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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - April 12, 2012

lavendar-flowerLavender Flower

Sweet and flavorful, edible flowers are surging in popularity among today's top restaurants and bakeries. Edible flowers are ideal for enhancing the visual appeal of an entrée or dessert without compromising the integrity of the flavor.

Fresh Origins Edible Flowers

edible-flowersAlthough we often don't think about it, eating an edible flower is not all that uncommon. Some of our favorite vegetable dishes are actually edible flowers; broccoli for example is a huge cluster of flower buds. The artichoke is a large individual unopened edible flower. Capers and cauliflower are other examples. The very expensive spice, saffron is the pollen collected from the inside of a crocus flower. Fennel pollen is a very unique flavoring ingredient, and fried squash blossoms are a tasty but often overlooked part of a common vegetable plant.

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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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