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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - January 18, 2018

the flower farm

We now have local Blood Oranges and Meyer Lemons from The Flower Farm, located in Loomis, CA. The Flower Farm was established in 1905 and has been farmed continuously ever since. Originally, the land was a thirty acre plum orchard. Today, The Flower Farm is home to seven acres of mandarins, a wide range of fruit trees, including Blood Oranges, large vegetable gardens and a cutting flower bed. The Flower Farm is also committed to the environment as much of the electricity used on the farm is produced by solar panels, they practice environmentally friendly farming methods and compost daily. 

  • Blood Oranges have the most interesting and complex flavor of any orange. The juice is sweet and rich with a hint of raspberry, and is less acidic than regular oranges. Their distinctive dark flesh color is due to the presence of anthocyanin, a natural pigment common to red fruit and flowers, but usually uncommon to citrus fruits. The degree of coloration depends on light, temperature and variety. Moro and Tarocco are the two varieties of blood oranges found in the market. The Moro variety is more popular as the season is longer and the color more distinctive. Available by the 20# case or by the pound.
  • Meyer Lemons are most likely a cross between a lemon and a mandarin. The Meyer is somewhat smaller than a regular lemon, rounder in shape, with smooth skin and a distinct taste. The flesh is much less acidic making them sweeter than other varieties. The season typically runs from November through April. Available by 10# case or pound.

Enjoy the harvest from The Flower Farm!

portabella mushroom
chef challenge

Produce Express is teaming up with Premier Mushrooms to make 2018 the year of the Portabella, but we need your help! Premier Mushrooms will supply the Portabellas, and all you have to do is (1) create a dish, (2) post a picture of your creation on social media, (3) tag @producexpress (4) challenge another local chef. We will kick off the challenge with those who attend our Premier Mushrooms field trip on Monday, January 22 (8:15am to 1:30pm). For more information or to reserve your seat for the trip, please contact sales at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call/text (916) 956-5536.

Premier Mushrooms, located in Colusa, CA, is our source for the following:

  • Portabella- solid texture and rich, meaty flavor. Usually 4-6 inches across the cap, these are basically overgrown criminis. Sold by the pound.
  • Crimini– brown mushroom with solid texture and full flavor. Available whole by the pound, or sliced in a 10# case.
  • White– most familiar and widely used mushroom. Medium, Button, or Large by the pound; Open and Jumbo- 10# case; Thick Sliced- 5# case; Thin Sliced– 10# case.

 elegant beans and 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, and 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 or 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– varying colors ranging from white to black. Their tender skin and mild flavors make them an excellent salad bean.
  • Pigeon Peas– small bean, beige in color with brown speckles, and sweet flavor. Used often in Caribbean countries.
  • 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 creamy texture and distinct flavor. They are 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.