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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - September 5, 2018

california olive ranch

For over a decade, California Olive Ranch olive oils have been used by award winning chefs at some of the best restaurants across the United States. California Olive Ranch understands that chefs want high quality olive oil made from sustainably grown ingredients. The oils have been certified as Extra Virgin by the California Olive Council. The oils are packaged in a ‘bag in a box’ protecting the oil from both sunlight and heat, either of which can quickly turn a good olive oil into a rancid one. We are proud to offer the following extra virgin olive oils and blends:

  • 50/50 Canola/EVOO Blend– made with a 50/50 blend of Canola and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it is milder in flavor and lighter in color than pure olive oils. It is ideal for high-heat cooking and is great for recipes that require a light taste profile. 5 gallon box.
  • 80/20 Chef’s Blend– an all-purpose blend of 80% non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil and 20% extra virgin olive oil. Versatile for most any cooking application, a mild and buttery blend with light hints of fresh olive flavor. 5 gallon box.
  • COR Blend Extra Virgin (aka Everyday EVOO)- blend of Arbequina and Arbosana with mild fruitiness and slight pungency. It has a high smoke point for versatile use. 2.5 gallon box.
  • Arbequina– high fruitiness, less pungency, very pleasing clean taste; flavors of tropical fruit and fresh artichoke. Great for use in “strong” pestos, and works well for vinaigrettes and finishings. 2.5 gallon box.

cowgirl creamery pierce pt.

Cowgirl Creamery cheeses are recognized and loved by chefs and consumers alike for their unique flavor profiles and high quality ingredients. One reason that Cowgirl Creamery cheeses are so special and delicious is that each cheese starts with milk made from only one source creating distinct flavors that can’t be created anywhere else. In addition to their flagship cheeses, Mt. Tam and Red Hawk, we are pleased to offer their seasonal cheese– Pierce Pt. The rich, bloomy rind is dusted with a gorgeous mix of field flowers, chamomile, calendula, and Thai basil. Pierce Pt. is herbal and savory with tangy notes; semi-soft and creamy texture; sold by the 8oz piece. Pierce Pt. makes a beautiful addition to cheese boards, or combine with Mt. Tam to elevate grilled cheese sandwiches.

 

 cheese tasting & More 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.

  • Tasting Tuesday featuring Local Specialty Cheeses & Paragary Pasta– Tuesday, September 11 • 10am-1pm: we will have cheese reps here from Nicolau Farms, Fiscalini Farmstead, Orland Farms Creamery, Sierra Nevada Cheese Co., Laura Chenel, Marin French, Cowgirl Creamery and more. We will also have Laurel with Paragary Bakery here cooking up their fresh pasta with cheese from Nicolau Farms. Join us and find the perfect cheese for your next banquet or cheese board. There will also be an awesome free raffle giveaway!
  • Apple Hill Tour with Barsotti Juice Co., Larsen Apple Barn, and Mai Farms– 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, explore the orchards at Larsen Apple BarnWe will meet at Produce Express at 8AM and return by around 3PM. Transportation and lunch is 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).

Market Outlook - August 29, 2018

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. The land has been owned and operated by the Elliot family since 1860. The Elliotts take pride in producing some of the most flavorful pears, and they grow, pack, and ship on site to ensure the highest quality standards. We are pleased to offer the following varieties:

  • Delta Bartletts- sweet and juicy with buttery flesh and distinct aroma. Their wonderful flavor and smooth texture make Bartletts a wonderful addition to salads, pizzas, jams, pies and galettes, or simply add to a cheese board. 40# case, piece, or pound.
  • Red Bartlett– same characteristics as the Bartlett but with beautiful red skin. 20# case, piece or pound.
  • Bosc– one of the most useful varieties for cooking. 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- its very juicy, creamy flesh has an aroma reminiscent of wine and is one of the sweetest and juiciest pear varieties. 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. Skin does not change color but softens around the stem when ripe. Great served with cheese or baked into tarts. 20# case only.

Local asian pears

Resembling a cross between a pear and an apple, Asian pears are firm, crunchy, and very juicy with flavor ranging from tart to sweet depending on the variety. This week, we are excited to offer the Hosui variety from Twin Peaks Orchard, located in Newcastle, CA. Hosui means “abundant juice”- a characteristic that contributes to the Hosui being the leading Asian pear variety in California. It is large and round with brown skin, rich and sweet flavor, and an aroma similar to brandy. Asian Pears have an excellent shelf life, keeping up to a month when refrigerated properly. Asian Pears may be enjoyed peeled or unpeeled, and make an excellent addition to salads and pizzas, and are delicious blended into sauces and dressing, baked, poached, and more!

 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.

  • Tasting Tuesday featuring Local Specialty Cheeses & Paragary Pasta– Tuesday, September 11 • 10am-1pm: we will have cheese reps here from Nicolau Farms, Fiscalini Farmstead, Orland Farms Creamery, Sierra Nevada Cheese Co. and more. We will also have Laurel with Paragary Bakery here cooking up their fresh pasta with cheese from Nicolau Farms. Join us and find the perfect cheese for your next banquet or cheese board. There will also be an awesome free raffle giveaway!
  • Apple Hill Tour with Barsotti Juice Co., Larsen Apple Barn, and Mai Farms– 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, explore the orchards at Larsen Apple Barn, and learn about Mai Farm- a new farm we are partnering with for a variety of crops. We will meet at Produce Express at 8AM and return by around 3PM. Transportation and lunch is provided.
  • Placer Grown Tour with Twin Peaks Orchard, Stone’s Throw Farm, & Produce Alive– Wednesday, October 17 • 8:30am-2:30pm: join us to explore Twin Peaks and learn about their citrus trees, plus we will check out the gorgeous flowers at Stone’s Throw 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!

Market Outlook - August 23, 2018

local summer produce

We have reached the time of year when local produce is at its peak, both in abundance and variety. Below is a summary of current locallocal-cucumbers-peppers-eggplant-jimmy nardellos-squash-summer-produce farm availability and forecasts to help our chefs with menu planning:

  • Corn– outstanding yellow and white Brentwood corn available from Dwelley Farms & Dixon Ridge.
  • Cucumbers– mixed toy box available from Del Rio Botanical in a 10# box. Perfect for cocktails or adding an extra crunch to salads.
  • Melons– varieties include Twice as Nice, Crème de la Crème, and Diplomat; available in a mixed case or as individual varieties. The season is starting to wind down; we expect availability through the end of August/beginning of September.
  • Eggplants– this late summer crop is thriving; organic from Riverdog Farm. Available in a mixed case, or single varieties include Listada di Gianda and Graffiti.
  • Figs– the second crop of figs are available from Windmill Farms and includes Candy/Tiger Striped, as well as Kadota, Violetta, and Black Mission in 12 pint cases.
  • Fresh Beans– Bluelakes, French, Romano, and Yellow Wax continue to impress from Dwelley Farms. Cranberry beans available but limited.
  • Nectarines– yellow and white available from J&J Ramos; Twin Peaks Orchard white nectarines are done for the season. We are hoping for one more crop of Twin Peaks yellow nectarines in a couple weeks.
  • Peaches– Twin Peaks Orchard is winding down and will be done after this week. We will source additional fruit from J&J Ramos.
  • Pears– Delta Bartlett, Red Bartlett/Stark Crimson, and Bosc available from Stillwater Orchard. We are hoping to have Comice and Seckle available in the next week or two.
  • Peppers– Padron, Gypsy, and Jimmy Nardellos from Riverdog and Hatch Peppers from Del Rio Botanical; should be available through mid September.
  • Plums & Pluots– plums are available from J&J Ramos. Pluots are coming from Dwelley Farms & J&J Ramos.
  • Squash– excellent quality from Castaneda Bros.; varieties include Italian Squash, Yellow, Gold Bar, Sunburst, Ronde Nice, and Summer; available as a mixed toy box or individual variety. We also have Baby and Teenage Squash from Del Rio.
  • Tomatoes– continue to impress from Uncle Ray Yeung; see website for available heirloom varieties. Cherry tomatoes also outstanding.

New & Local

We are proud to partner with a few new local farms to offer our chefs a variety of exciting new items. The following are new items thatedible-flowers-marigold-calendula-sweet william-snap dragon-dahlia chefs have been raving about:

  • Flowering Wasabi Arugula (Produce Alive, Loomis)- less peppery, yet spicier, than standard arugula with an almost sweet finish. Hydroponically grown; 1/2 pound bag.\
  • Hydro Mixed Lettuce (Produce Alive)– red and green butter lettuce in 24ct case. Chefs love that this product is available year round from a local source with consistent quality. The color of the leaves are vibrant and the flavor is mildly sweet.
  • Hydro Watercress (Produce Alive)- the perfect balance of sweetness with a hint of spice; perfect atop sandwiches, salads and soups, blended into sauces, paired with meat or seafood and more! 1# bag.
  • Local Edible Flowers (Stone’s Throw Farm, Colfax)- blossoms sold by the individual variety in a 2oz clamshell; varieties include Marigold, Calendula, Sweet William, Snap Dragon, and Dahlia. They are unwashed to allow for ultimate freshness.

Scroll down for details on an upcoming tour of Stone’s Throw and Produce Alive. Save the date!

cowgirl creamery

One of the reasons that cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery are so special and delicious is that each cheese starts with milk made from only one source, creating unique flavor profiles that cannot be created anywhere else. Cowgirl Creamery was founded by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith in 1997. Two decades later, they’ve earned dozens of awards and have produced over 2,000 tons of cheese loved by chefs and consumers alike.

  • Red Hawk– cannot be made anywhere else because the wild bacteria that defines this bold, sumptuous cheese are native to Point Reyes. Red Hawk is aged four weeks and washed with a brine solution that creates the sunset red-orange rind. Its flavor is rich and smooth, complemented by pungent aromas. It is heavily allocated with limited pieces produced. 8oz piece.
  • Mt. Tam– an elegant triple cream cheese has the delectable flavor of cultured butter with hints of white mushroom. Mt. Tam starts with milk from Straus Family Creamery. Available by the 8oz piece.

 upcoming events

  • Tasting Tuesday featuring Local Specialty Cheeses & Paragary Pasta– Tuesday, September 11 • 10am-1pm: we will have cheese reps here from Nicolau Farms, Fiscalini Farmstead, Orland Farms Creamery, Sierra Nevada Cheese Co. and more. We will also have Laurel with Paragary Bakery here cooking up their fresh pasta with cheese from Nicolau Farms. Join us and find the perfect cheese for your next banquet or cheese board.
  • Placer Grown Tour with Twin Peaks Orchard, Stone’s Throw Farm, & Produce Alive– Wednesday, October 17 • 8:30am-2:30pm: join us to explore Twin Peaks and learn about their citrus trees, plus we will check out the gorgeous flowers at Stone’s Throw 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!