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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - October 4, 2018

fully belly farm

Full Belly Farm is a certified organic farm that grows over 80 different crops year-round. The farm was established in 1985 in the beautiful and fertile Capay Valley by the Muller family and their partners. The following “fall” items are just starting and will have limited availability until the season progresses.

  • Dino/Lacinato Kale– an Italian heirloom variety of kale with dark green leaves that are heavily crinkled. It has a strong flavor that is rich, sweet and earthy. Young, tender leaves are best sautéed quickly. The larger leaves make great additions to soups and braises, and do well in a long, slow cooking process. Sold by the 12ct case only.
  • Collard Greens– leathery green leaves with a very mild, almost smoky flavor. Collard Greens are best when slow cooked by braising or steaming and pair well with bacon or ham. Their sturdy texture also makes great wraps for stuffing. Sold by the bunch or a 12-bunch case.
  • Green Chard– a hearty green with wavy, ruffled, dark green leaves growing from a pale white rib. Both the leaves and ribs can be eaten. Chard can be blanched, braised, sautéed or steamed and makes an excellent addition to soups. The bitterness fades as it is cooked. Sold by the bunch or a 12 bunch case.

new from SIERRA NEVADA CHEESE CO.

We are excited to offer the following new items from Sierra Nevada Cheese Company:

  • Hatch Chile Jack– ultra creamy and smooth texture that melts beautifully with a pleasantly mild taste. Full of flavor without the spice! This would be a great cheese for chile con queso, chile rellenos, sandwiches, burgers, and more! Available in a 5# block.
  • Crème Fraiche– made from local cream, rich in fat (about 40%), and cultured to a slightly nutty, tangy/tart flavor. Its texture is thick and silky. Unlike sour cream, crème fraiche does well with heat and cooking thanks to its higher fat content. It will not curdle, but it will melt making it ideal for soups, sauces and simmers. Spoon it in place of whipped cream over fruit, pies, pudding, or bake into desserts. Available by the quart.

We also offer a variety of exceptional cheeses from Sierra Nevada Cheese Co.: Aged Goat Cheddar, Organic White Cheddar Cheese, Chevre, Gina Marie Cream Cheese, Feta, Organic Smokehouse Jack, and Habanero Jack.

ELEGANT BEANS & BEYOND

Elegant Beans and Beyond has been producing certified organic heirloom dried beans in our area for over 20 years. We were saddened late last year to hear that the founder, Chip Morris, passed away suddenly. The company continues to be operated by his wife, Bobbie, and a staff of loyal employees. Elegant Beans and Beyond recently received the Slow Food Sacramento Snail of Approval award for their dedication to promoting good, clean and fair food. Three of the beans Chip grows (Jacobs Cattle, Christmas Lima & Hidatsu Red) have been placed on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste, a catalogue of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. The individual varieties vary in size, shape, color and texture. The following varieties are available in 5# bags:

  • Black Valentine– medium size black bean, turning purple-black when cooked. Meaty texture, nutty flavor, cooks quickly.
  • Green Black-Eyed Peas– small, light green bean with distinctive black mark at sprouting point. Earthy sweet flavor & buttery texture. Used often in Caribbean/African cooking.
  • Green Flageolet– small pale green bean used often in French cooking. Holds shape well when cooked.
  • Hisatsu Red– a Native American bean originally from North Dakota. Nutty flavor, dark red color, medium size, and similar in texture to kidney beans.
  • Jacob’s Cattle– plum, white and red speckled, kidney shaped bean. Full flavored with rich aroma. Holds shape under long cooking.
  • Pebbles– colors ranging from white to black. Tender skin and mild flavors make an excellent salad bean.
  • Runner Cannellini– large, flat white bean, popular in Italian and Greek cuisines. Very smooth texture, full body, and nutty flavor.
  • Snow Cap– beautiful bean with white and tan coloring and creamy texture. These beautiful beans retain markings after cooking.
  • Sunset Runner– medium size purple and black bean with a creamy texture & distinct flavor. Excellent when used as a baked bean.
  • Christmas Lima– large, flat bean, bicolor-cream with dark maroon splotches. They have a buttery texture and chestnut-like flavor.
  • Black Calypso– distinct white & black markings with a delightful nutty, slightly onion flavor and texture that is more crumbly than creamy. Best for baking and soups; simmer slowly so they don’t break.

FALL DECORATIVE ITEMS NOW AVAILABLE!

Pumpkins, Ghourds, and Indian Corn are here! Call the office for details and pricing!

upcoming events

In order to further strengthen the partnership between our restaurants and farmers, we host a variety of seasonal tours and tastings that are open to anyone working in the restaurant industry. We highly encourage chefs and back of the house team members to attend for a fun way to learn more and get your team excited about seasonal items, meet the farmers and learn about their history and growing processes, be inspired by your fellow chefs and restaurateurs, and do some R&D courtesy of Produce Express. No reservations required for the tastings; just show up and enjoy! If you are interested in attending a tour, or participating in the fall farmer's market, please RSVP to your sales rep, or Marissa with inside sales at (916)956-5536/email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please spread the word to your team and industry friends.

  • Placer Grown Tour with Twin Peaks Orchard & Produce Alive– Monday, October 15 • 8am-2:30pm: join us to explore the citrus trees at Twin Peaks and learn about the hydroponic growing system at Produce Alive.
  • Fall Farmer’s Market– Wednesday, November 7 • 10am-1pm: don’t miss the fun! Save the date on your calendar now! Want to participate as a featured restaurant? Contact your sales rep, or Marissa with inside sales (see contact info above).

Market Outlook - September 27, 2018

local winter/hard squash

“Uncle” Ray Yeung is well known for his delicious & beautiful heirloom tomatoes, but he is also a master at growing several wonderful varieties of winter/hard squash. We are pleased to offer the following:

  • Red Kuri Squash– thick-skinned orange colored squash with firm flesh and a very delicate, mellow flavor similar to the taste of chestnuts. Red Kuri can be baked, braised, pureed, or used as a base for soup. Available by 35# case only.
  • Delicata Squash– appealing to use because of its creamy and delicious flavor, as well as its smaller size, thin/edible skin, and shape which holds well when cooked. Delicata is a great choice for stuffing and baking, braising, adding to soups and purees, or sliced into rings and roasted with oil and herbs. Available by the 35# case only.
  • Kabocha Squash– its rich, sweetness combines the flavors of sweet potato and pumpkin; pairs well with Asian spices and is delicious in soups, stews, risotto, farro, pasta, or tempura. When cooked, the deep yellow/orange pulp is tender, finely grained, and somewhat dry. 35# case or piece.
  • Butternut Squash– its sweet, nutty, orange flesh has a familiar pumpkin flavor and creamy texture. Its small seed cavity results in high yield/little waste. Sold by 35# case or piece.
  • Spaghetti Squash– known for its yellow flesh that separates into long, translucent strings resembling spaghetti when cooked. Enjoy as a substitute for spaghetti or bake into a gratin. Available by the 35# case or piece.
  • Acorn Squash– dark green, hard skin with yellow/orange flesh; sweet in flavor with a dry texture. Bake, roast, or puree into soup, stew, risotto, and more. 35# case or piece.

new from early bird farm

We now offer Pancake Mix and Alpowa Soft White Wheat Flour from Early Bird Farms located in Nevada City! Early Bird Farm mills several varieties of grains which are organically grown using non-GMO seeds at Pleasant Grove Farm in Wheatland. The grains are milled in Nevada City by owner/operator Drew Speroni. Early Bird flours differ in flavor and texture from conventional all-purpose flours. We are pleased to offer the following:

  • Pancake & Waffle Mix– made from 100% hard red spring wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and a minimum amount of sugar. 10#, $39.75.
  • Alpowa Soft White Wheat Flour- fine white flour with a nutty taste; perfect for pastries, quick breads and flat breads. 10#, $18.50.
  • Hard Red Spring Wheat Flour- high protein content and a rich, yeasty aroma with whole wheat flavor; use for risen breads, muffins, and more. 10#, $18.50.
  • White Corn Polenta– ground from organic corn; use to make traditional polenta or hominy grits. It must be kept refrigerated to preserve the flavor. 10#, $18.50.

mutsu & jonagold apples

Last week we introduced the first three varieties of local apples to arrive from Larsen Apple Barn– Gala, Golden Delicious, and Jonathan. We are pleased to announce that we have Mutsu and Jonagold apples available now as well! Larsen Apple Barn was founded in the 1860’s in Camino, CA by the Larsen family and continues to be the oldest, continuously family-owned farm in Apple Hill.

  • Mutsu– beautiful green skin with some light red blush; sweet and spicy flesh that is juicy and crisp. Mutsu apples hold their shape very well when cooked which makes them excellent for roasting, baking, pies, and sauces; also delicious when eating raw on a cheese board or in a salad. Available by the 40# case only.
  • Jonagold– a cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious with a wonderfully balanced sweet/tart flavor and crisp, juicy flesh. Large in size, its skin can vary in color but is typically greenish yellow with red striping. Jonagold apples are a popular dessert apple but they also compliment savory applications as well; delicious when baked into tarts, pies, muffins, used in sauces and jams, or adding texture and sweetness to sandwiches, pizzas, and cheese boards. Available by the 40# case only.

delta pears

While pears are harvested in late summer, the best and most popular time to use them is in the fall months when they have had time to ripen to perfection. We are pleased to offer the following varieties from Stillwater Orchard (Sacramento Delta):

  • Delta Bartlett- sweet and juicy with buttery flesh. Their flavor and smooth texture make Bartlett pears a great addition to salads, pizzas, jams, pies and galettes, or simply add to a cheese board. 40# case, piece, or pound.
  • Red Stark Crimson– similar to a Bartlett but with beautiful red skin. 20# case, piece or pound.
  • Bosc– great for a variety of applications. A ripe Bosc will still be firm and dense with tender, sweet honey flesh that is rich and aromatic. 40# case, pound, or piece.
  • Comice– one of the sweetest and juiciest varieties with creamy flesh and an aroma reminiscent of wine. 20# case.
  • French Butter- juicy, buttery flesh with hints of lemon; a great baking pear. 20# case only.
  • Seckel- an excellent dessert pear, small in size but big on sweetness. Great served with cheese or baked into tarts. 20# case only.

  upcoming events

In order to further strengthen the partnership between our restaurants and farmers, we host a variety of seasonal tours and tastings that are open to anyone working in the restaurant industry. We highly encourage chefs and back of the house team members to attend for a fun way to learn more and get your team excited about seasonal items, meet the farmers and learn about their history and growing processes, be inspired by your fellow chefs and restaurateurs, and do some R&D courtesy of Produce Express. No reservations required for the tastings; just show up and enjoy! If you are interested in attending a tour, or participating in the fall farmer's market, please RSVP to your sales rep, or Marissa with inside sales at (916)956-5536/email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please spread the word to your team and industry friends.

  • Placer Grown Tour with Twin Peaks Orchard & Produce Alive– Wednesday, October 17 • 8:30am-2:30pm: join us to explore the citrus trees at Twin Peaks and learn about the hydroponic growing system at Produce Alive.
  • Fall Farmer’s Market– Wednesday, November 7: don’t miss the fun! Save the date on your calendar now! Want to participate as a featured restaurant? Contact your sales rep, or Marissa with inside sales (see contact info above).

Market Outlook - September 20, 2018

local apples

The first varieties of local apples have arrived! Our local apples come from Larsen Apple Barn in Camino, CA– a region nicknamed Apple Hill and known for its rich soil and crisp mountain climate. Larsen Apple Barn was founded in the 1860’s by the Larsen family and continues to be the oldest, continuously family-owned farm in Apple Hill. We are pleased to offer the following with more varieties to follow as the season progresses:

  • Gala– red skin over a pale yellow background and creamy flesh that is yellow and crisp. Galas are mildly sweet in flavor and are best for salads, eating raw, or used for applesauce; not the best for baking. Available in a 10# case or 40# case.
  • Golden Delicious- a versatile apple that is great for multiple uses, especially for cooking and baking into tarts or pies. Its balanced sweetness and acidity makes for a great pairing with savory items, as well as being excellent in salads or applesauce. Available in a 40# case only.
  • Jonathan– a medium-sized sweet apple that is firm with smooth, thin red skin with blushes of yellow and green. While they are sweet, Jonathan apples tend to have a slight tartness and hints of spice. They are delicious with both sweet and savory applications. Available in a 40# case only.

stillwater orchard delta pears

Stillwater Orchards is located next to the Sacramento River in the town of Courtland– an area known to produce some of the best pears in the world. We are pleased to offer the following varieties:

  • Delta Bartlett- sweet and juicy with buttery flesh. Their flavor and smooth texture make Bartlett pears a great addition to salads, pizzas, jams, pies and galettes, or simply add to a cheese board. 40# case, piece, or pound.
  • Red Star Crimson– similar to a Bartlett but with beautiful red skin. 20# case, piece or pound.
  • Bosc– great for a variety of applications. A ripe Bosc will still be firm and dense with tender, sweet honey flesh that is rich andaromatic. 40# case, pound, or piece.
  • Comice– one of the sweetest and juiciest varieties with creamy flesh and an aroma reminiscent of wine. 20# case. 
  • French Butter- juicy, buttery flesh with hints of lemon; a great baking pear. 20# case only. 
  • Seckel- an excellent dessert pear, small in size but big on sweetness. Great served with cheese or baked into tarts. 20# case only.

point reyes farmstead cheese co.

At Point Reyes, every stage of the cheese making process is managed on the farm; from birthing, raising, and milking the cows to aging the cheese. Bob and Dean Giacomini purchased the dairy farm on Tomales Bay in 1959 because of the land’s lush rye grass and crisp, pristine air. By the mid-1990’s, they had earned a reputation for producing very high quality milk. Eventually, the next generation of Giacomini’s decided to transition the family business from a dairy to an artisan farmstead cheese making facility. The first wheels of Original Blue (California’s only classic style blue cheese) were introduced in August of 2000 and the rest is history. We are pleased to offer the following cheeses from Point Reyes:

  • Original Blue creamy texture and bold flavor, with hints of sweet milk, a peppery finish, and medium-strong blue flavor. Original Blue is wonderful as a stand-alone table cheese, for topping salads, melting onto burgers and steaks, mixing into pastas, and so much more. Rindless; aged 3.5 months. Available in a 6.5# wheel.
  • Bay Blue– a rustic style blue cheese, reminiscent of Stilton; known for its mellow flavor and sweet, salted caramel finish. Its texture is almost fudge-like with a beautiful natural rind; aged 90 days. Bay Blue makes a delicious after-dinner cheese, especially when paired with a glass of Vintage Port or Barrel-Aged Scotch. Available in a 6# wheel.
  • Toma– a semi-hard table cheese that is perfect for any occasion and a variety of dishes. It has a creamy, buttery flavor and texture with a grassy tangy finish. Toma is a great melting cheese; perfect for pasta, risotto, sandwiches, burgers, vegetables, soups, and more. It also balances out a hop-heavy beer beautifully! Available in a 10# wheel.

  upcoming events

In order to further strengthen the partnership between our restaurants and farmers, we host a variety of seasonal tours and tastings that are open to anyone working in the restaurant industry. We highly encourage chefs and back of the house team members to attend for a fun way to learn more and get your team excited about seasonal items, meet the farmers and learn about their history and growing processes, be inspired by your fellow chefs and restaurateurs, and do some R&D courtesy of Produce Express. No reservations required for the tastings; just show up and enjoy! If you are interested in attending a tour, please RSVP to your sales rep, or Marissa with inside sales at (916)956-5536/email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please spread the word to your team and industry friends.

  • Apple Hill Tour with Barsotti Juice Co., Larsen Apple Barn– Monday, September 24 • 8am-3pm: Our local apple season is almost here! Join us for an exciting tour up to Apple Hill to see the bottling process at Barsotti Juice and explore the orchards at Larsen Apple Barn. We will meet at Produce Express at 8AM and return by around 3PM. Transportation and lunch from Poor Red's will be provided.
  • Placer Grown Tour with Twin Peaks Orchard & Produce Alive– Wednesday, October 17 • 8:30am-2:30pm: join us to explore the citrus trees at Twin Peaks and learn about the hydroponic growing system at Produce Alive. Please RSVP to your sales rep or Marissa with inside sales at (916)956-5536/email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Fall Farmer’s Market– Wednesday, November 7: don’t miss the fun! Save the date on your calendar now! Want to participate as a featured restaurant? Contact your sales rep, or Marissa with inside sales (see contact info above).