Winter weather, place of origin and the simple rules of supply and demand combine to create rapidly changing scenarios that result in quality issues as well as price increases to many produce staples at this time of year. The annual produce transition that occurs in the weeks following Thanksgiving saw a series of weather related events that are influencing the current status of a variety of vegetables. Initially, warm weather in Yuma, Arizona and Northern Mexico allowed for successful planting of crops-to the point that several crops arrived ahead of schedule. Lower temperatures then slowed down field growth and created the first 'gaps' of the season. Now, frost and freeze has extended the gaps, resulting in a lack of supply and subsequent higher prices. Note-While frost conditions usually damage certain delicate vegetables, the same cannot be said for the current artichoke crop. Artichokes are harvested 'frost-kissed' at this time of year. Frost causes the outer leaves of the artichoke to turn brown. While the brownish color may not look appealing, frost intensifies and enhances the overall flavor of the artichoke. Once cooked, this color disappears, resulting in a delicious green artichoke. Please read the Market Movers section on the back page for information regarding crops on the rise.
Produce Express offers handmade ravioli from Sacramento's Getsala Pasta Company. Each of the five fillings are made from scratch using fresh, seasonal produce. 5# box of frozen ravioli-$34.75. Vierra Farms Butternut Squash Ravioli-A rich, smooth filling of roasted butternut squash, whole milk ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, & a touch of nutmeg. Spinach and Ricotta-An Italian classic. A creamy blend of fresh spinach, whole milk ricotta, Parmesan, and garlic. Portabella Mushroom-Local Portabella mushrooms are first caramelized then deglazed with white wine and combined with whole milk ricotta, garlic and fresh herbs to create an intense mushroom flavor. Sundried Tomato-Chunky sundried tomatoes, fresh thyme, virgin olive oil and garlic are blended together to create a lively ravioli. Green Olive Arrabiatta-A unique blend of Castelvetrano olives and Calabrian Chile peppers creates an excellent filling with soft lingering heat at the finish.