update Oil markets remain down as of 6/22 am as a result of reduced export demand, softer outside markets, and favorable weather/planting conditions. Volatility is likely to remain, however.

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

June 17, 2009
The market began the week more aggressively then last week. There was some speculation that it may go higher, but it actually has just kind of held steady. Supplies have slipped some. Expect the market to remain steady and supplies will be tight all week. Mildew damage is always an issue when the weather goes from fog to heat, and that certainly will be the case this week. This change in weather remains to be seen on how it will affect the lettuce crop. The weights for palletized lettuce continue to be reported at 42-44#s.

This market is also up on all leaf items. Fringe burn is being seen with all suppliers on romaine at harvesting time. Some areas are being hit harder then others, but most have it to some degree. Alternate source sites may include Ohio, and New Jersey.

Broccoli demand has increased the last few weeks, and supplies are lighter, resulting in the market going up. The quality out of the Salinas valley and Santa Maria growing regions continue to be good. Supplies are expected to be tight all week, especially in Santa Maria.

No weakness shown yet in the cauliflower market. Supplies are fairly light, and expected to remain light all week. With suppliers cutting back on acreage of cauliflower, this has created a shortage of product in the industry. The overall quality of this commodity has been better compared to previous weeks. Santa
Maria and Salinas continue to be the main areas of production.

Harvesting has shifted over to new fields in Bakersfield. Sizing has improved over what we were seeing out of The Imperial Valley. Quality remains good. Georgia still has some availability and quality on the East Coast.

This market is pretty steady to start off the week. Salinas and Santa Maria have both started up lightly in production and Oxnard still has a few weeks left on production left. The seeder issue is not as much of an issue in Salinas.

Strawberries: California production is starting this week with decent volume. Both quality and quantities have improved and there are some deals taking place to move volume. There are some shippers that have better production in Santa Maria and some shippers with better production in Salinas. You will find lower pricing in Santa Maria versus Salinas, but you will give up some sizing loading in Santa Maria.

Raspberries: Californian production continues to be very strong. Both Salinas / Watsonville
are producing and we are seeing great availability as more shippers have increased production in the northern growing areas with new fruit and fob are reflecting this. With a large volume order you can achieve an aggressive fob.

Mexico has pretty much finished, and we can expect all Mexican products to clean up within the next week. We continue looking at local production as it is increasing. We are experiencing a little bit of a gap with Watsonville producing only fair quantities, Mexico wrapping up. We are seeing far less availability and can expect this trend to continue through this week.

Blueberry production continues to increase in California and is getting stronger. The Central Valley is the primary area of production and we are seeing some better production in Oxnard and Watsonville. Fruit is starting to transfer over from the valley. This week we are seeing a better variety of pack sizes, 4.4, 6oz, pints and 18oz. Florida and the Carolinas are now producing good volume and seem to be out of the problems that where related to the past rain.

POTATOES: The quality is still very good on the Idaho storage crop. Retail volume has slowed down so carton packing has slowed for shippers. 80ct and larger sizes did experience an increase in the market as large potatoes continue to get tighter. Wisconsin is becoming more limited on availability as well. Colorado has good supplies and quality is still good. Colored storage potatoes are still available out of Wisconsin. California new crop colored potatoes available with very good quality. New crop California Russets have started in a light way with better availability next week. Northern and Southern Florida now with availability on new crop colored potatoes.

ONIONS: The market has strengthened significantly on yellow onions. Huron availability is very limited due to a combination of rain and colder weather and Imperial Valley California have finished up for the season. This has eaten into any extra volume out of New Mexico. In conjunction with our own shortage of product, Canada has begun to pull heavily from the US. Expect the market to remain high another 2 weeks or so.


The Red Delicious market is strengthening ever so slightly. We expect to see the trend continue (slowly) for the rest of the summer. This season we saw an overabundance of 100ct and smaller Reds (as can be seen with the small size apples priced roughly 1/2 of what it was last summer). This years Golden Crop is also much larger last years crop. The golden market should be steady for the near term as there is still plenty available. Condition has been good and is expected to stay that way.

Pineapple demand has been very good. Quality is good to very good also. No issues to mention.

Mexican fruit – Mexico is 95% shipped for this year’s crop. No increase in volume will come until new crop begins sometime in late August. Supplies will be short until that time.
California Fruit - California growers are packing good volume, but still lighter than years past. Growers are trying to make their crop last until new crop Chilean and Mexican begins in August. Until then, it looks like a demand exceeds supply situation.

Valencia’s are about the only thing left in Florida except for a little bit of grapefruit in the river district. The Valencia’s are more to the large size. We are seeing very few 100s and 125s. Quality is excellent, and should be available through July. Next season will start along late September.

Market is steady and strengthening due to low pack outs numbers and some houses only packing about 20% of normal. The overall size of the fruit is peaking on 138’s and 163’s and about 30% smaller than that which goes to juice. The crop is large in volume but small in size and maybe within a month we may gain a size and this would help the situation. The overall quality is fair to good, we are having to gas the fruit as it has started it’s re-greening process. The fruit has excellent sugar and juice content which should hold through the summer.

The market continues to be very firm and strong, the overall quality is fair to good with excellent juice content. The fruit is all from Dist. 2 and as said in the past this is the only district supplying all of the domestic demand. The Chilean fruit should start to show up with some good volume in the next two weeks, this should take some pressure off of dist.2 and get the market settled down. We expect good numbers from Chile and also from Mexico which will last through the summer until we start dist. 3 around the first of Sept.

Supplies are beginning to increase this week. Sizes are showing some growth now, and we will start to see more 110’s and 150’s and less of the smaller sizes..

Market also very strong and firm with fair quality and color, the Mexican and Coachella Valley fruit is normally on the small side, but with a market that has been exceptionally firm the overall quality is just fair. We expect to start the Arvin district around July 4th and we will see good volume by the second week of July. We have good volumes of all varieties in the Central Valley and prices will then start to ease. Expect excellent quality and good availability through the year from the Central Valley.


CANTALOUPES: Market strong with some very nice quality coming out of the desert, expect the market to ease on the 9’s and larger but stay very strong on the 12’s and smaller as most fields peaking on 9’s and 6’s some very large fruit coming in now. The smaller fruit will begin to ease in about 2 weeks when the Westside and Bakersfield areas start up. We are seeing about 3% total 15’s on a daily pack out so you can see they are extremely scarce.

HONEYDEWS: Market steady and firm with good quality out of the desert and Mexico. Fruit is peaking on 4’s and 5’s and this is making the 6’s and smaller very strong. Expect the market to stay strong until Bakersfield and Westside districts start in the next two weeks. Fruit is cutting excellent and eating very good with high sugars.

Watermelon supplies continue to be very good for the CA/AZ desert production and Mexico has also ramped up production giving way to steady market conditions and much better availability in both the seeded and seedless fruit. Demand remains only moderate on watermelons and watermelon quality is very good from the Yuma, AZ and CA desert growing areas.

Supplies and quality are improving in Georgia. North Carolina and Tennessee are about to get started, the cucumber market should continue on a downward trend.

Western Cucumber: Last few weeks of the Mexico deal. Baja is past their peak and supplies will start lightening as we move into June. California is starting with very light production and is looking at steady volume by the first week of June.

Florida is now finished with pepper and has given way to Georgia. Recent heavy rains have delayed the picking but as the weather dries up in the coming days, good volume is expected. Quality will be fair for the next several days.

The California desert deal is almost wrapped up and the remaining supplies will be done this week. There are some transition supplies coming out of the Yuma, AZ area. The next growing area is Bakersfield, which has started this week. Demand remains good.

Squash is now readily available as far north as New Jersey and volume and quality out of South Georgia are improving. Demand will stay strong for the next few days but the increased availability throughout the
east will bring the market down through out the week.

The Fresno area of California has good production this week on Italian, and yellow is going with decent supplies as well. Santa Maria has started and see better supplies coming this week.

East – The tomato market (all tomatoes) is going to be a great deal higher this week compared to last. Central Florida is finishing up due to past wet weather. North Florida will start next week with very light production. Quality is only average, there is a lot of damage to the fruit. The shippers are grading extra hard however there are still some shoulder problems and rain check. Food service will be very limited.

West – Mexican production from Nogales is finished. San Diego is crossing fruit now, but has not picked up the volume yet. Reports of Baja quality have been good. There is a lack of smaller sized fruit and nothing crossing with much color. There have been reports of California Central valley starting small production by the end of next week, but there will be no fruit with color until the second week of June if they harvest.

More Restaurant Regulation In San Francisco

San Francisco to require composting of food scraps

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom last week signed legislation that will require both city residents and businesses, including restaurants, to compost food scraps, beginning this fall.

Believed to the first mandatory composting law in the nation, the legislation is part of the city’s broader plan to divert 75 percent of resources from landfills by 2010 and to achieve zero waste by 2020.

According to Newsom they are currently keeping 72 percent of recyclable material out of our landfill through their voluntary composting program that has been in place for several years. The resulting product is used by farms and vineyards across the Bay Area to fertilize fields. According to the legislation, about 36 percent of what San Francisco sends to landfills is compostable, primarily food scraps.

Adam Alberti, a spokesman for Recology, the contractor that operates the city’s composting and recycling collection service, said more than 1,000 restaurants already voluntarily participate in the program, in part because composting is less costly than waste removal for noncompostables.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Basic Marshmallows With A Bacon Twist

This is the recipe I use for Marshmallows.

From The Meatpaper Meat Party At The Acme Chophouse, Bacon and Candied Pistachio Marshmallows

Marshmallows use simple ingredients and are easier to make than you might think. A stand mixer works best because of the lengthy beating time. Be sure to watch it while beating. The mixture has a tendency to crawl up the beaters as it thickens.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Vegetable shortening (Crisco recommended) for preparing the pan
1 cup cold water
3 Tablespoons (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Good quality homemade bacon bits to taste(not the crap from the produce or canned sections, always cook your own bacon)
Candied Pistachios to taste
Confectioners sugar (for coating the marshmallows)

Prepare a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan as follows. Invert the pan. Cut a piece of aluminum foil long enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the foil over the inverted pan and fold down the sides and corners just to shape. Remove the foil and turn the pan right side up. Place the foil in the pan and press it gently into place. With a pastry brush or crumpled wax paper coat the foil thoroughly but lightly with vegetable shortening. Set aside.

Place 1/2 cup cold water in the large bowl of an electric mixer, Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and set aside.

Place the sugar, corn syrup, salt and the other 1/2 cup water in a heavy 1-1/2 quart or 2 quart saucepan over moderately low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Cover for 3 minutes to allow any sugar crystals on the sides of the saucepan to dissolve. Uncover, raise the heat to high, insert a candy thermometer, and let the syrup boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Do not overcook. Remove from the heat.

Beating constantly at medium speed, pour the syrup slowly into the gelatin mixture. After all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and beat for 15 minutes until the mixture is lukewarm, snowy white, and the consistency of whipped marshmallow, adding the vanilla, candied pistachios and the bacon bits a few minutes before the end of the beating. (During the beating, occasionally scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. The marshmallow will thicken and become sticky -- if the mixture crawls up on the beaters as it thickens, carefully wipe it down with a rubber spatula.)

Pour the slightly warm and thick marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and, with your forefinger, scrape all the mixture off the beaters. Smooth the top of the marshmallow.

Let stand uncovered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours or longer if it is more convenient.

Then sift or strain confectioners sugar generously onto a large cutting board to cover a surface larger then your pan. Invert the marshmallow over the sugared surface. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Strain confectioners sugar generously over the top of the marshmallow.

To cut into even 1 inch strips use a ruler and toothpicks to mark it every 1 inch.

Prepare a long, heavy, sharp knife by brushing the blade lightly with vegetable shortening. Cutting down firmly with the full length of the blade, cut the marshmallow into 1 inch strips. (After cutting the first slice, just keep the blade sugared to keep it from sticking.)

Dip the cut sides of each strip into confectioners sugar to coat them thoroughly -- you should have enough excess sugar on the board to do this.

Now cut each strip into 1 inch squares. (You may place three strips together and cut through them all at once.) Roll the marshmallows in the sugar to coat the remaining sides. Shake off excess sugar.

Store in a plastic box or any airtight container -- or plastic bag.

Yield: makes 1 pound, 10 ounces of marshmallows

Check out some other great ideas for marshmallows at Tastespotting.com!

Candied Pistachios

Pistachio Pieces ½ cup
Canola Oil 4 cups
Powdered sugar ¼ cup
Salt sprinkle
Cayenne pepper sprinkle
Water 4 cups


Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a large sauce pan.

Drop the pistachios pieces in the water and bring to a boil.

Strain immediately and sprinkle with salt, pepper and powdered sugar.

Mix with a spoon or spatula until the powdered sugar is melted and completely coating the nuts.

Drop the coated nuts into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.

Pour out onto a sheet pan to cool.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tempura Fried Bacon With Chipotle Aioli

I think this was an Esquire article from Ted Allen.

As we all know, healthy eating is all about moderation. That is why, when I’m enjoying deep-fried bacon, I limit myself strictly to two slices. Per meal. No exceptions.

That’s right, bacon tempura: the impossible goodness of pork belly made even more impossibly good with a delicate breading and a bath in sizzling-hot canola. This dish, the handiwork of Chef Bill McDaniel, is just one reason the Red Cat is my new favorite restaurant in Manhattan. (This always-packed Chelsea joint has been drawing particular raves lately, and the last two dinners I’ve had there have been my most exciting food experiences of the past year.)

But back to the bacon: “It actually started almost as a lark,” says the Chef. “I was talking with one of our hostesses one day, and she said, “What’s better than bacon?” And I said, joking, ‘I don’t know that there’s anything better than bacon – except, maybe, fried bacon.’ The next morning I walked in and I knew what I wanted to make.”

It’s ridiculous to say, but McDaniel’s decadent approach can be described only as light. It’s fluffy-crispy, probably because he makes the batter with club soda; imagine a perfect French fry with bacon stuffed inside. The two strips rest atop a nutrient-rich salad of grilled corn, sugar snap peas, and chipotle aioli. Says McDaniel: “It was off the menu for a while and people started coming in almost angry that we didn’t have it.” And rightly so!

Chipotle Aioli

2 egg yolks

Juice of 4 limes

4 oz canola oil

1 chipotle chopped very fine

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend yolks and lime juice together in a food processor, slowly add oil until thickened.

Stir in chopped chipotle and salt and pepper.

Bacon Tempura

4 egg whites

3 cups all purpose flour

2 1/3 cups cold club soda

½ gallon canola oil

12 pieces thick-sliced apple wood bacon

Salt to taste

In a large bowl whip egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold into egg whites the flour and the club soda. In a 4-qt. Pot heat oil to 425 degrees. Batter the bacon slices and carefully drop into hot oil a few slices at a time. Do not overcrowd oil as it will overflow and bacon will cook unevenly. Once the bacon is golden brown, remove from oil using a slotted spoon, lightly salt.

Serve 2 slices fried bacon onto of about 2 oz of grilled corn or other seasonal salad garnished with chipotle aioli and 2 lime wedges.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You Can Lick Our Chops, But You Can't Beat Our Meat

This was one of my customers from back in the “old days” when I worked up in the San Francisco East Bay. Kinders, at that time was a second generation family business. Their specialty was the Beef Ball Tip steak. The Ball tip is the cut of meat that sits right up next to the tri tip on the sirloin of the animal. It is a round-ish piece of meat that fits in the divot that you see on the whole sirloin tri tip cut. Back in 95’ when they were my customer they were selling about 125,000/lbs of ball tip a year (or about 2000 cases) from their single location. Dan Kinder, the owner was a bit on the gruff side, it was the kind of account where I would walk in and he would flip the bird at me, we would swear back and forth and then go into his office and do the order underneath a mounted buffalo head.

In around 97or 98 Dan’s ex-wife Paula and his oldest son Justin opened the second store and they are now a franchise with 15 locations.

Dan continues in the biz, and participates regularly in rib cookoffs. One side note of interest, they were the caterers for the Oakland Raiders and fed the team before Super Bowl XXXVII Raiders v Bucs-there is a direct correlation, at least in my mind, between Dan’s BBQ and the Raider’s sluggish play.

Check out the menu here

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sweet Onions

Walla Walla Sweet Onions were a strain of mild onion that was brought from the Mediterranean island of Corsica to the Walla Walla valley in the late 1800s by Peter Pieri, a French soldier. Once they made it to Walla Walla, the onions found enthusiastic support from Italian immigrant farmers of the region who appreciated their exceptionally mild flavor and winter hardiness (the first onion crops are planted in September and harvested the following summer). The onions also benefit from the low-sulfur soil of the area, which helps to keep the onions' pyruvic acid level low, lending them even sweeter taste.

The popularity of the onion has grown to big business, with more than 1,200 acres of the specialty crop being planted annually in the Walla Walla Valley.

In order to protect their unique sweet onion variety, packers applied for and won the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Order in 1995. The order protects Walla Walla Sweet Onions as a unique variety and federally protects the growing area of the Walla Walla Valley in southeast Washington and northeastern Oregon. Sweet onions can be grown just about anywhere, but they can't be called Walla Walla Sweet Onions unless they bear the "Walla Walla Genuine" label.

We are at the end of the fresh harvest Vidalias that run about April though June. Vidalias were the first sweet onions to be promoted and distributed nationally. They first appeared in 1931 when Georgia farmer Mose Coleman discovered that the onions he planted were not hot, as he expected, but actually sweet. Came into its own in the early 1940s, when the F1 Hybrid Yellow Granex was developed. Named for a town in Georgia and grown in 20 specific counties mandated by a Federal Marketing Order.

Also we are at the end of the Imperial Sweet Onion from the desert of ElCentro CA. Grown below sea level in the rich, loamy, desert soil of Southern California's Imperial Valley, where ideal growing conditions produce large, mild, juicy onions. The high moisture and sugar content is the result of the location where they are produced.

In order for an onion to be called a Sweet Imperial, it must be yellow, globe-shaped, and a minimum of 2 1/2 inches in diameter - and be very sweet.

The late Dr. Henry Jones is credited with being the first person to hybridize the flat Bermuda and the top-shaped grano into a new onion he called the Granex. It was a deeper shaped onion, with sweetness, and a longer shelf-life in markets.

When Dr. Jones retired from the USDA, he joined the research staff of a seed company in the Imperial Valley and continued to develop new varieties, many of which are grown today to produce the Sweet Imperial onion.

Not to worry if you miss the freshly harvested sweet onions, storage onions last well into fall to give nearly year round availability.

Other sweet onion growing areas include Texas and Chili.

Golden Herb Crusted Sweet Onion Rings

The Ultimate Onion Rings! These lightly battered rings, seasoned with herbs and Dijon mustard, cook up crisp and golden.
2 sweet onions, about 8 ounces each
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence or Italian herb seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup beer
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Peanut, corn or vegetable oil for frying

Peel sweet onions and cut crosswise into 3/8-inch thick slices; separate into rings. In a medium bowl, combine flour, herbs and seasonings. Gradually stir in beer; add mustard and whisk batter until smooth. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep fat fryer or large kettle to 375 degrees. Dip the rings into the batter, coating well, and allow excess batter to drip back into the bowl. Fry the onion rings in small batches for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Transfer onion rings with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Serve hot.

Confit of Roasted Onions

Thin shavings of sweet onions and bunch onions cook down to a thick marmalade consistency when roasted in the oven with butter, olive oil, and herbs. The resulting confit makes a rustic farmhouse-style spread for sandwiches and burgers or a glaze for other vegetables or meats.
4 large sweet onions (about 4 pounds)
2 cups bunch onions (see note below)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 fresh or dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice away the root and stem end from the sweet onions, then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Trim away the roots from the bunch onions and slice, using all of the bulb and a portion of the green. Heat the butter and oil in a baking pan that is just large enough to hold the sliced onions in a layer about 1 inch deep. Add the onions and toss gently to thoroughly coat each piece. Sprinkle with the salt, sugar, bay leaves, and thyme, and toss again.

Bake in the oven, turning them often, until they are soft and a deep golden brown, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the vinegar a little at a time, until the right level of "zip" is achieved. Pack the onions into dry, clean jars with lids. Store in the refrigerator. The onions will keep for up to 3 weeks.

Yields about 3 half-pints.

Note: Bunch onions are oversized green onions available in the early summer months, especially at farmer's markets.

Adapted from "The Glass Pantry," by Georgeanne Brennan

Monday, June 15, 2009

Alton's Superfood

Executive Chef Steven Alton King produces Alton's Superfood, a high-quality, great tasting, truly effective food-based nutritional supplement. For more information go to www.altonssuperfood.com. For more information about Chef Steven Alton King go to www.stevenaltonking.com.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tonight is the Chateau Julien’s Wine & Cigar Dinner!

Find out the flavors that cigars bring out in your food and wine at Chateau Julien’s Wine & Cigar Dinner. Reception begins at 6:30, dinner begins at 7:30. $100 for club members, $125 for non-members.

In the late 1970's, Bob and Patty Brower set out to fulfill their dream. Originally from the East Coast, they had a passion for wine and admired the French hospitality encountered while traveling in Europe. They saw the potential in Monterey County as a quality wine growing region, and in 1982 began building what is now known as Château Julien Wine Estate in Carmel Valley, California.

The winery's first release came in 1985 with Chardonnay and Merlot from the 1982 vintage. Today, the entire process of wine production takes place on the 16-acre estate, including the aging of nearly 2000 oak barrels of wine. Winemaker Bill Anderson joined the Browers in 1982, and produced the winery's first 100% Merlot with the premier vintage. Bill continues to produce wine at Château Julien Wine Estate, and has played an integral part in establishing Merlot as the winery's flagship varietal.

The French-style Chateau rests on sixteen acres amongst plush vineyards and oak-studded mountains in beautiful Carmel Valley, a short 15 minutes from the Monterey Peninsula. Guests are welcome daily to taste hand-crafted Private Reserve wines, flagship Merlot and limited release Proprietary blends from the soils of Monterey County. A magnificent setting for picnicking on the Garden Cobblestone Courtyard or touring the Estate grounds and winemaking facilities.

Within the Estate there are various venues, each portraying a unique ambiance and atmosphere to capture the essence of every event. Picnic in the Garden Cobblestone Courtyard in the Carmel Valley sun; create a themed event in the winery’s magnificent Chai, home to over 1000 French oak barrels; or host an elegant, formal winemaker’s dinner in the enchanting Great Hall. Chateau Julien limited release wines from the soils of Monterey County will grace the palate as guests stroll through the Estate on a privately guided tour. Each tour is customized to meet individual group needs. In addition to their grand tour of the Estate, they offer several different options for personalized tours, such as grape stomps, cooking demonstrations and team-building activities.

Full details about the Chateau Julien’s Wine & Cigar Dinner are available at their Website.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


To make 2 ½ pounds of dough:

2 cups warm water

1½ - 2 Tablespoons yeast

6 cups bread flour

¼ cup sugar

1 – 1 ½ teaspoons salt (depending on taste)

¼ cup butter

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add remaining ingredients and mix with dough hook about 10 minutes until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Dough should be soft and pliable. Let dough rest a few minutes then divide into 1-pound portions. Roll the portions into logs. Cut each log into 5 equal pieces.

Place your favorite filling on top of each dough slice, then pull dough up from the sides to cover filling. Pinch closed very carefully. Place zombies pinched side down on parchment paper or a greased cookie sheet pan (parchment works best). If desired, brush with egg wash. Let rise until almost doubled in size. Bake @350 degrees until brown on top, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Fillings: use 1 ½ to 2 oz. of cheese per zombie

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

European Kumato Tomato Hits North American Shores

Mastronardi Produce under the SUNSET brand has introduced the European Kumato Tomato, a unique brown variety, to retailers across North America. In spite of an unusual appearance suggesting unripeness, this type of tomato has an intense, savory taste, as well as being juicy with a firm texture, making it a good choice for salads, hors d’oeuvres and many other tomato-based recipes, according to Kingville, Ontario-based Mastronardi, which in addition to gourmet tomatoes, produces peppers and cucumbers. Additionally, the Kumato’s label features a ripeness chart to show customers at what stage of color the tomato is best to be eaten.

Grown near pristine Point Pelee National Park using the state of the art European technology, SUNSET is one of the largest glass and plastic greenhouse operations in the world. Our hydroponic vegetables are grown in a biologically controlled, herbicide-free environment. Bumblebees and ladybugs are just a few of our greenhouse team players.

Check out the history page a www.Mastronardiproduce.com for more about the Mastronardi families long history.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fermentation Fascination

A new wave of interest in fermentation
Traditionally fermented vegetables, including kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles, appeal to healthy eaters and those craving authentic, locally grown foods. "It's kind of magical," one fan says. "You have one thing and expose it to another process -- maybe it's a salt -- and it totally becomes something else." San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chasing Trucks

These US Foodservice trucks can be elusive. When a customer is in a bind and needs product quick and you are on the road trying to find the truck...that is when they hide, like this truck did behind a tree during the ATT Pebble Beach golf tournament.

US Foodservice San Francisco driver of the year Larry King stages a Delivery on the dock at a special event.

Carl Jones, veteran driver at US Foodservice San Francisco just after sunrise-half way through his day, delivering on Cannery Row in Monterey.



Server Dessert Sales Training

Not just during tough economic times, but anytime restaurateurs need to keep their staff motivated to upsell and increase check averages.

Sweet Street Desserts Ready For Tasting

It is a benefit for the business and the server.
Yet as simple as that sounds, we all need to step back and refocus on the basics from time to time.

"Let Them Eat Cake"-The Staff At Old Town Bar And Grill In Salinas Tastes And Rates The Desserts, You Have To Know What You Are Selling

With that in mind Brian Isaeff, Territory Manager for US Foodservice San Francisco and Bill Cox, of Lad Foodservice were on the Central Coast doing server training at some local establishments

According to Bill:

99.3% of patrons frequent an establishment more frequently when highly satisfied.
96.5% of patrons always or will often recommend a restaurant if they are highly satisfied.
40% of patrons say they are more satisfied with their dining experience when they order dessert.

96% of patrons are influenced to buy because their favorite dessert is on the menu
75% of consumers say that the price of desserts does not influence their decision whether or not to order a dessert.

Check out more about dessert sales strategies at Bill's Foodie Blog

About Sweet Street Desserts

Founded in 1979 by Sandy Solmon, Sweet Street Desserts offers more than 100 products each made with only the finest ingredients.

They see their products as an art form, and Chef’s rate them number 1 in both taste and appearance.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chili Mango Jelly Bellys

The popular Latin American flavor combination of mango and spicy chili is now easily available Stateside in Chili Mango Jelly Belly jelly beans from Jelly Belly Candy Co. a natural for today’s adventurous consumers, the new flavor features real cayenne pepper, paprika and mango juice, according to the Fairfield, Calif.-based candy maker. To make room for new official flavors coming out this year the company is retiring some current flavors: Jalapeno is giving way to Chili Mango, while Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly will be replaced by Pomegranate, Sunkist® Lime and Sour Cherry. All of the new flavors are highlighted in the Jelly Belly Menu 2009 edition. For additional information, visit www.JellyBelly.com.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Esselen Indian Skeleton Found Behind Sardine Factory On Monterey's Cannery Row

Skeleton unearthed on Monterey's Cannery Row
Discovery of ancient remains halts excavation
Herald Staff Writer

As soon as construction crew members working next to the Sardine Factory realized they had unearthed human remains, the back hoe was turned off and a call was placed to the Monterey Police Department.

Turns out the skeleton found under the parking lot near Cannery Row was that of a woman, perhaps thousands of years old and probably a member of the Esselen Indian tribe.

The remains were found Wednesday as a ditch was being dug from the parking lot to the back of the restaurant. A skull and about half of a skeleton came up in the back hoe's scoop.

"We immediately stopped the job," said Frank Donangelo, vice president of planning and development for the Cannery Row Company, which owns the property.

After the Police Department received word of the bones, officers blocked off the area and a coroner and pathologist arrived to assess whether a crime had been committed.

After the bones were determined to be ancient and did not need to be investigated as evidence of a crime, a call was made to representatives of the Esselen Nation, which has local ancestral roots.

Morley said she could not estimate how old the remains are, but Indian remains found on the site in the past have been dated from 2,000 to 6,000 years old.

The skeleton found Wednesday was about four feet underground, which is a clue to the age of the bones, Morley said. Sea shells found during the dig a layer above the skeleton are probably 500 to 1,300 years old, she said.

Morley said the land under the parking lot, which is between Foam and Wave streets, was excavated in 1980 and found to be the site of a "major village" from precolonial times.

"When they tore down the houses" that used to stand where the parking lot is, "they found lots of burials," she said.

Read the rest of the story at the Monterey Herald.

Monday, June 1, 2009

National Honey Board Promotion Idea Calendar

National Salad Month. Offer a menu of streamlined salads drizzled with low-fat, honey-based salad dressings. Use the Honey Board's fanciful "I Flip For You Honey" posters and table tents to set the mood for your sensational and slimming salad menu.

Get summer off to a great start with cool honey desserts. Try mixed berry honey pies topped with honey whipped cream. Offer honey shortbread cookies for Father's day.