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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - January 16, 2019

wrinkle crinkle cress

Chefs love Produce Alive products because of their consistent quality, beautiful color and fresh flavor! Produce Alive products are 100% hydroponically grown which allows owner, Eric Powell, to use 90% less water than traditional growing methods in his 4,100 sq. ft. greenhouse. We are proud to offer the following from Produce Alive (Loomis, Placer County, CA):

  • Wrinkle Crinkle Cress (1/2# bag)– broad, spoon-shaped leaves that are wrinkled and ruffled on the edges. Their unique curled leaves add wonderful texture and flavor to salads, soups and sandwiches; also makes delicious vinaigrettes and pesto. Wrinkle Crinkle Cress has a warm, spicy, peppery flavor upfront with a sweet finish.
  • Watercress (1# bag)– a member of the mustard family, Watercress is a succulent, leafy plant with a sweet, spicy flavor and unique peppery taste. Use as part of a vibrant salad, pair with roasted meats, use to accompany salmon, scallops, and shrimp, puree into soups and sauces, use on sandwiches and pizzas. 

**Please note that Wasabi Arugula is gapping until March.**

daikon varieties from ray yeung

Commonly used in Asian dishes, varietal Daikon have become popular in an array of preparations and applications such as stir-frying, pickling, adding to a salad, slaw, stew or soup, slow cooking, roasting with other vegetables, or topping avocado toast. We currently have the following from Ray Yeung (West Sacramento):

  • Daikon Radish (20# case)- grows up to 20” long and 4” in diameter. Daikon has a mildly peppery spice with a crisp and juicy texture.
  • Lobok Daikon Radish (40# case)- ranges from 3-8” in length and 2-4” in diameter, Lobok is shorter and more round than a regular Daikon. Its flavor is a bit sweeter than a regular Daikon with a mild peppery bite. Lobok is also crisp and juicy.
  • Purple Daikon Radish (10# case)- around the same shape and size of Lobok; Purple Daikon has a beautiful inner flesh that is white with stunning starburst splashes of violet matching its purple skin. Its flavor is mildly spicy with a hint of sweetness.

fresh, locally hand-made pasta

Our fresh, handmade pasta is made daily in midtown Sacramento at Paragary Bakery. The bakery uses high quality ingredients like Giusto’s stoneground Duram flour and farm fresh eggs. We offer the following fresh pasta options, available by the pound:

  • Pasta Sheets– made to fit a full-size hotel pan, these sheets are perfect for lasagna. They can also be cut into desired size and shape such as Ravioli, Cannelloni, Tortellini, Agnolotti, and other stuffed pasta. Approximately 2 sheets/pound; $4.95 per pound.
  • Pappardelle- a 1-inch wide, flat ribbon of pasta traditionally used for rich, heavy sauces and ragu of meat and game. $5.75/pound.
  • Tagliolini- long, cylindrical ribbons of pasta best served with smooth, light bodied sauces. $4.95/pound.
  • Fettuccine- a flat, thick noodle, slightly wider than Tagliatelle. Traditionally, fettuccine is served with slow cooked meat or chicken ragu or sugo but also pairs well with cream or butter based sauces. $4.95/pound.

dried egg pasta

We also offer several varieties of dried egg pasta made by Eduardo’s in San Francisco. Their pastas are made with a blend of semolina and wheat flours and local farm eggs. No salt, preservatives or artificial colors are ever added. It is dried very slowly at low temperature to preserve the unique chewy texture and flavor. We offer the following dried egg pastas by the case (12/12oz bags per case):

  • Shells (Conchiglie)- medium in size, the shell shape of the pasta allows the sauce to adhere to it.
  • Penne– a cylinder shaped pasta with angled ends. The hollow center allows it to hold sauce nicely.
  • Fusilli and Tri-Color Fusilli– short cork-screw shaped pasta. Available in plain or tri-color (egg, spinach and beet pastas).
  • Rigatoni– large tube shaped pasta with ridges down the length and square cut edges. Its namesake ridges make better adhesive surfaces for sauces and grated cheese than smooth-sided pasta like Ziti.
  • Spinach Fettuccine– long, flat pasta made with spinach. The thickness of Fettuccine makes it suitable for ragu type dishes and other hearty sauces.

Market Outlook - January 8, 2019

new radicchio rosa

We are excited to introduce a new, locally grown chicory from J. Marchini Farms– Radicchio Rosa. This gorgeous radicchio-rosa-marissa-montoyapink chicory is mild in flavor with sweet, slightly bitter notes. The leaves are delicate and soft, and vary in color from blush pink to light magenta. Use this beautiful chicory to elevate chicory salads, pizzas, pastas, or grill it as an appetizer or side dish. Available in an 8ct case.

Also available from J. Marchini Farms: Radicchio (12ct case) • Castelfranco (12ct case) • Fennel (12ct case) • Treviso (12ct case)

Additional local chicories from California Endive Farm: Belgian Endive (10# case or by the piece) • Red Endive (8# case) • Mixed Endive (12/3ct cello pack case) • Coraline Chicory (3# case)


twin peaks blood oranges

Moro Blood Oranges from Twin Peaks Orchard are now available! Less acidic than other oranges, Blood Oranges have a complex flavor- juicy, sweet/tart and rich with a hint of raspberry. Their unique dark flesh comes from the presence of anthocyanin, a natural pigment common to red fruit and flowers, but usually uncommon to citrus fruits. The level of coloration depends on light, temperature and variety. Available by the 25# case or by the pound.

Also available from Twin Peaks Orchard: Dancy Tangerines (25# case or per pound) • Meyer Lemons (10# case or per pound) • Melogolds (25# case only) • Pummelos (25# case only) • Note: Satsuma Mandarins from Twin Peaks Orchard are done for the season.

Cara Cara Oranges are also available from Central California in a 20# case.

local green garlic & spring onion

Green Garlic is loved by chefs for its light, delicate flavor. It is the same species as regular garlic, but its bulbs have not yet matured into the pungent bulbs of common garlic. Quite sharp when raw, it mellows when cooked and is ideal for infusing sweet garlic flavor into soups, stocks, poaching liquids and broths; blends well with veggies, and makes a great addition to purees and sauces, pasta fillings and risottos. From Riverdog Farm (organic); 10# case or per pound.

Spring Onions  are sweeter and more mellow than regular onions, but the greens are more intense in flavor than scallions. Spring Onions look similar to scallions but they have a small onion bulb at the base that can be red or white, depending on the varietal. They are wonderful grilled, roasted whole, or used like pearl onions. Both White Spring Onions and Red Spring Onions are available from Riverdog Farm (organic) in a 10# case.

heirloom beans

We are proud to offer an extensive variety of locally grown, certified organic dried heirloom beans from Elegant Beans & Beyond. They have been producing beans in our area for over 20 years. Elegant Beans and Beyond has received the Slow Food Sacramento Snail of Approval award for their dedication to promoting good, clean and fair food. Three of their beans (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 Calypso– distinct white & black markings with a nutty, slightly onion flavor and texture that is more crumbly than creamy. Best for baking and soups; simmer slowly so they don’t break.
  • Black Valentine– medium size black bean, turning purple-black when cooked. Meaty texture, nutty flavor; cooks quickly.
  • Christmas Lima– large, flat bicolor-cream bean with dark maroon splotches. They have a buttery texture and chestnut-like flavor.
  • 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.
  • Hidatsa 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 with rich aroma and full flavor. Holds shape under long cooking
  • Pebbles– variety of colors; tender skin and mild flavors make an excellent salad bean
  • Snow Cap– beautiful white and tan coloring; 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.
  • Tarbais– somewhat flat, creamy white bean with a very thin skin; easy to cook and digest. Tarbais can stand up to long cook times; good for French cassoulet. They are low in starch and very tender when cooked. *Please note this season was a very small harvest for Runner Cannellini beans so they will not be available until next harvest in the fall. We are substituting with the Tarbais bean for color/size.*

Market Outlook - December 12, 2018

nicolau farms artisan cheese

The Nicolau family has been making cheese since the early 1900’s in Stanislaus County. Over a century later, nicolau farmstead artisan cheeseWalter Nicolau III continues the tradition by creating delicious farmstead cheese following the same principles as his great grandfather. Their farm is located just outside of Modesto in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Nicolau Farms cheeses begin with quality milk produced from their herd of dairy goats. Nicolau uses an older method of pasteurization that does not impart a cooked flavor on the milk. All of their cheeses are skillfully and delicately handled and cared for on a daily basis. We are proud to offer the following from Nicolau Farms; available in 5# wheels:

  • Black Truffle Casiago– robust flavors of black truffle flow throughout this mixed milk cheese. Distinguishing notes of Italian black truffle combine beautifully with buttery cows milk & rich goats milk in this semi–hard Asiago style cheese aged 45-90 days.
  • Capra Stanislaus– the flagship cheese of Nicolau Farms is firm, dense, and slightly salty with notes of goat’s milk, caramel and a toasted, nutty-olive finish from the sea salt brine. This hard cheese is aged 2-4 months and is the perfect balance of creamy and dry.
  • Quatro Pepe– hard, aged cheese that has a pale ivory body studded with “Quatro” peppercorns- black, white, pink, and green. Notes of sweet and creamy goat milk blend beautifully with burst of intense and savory peppercorns creating the perfect balance of salt and pepper.

perfect puree

Perfect Puree allows chefs and bartenders to use a complete array of handmade purees, concentrates and mixers year round without the added time and cost associated with hand-crafted purees. The Perfect Puree produces fruit purees and blends with ideal consistency and exceptional flavor. Their flavors are made from the finest raw ingredients harvested at the peak of ripeness. The fruit is quickly processed and frozen to retain the highest degree of quality and freshness. Their products are completely smooth in texture and absent of any particles or graininess; ideal for cocktails, marinades and sauces, glazes, salad dressings, vinaigrettes, soups, ice creams & sorbets, custards, candies, tarts, cakes and icings and much more! We offer the following flavors in 30oz jars:

Pomegranate •Passion Fruit •Kiwi • Cherry •Prickly Pear •Apricot • Blood Orange •Cranberry •Key Lime • Mango •Meyer Lemon •Banana • Caramelized Pineapple •Strawberry • Tangerine/Mandarin •Black Currant • Red Raspberry •White Peach •Cherry• Pink Guava •Coconut •Blueberry • Papaya •Tamarind •Green Apple • Lychee •Sir William Pear • Ginger • Marion Blackberry • Chipotle/Sour • El Corazon (passion fruit, blood orange and pomegranate blend) • Red Sangria (berry concentrate blend) • Thai Basil & Black Pepper • Yuzu Luxe Sour (yuzu, lemongrass and kaffir lime blend)

thank you for a great 2018

We had fun and learned a lot on our educational field trips to Premier Mushrooms, Hodo Soy Beanery, Twin Peaks Orchard, Clover Sonoma Dairy, DiNapoli Tomatoes, Barsotti Family Juice Co, Larsen Apple Barn (pictured above), and Produce Alive.



Our Tasting Tuesdays were a great opportunity to learn about and sample a variety of items such as Perfect Puree, Cordillera Chocolate, Local Cheeses, Fresh Pasta, Impossible Burger, seasonal produce, dairy and grains.



Our Summer and Fall Farmer’s Markets were our best ones yet with over 300 local chefs and farmers coming together to enjoy delicious food, celebrate our community and local bounty. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated!

You can find more pictures from tastings, tours and farmer's markets on our Facebook page.



We added several new products to our line-up: Produce Alive local hydro Watercress and Flowering Wasabi Arugula, The Impossible Burger, Sac Sprouts local microgreens, Pure Rice First local Calrose rice, Early Bird Farm Pancake Mix, and Sierra Nevada Hatch Chile Jack Cheese.

If you were not able to make it to an event this year, stay tuned for our 2019 plans! We hope to see you on a tour or at a tasting! Upcoming events can be found on Facebook, Instagram (@producexpress) and our website event page.

We recognize that you have many choices when sourcing produce and we appreciate your continued loyalty and support of Produce Express as your local produce provider, and of all the local farms we work with.

holiday hours

Please note that we will be CLOSED on Tuesday, December 25th for Christmas and Tuesday, January 1st for New Year’s Day. The office will be closing at 2pm on Monday, December 24th and Monday, December 31st. Our answering machine will be in operation throughout the holiday.

SPECIALTY ITEMS: For delivery on Wednesday, December 26, all specialty items should be ordered no later than Wednesday, December 19. For delivery on Wednesday, January 2, all specialty items should be ordered no later than Wednesday, December 26.
PRE-CUT ITEMS: must be ordered by noon on Sunday, December 23 and Sunday, December 30.

The more notice we have increases our ability to locate product. Many items will be scarce due to inventory reductions and freight schedules. Please plan ahead!

From all of us at Produce Express,