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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - April 5, 2012

Looseleaf Lettuce

Looseleaf types lettuces are the principal variety used in Spring Mix and, when left in the field a little longer form individual heads and the growers can pack a box of 'Mixed Baby Lettuces'.

Mixed Baby Lettuces

mixed-baby-lettuceLettuces are generally divided into four categories: Crisphead, such as Iceberg; Butterheads; also called Bibb Lettuce; Cos or Romaine; and, Looseleaf. It is the Looseleaf varieties that are of interest this week as they are the principal components of Mixed Baby Lettuces. The leaves are more full flavored than head type lettuces, though more perishable. The leaves are often fully indented, like the Oakleaf types, or frilly, like Lolla Rossa. Mixed Baby Lettuces are usually packed four varieties per box, 6 heads each (24 count). The stems remained attached to the individual heads. The varieties differ by grower and time of the year. Mixed Baby Lettuces are visually appealing as the lettuces differ in size, shape and texture and make a dramatic presentation when plated.

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Market Outlook - March 29, 2012


California Vegetable Specialties, located in Rio Vista, CA. is one of the few commercial growers nationwide that is able to plant and harvest Belgian Endive on a year round basis. Belgian, Red and a mixed case are all in stock.

Black Garlic

black-garlicWhile we wait for the local harvest of some of spring's treasures like fava beans and English peas, we thought we would bring to your attention a relatively new product. Black garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit. It's as delicious as it is unique. The garlic is fermented at low temperatures for over a month long period and is produced in Hayward, CA, which happens to be the only manufacturer of Black Garlic in the U.S.. Black Garlic is a traditional ingredient in Asian cuisine but its popularity in the U.S. is credited by the use of prominent chefs in the Bay Area. It is now considered a staple of modern cuisine and can be seen on menus in culinary progressive cities such as Chicago and New York City.

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Market Outlook - March 22, 2012


Nantes are a French heirloom variety with smooth skin and an almost perfect cylindrical shape. Nantes are distinctly sweeter than other carrots and are rounded at the top and tip.

Braising Greens

braising-greensIt is important to note that the arrival of spring occurred just two days ago. Just as important is to realize that this is the time to plant spring crops, not harvest these crops. While we are well into the season, other springtime crops, like fava beans and English peas, have not started locally. This week we feature a variety of local seasonal greens currently available from several local farms.

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