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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - December 1, 2016

coraline chicory

coraline chicoryRich Collins of California Endive Farms has introduced a new product-Coraline Chicory. Coraline looks like a cross between Belgian Endive and Frisee. It has a delicate sweet flavor, and a truly unique appearance. 3# case contains 25-30 pieces 6-8 inches in length. $26.75. Belgian Endive (on-deev) is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole, frisee and curly endive. It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness—great served raw or cooked. Belgian Endive is one of the most difficult vegetables in the world to grow, requiring a two-step growing process before it is ready to be enjoyed. The first growth takes about 150 days in the field, where the chicory grows from seed into a leafy green plant with a deep tap root.

At harvest, tops of the leafy chicory plant are cut off, the roots dug up, and then placed in cold storage where they enter a dormancy period. As demand necessitates, roots are removed from cold storage for their second growth, which takes 28 days in dark, cool, humid forcing rooms, similar to a mushroom growing facility. The control over the initiation of this second growing process allows for the year-round production of Belgian Endive. Today, California Endive Farms, located in Rio Vista, remains the largest American producer and a leading worldwide innovator in improving the complex process of growing high quality endives.

We offer the following:

  • Belgian Endive-Ivory-white head with pale yellow-edged, closely wrapped leaves, a mildly bitter flavor and tender juicy texture. 10# case $28.75 or by the piece.
  • Red Endive-A cross between white endive and Treviso with closely wrapped leaves, a mildly bitter flavor and tender juicy texture. 8# case $45.75.
  • Mixed Endive-Belgian and Red Endive. 8# case $38.75.

penna olives

We are currently stocking a variety of olives from M&CP Farms (Maurice & Cindy Penna) Farm located in Orland in the Northern Sacramento Valley. The most popular varieties are their signature California Mixed Olive 10# $31.75, and Harvest Blend Pitted Mixed Olive consisting of Sevillano, Mission, Manzanita, and Picholine. 8# $30.75. In addition we also stock the following: Pitted Kalamon (Kalamata)-Large size, purple black olive, rich and fruity in flavor. 2/4# bags $39.75. Lucques-Crescent shaped green olives with firm meaty texture (with pit). 2/5# bags in brine. $44.75. Pitted Sicilian (Sevillano)-Large meaty green olive with mild fruity flavor. Pairs well with sheep and goat milk cheeses. 2/5# bags in brine. $33.75. Italian Deli Mix-A blend of pitted olives with pearl onions and peppers; mildly spicy. 2/5# bags in brine $34.75. Olives are an important agricultural crop in this area. Maurice Penna is a recognized authority on olives and is responsible for all phases of olive production for the family owned business.

twin peaks orchard

This week we are featuring three highly anticipated local crops-Amagaki Persimmons, Satsuma Mandarins, and Meyer Lemons from Twins Peaks Orchard (Newcastle, CA). Twin Peaks is a fifth generation family farm and was established in 1912. Amagaki Persimmons are a unique persimmon with many distinct and individual qualities. Sweet, crisp or creamy, hints of cinnamon and cocoa. Some will be golden fleshed with brown flecks others dark, rich chocolaty brown that contribute both to the flavor and to the marketing of this fruit as ‘Cinnamon Persimmons’. Single Layer Flat. $21.75. Satsuma Mandarins are a seedless, easy to peel mandarin with rich, tart-sweet flavor. Satsuma Mandarins thrive in the foothills of Placer County as both elevation and the pattern of cool nights contribute to a healthy crop. Mandarin trees produce a heavy crop every other year and growers are expecting an excellent yield this year with one mature mandarin tree producing up to 300 pounds of fruit. The first delivery of mandarins reveals an already ripe, sweet piece of fruit and mandarins should remain available from now until early January. 25# case $30.75 and available 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 as the flesh is much less acidic making them sweeter than other varieties. The season runs from November through April and is off to an excellent start. 10# case $19.75 and available by the pound.

Enjoy the harvest!