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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - February 28, 2019

impossible burger 2.0

The creators of the Impossible Burger have produced a new version that is tastier, juicier, more nutritious and more versatile than the original version introduced last year. The Impossible Burger is a meatless burger that “bleeds”, sears, and tastes like a real beef burger. Many of the following changes were made, not only for taste, but also with restaurant chefs in mind. The Impossible Burger 2.0 can now more easily be cooked on a flat-top or grill; it can also be braised, stewed, steamed or sautéed, and used in any ground beef recipe. It has 30% less sodium and 40% less saturated fat than the original recipe with just as much protein as 80/20 ground beef from cows.

One of the main changes is that the Impossible Burger 2.0 now contains soy protein instead of wheat protein which gives it a more complete selection of essential amino acids, makes it beefier in texture, and adds some dietary fiber. The makers of the Impossible Burger also added methylcellulose, a plant-based culinary binder commonly found in ice cream, sauces, and jams. Methylcellulose makes the new recipe juicier, and easier to handle both raw and cooked. They also added sunflower oil (and removed a little of the coconut oil), which reduces the amount of total and saturated fat. The Impossible Burger 2.0 still contains heme for the "meat" flavor and “bleeding” effect. Heme is an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in plants and animals.

We off the Impossible Burger 2.0 in two forms:

  • Pre-formed Patties (10# case)– 40/4oz burgers
  • Bulk Ground (20# case)- great for meatballs, tacos, a variety of ground meat applications, "meat" sauces, customizing the form and thickness of your patties, and more.

HARSH WEATHER UPDATE

 

The recent freezing temperatures in several growing regions have caused significant harvesting and growing issues. Numerous crops have been affected throughout California, Arizona, and Mexico. Heavy rain, freezing winds, and destructive hail have caused irreparable damage to multiple crops, ranging from iceberg to strawberries. Muddy and flooded fields have made it impossible for farmers to harvest, along with multiple crops being unsalvageable and stripped of their current growth. This has caused production to come to a complete halt until the new crops are mature enough to be harvested. Along with crops being stunned by harsh weather, transportation has been limited due to unsafe driving conditions and road closures between borders. Gaps in growing regions and limited sources for multiple products in demand will be reflected in pricing. Produce most affected will include strawberries, cauliflower, broccoli and all lettuces.

 NAPA NUTS

Napa Nuts is a family business that has been owned and operated by the Miluso family in Napa, CA since 1990. They supply nuts, seeds, and dried fruit to over 500 restaurants, bakeries, and retailers around the country. Napa Nuts is committed to building relationships with growers, and sourcing consistently high quality products. Napa Nuts also recognizes the importance of food safety, especially in regards to food allergies. They have implemented systems to prevent peanut cross-contamination, including a dedicated packing room exclusively reserved for peanuts.

 

We offer the following:

nuts
Almonds (blanched) Almonds (raw)
Almonds (diced & roasted) Almonds (slivered)
Almonds (roasted) Almonds (sliced)
Cashew Pieces Chestnuts
Chestnutes Shelled (frozen) Hazelnuts
Italian Chestnuts Macadamias
Marcona Almonds Marcona Almonds (roasted & salted)
Mixed Nuts (no peanuts) Peanuts (roasted & salted)
Peanuts (shelled) Peanuts (raw & unsalted)
Spanish Peanuts Pecans (whole)
Pecans (halves) Pecans (pieces)
Pine Nuts Pistachios
Walnuts (meat) Walnuts (halves)
 
seeds
Chia Seeds Flax Seeds
Hemp Seeds Pumpkin Seeds
Sesame Seeds Sunflower Seeds
 
dried fruit
Dried Apples Dried Apricots
Dried Blueberries Dried Cherries (pitted)
Dried Cranberries Dried Currants
Dried Figs Dried Kiwi
Dried Mangoes Dried Mixed Berries
Dried Mixed Fruit Dried Nectarines
Dried Peaches Dried Papaya
Dried Pineapple Dried Pears
Golden Raisins Raisins
Dried Red Plums Banana Chips
 
coconut
Toasted/Sweetened Coconut Chips Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
Sweetened Coconut Flakes Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
Sweetened Shredded Coconut  

 

 

Market Outlook - February 21, 2019

del rio botanical

For over 15 years, we have proudly partnered with Del Rio Botanical to offer an array of unique and delicious organic produce grown exclusively for Produce Express. Del Rio is an 80-acre certified organic farm located in West Sac along the Sacramento River, owned and operated by Suzanne Peabody Ashworth. A collection of over 1,600 varieties of vegetable and herb seeds places Del Rio in the position to provide a unique selection of produce that is varied, rare and targeted to restaurants. The latest harvest from Del Rio includes (see our website for full availability):

  • Fava Greens (2# case)– with mildly sweet flavor and buttery texture, these greens can be used just like spinach or pea shoots. Mix them into salads, sauté or wilt them into pasta or risotto.
  • Pea Tendrils/Shoots (2# case)– soft leaves with curly tendrils that can be used raw in salads, or wilt/sauté into soups and stir-frys.
  • Nettles (2# case)- also known as stinging nettles, you should wear gloves when handling raw; cooking removes the “sting”. Cooked nettles are similar in flavor to spinach and can be used in pastas, soups, sauces, and as a vegetable component.
  • Braising Mix (4# case)– blend may include chard, kale, spinach, and more depending on the season.
  • Red Frisee Mustard (2# case)- deep purple leaves, pale green stem, pronounced mustard flavor and crisp yet delicate texture.

POINT REYES CHEESE

At Point Reyes, every stage of the cheese making process is managed on the farmstead; from birthing, raising, andpoint-reyes-blue-cheese-marissa-montoya milking the cows to aging the cheese. The unique bacteria of Tomales Bay, along with the land’s lush rye grass and crisp, pristine air contribute to the delectable flavor of Point Reyes cheeses.

  • Original Blue (6.5# wheel)– creamy texture and bold flavor, with hints of sweet milk, a peppery finish, and medium/strong blue flavor. Original Blue is wonderful as a stand-alone table cheese, for topping salads, melting onto burgers and steaks, mixing into pastas, on a cheese board with local honey and much more. Rindless; aged 3.5 months. 
  • Bay Blue (6# wheel)– a rustic style blue cheese, reminiscent of Stilton; known for its mellow flavor and sweet, salted caramel finish. Its texture is almost fudge-like with a beautiful natural rind; aged 90 days. Bay Blue compliments mushrooms, makes a delicious after-dinner cheese, especially when paired with a Vintage Port or Barrel-Aged Scotch.
  • Toma (10# wheel)– a semi-hard table cheese perfect for any occasion. It has a creamy, buttery flavor and texture with a grassy tangy finish. Toma is a great melting cheese; perfect for pasta, risotto, sandwiches, burgers, vegetables, soups, and more. It also balances out a hop-heavy beer beautifully!

z SPECIALTY HONEY & MORE

Z Specialty Foods is family owned and operated by the Zeldner family, who have been producing honey in Woodland, CA since 1979. California Honeys, Fruit Spreads and Nut Butters from Z Specialty Foods are perfect for baking and make great additions to cheese boards, tea service and more!

california honeys

Z Specialty honey is minimally processed, unheated, unpasteurized, and certified Kosher. The honey is minimally warmed and strained to remove dirt and bee parts. Each honey is specific to a single floral source and location contributing to their unique flavors, colors, and aromas.

Local Wildflower (12# tub)– light in color with subtle floral overtones. Orange Blossom (12# tub)– pollen from California orange groves is used to produce this fragrant, light honey.
California Coriander (12# tub)– savory and rich, this amazing honey has hints of spice and cardamom. Yellow Star Thistle (12# tub)– named the “Champagne of Honeys” by Food & Wine Magazine, this light honey has a sweet candy-like flavor that is perfect for baking!
Honey Straws (125ct)– local wildflower honey in a clear, 7-inch straw that easily pops open. These are perfect for beverage service or to-go drinks.  

honey fruit spreads

Made with creamed honey, these fruit spreads blend easily with cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt or ricotta; and are great as a filling when baking, on a cheese plate, or glazed on a pork chop.

Apricot Honey Spread (10# tub)– a sweet/tart blend of local Blenheim apricots and Yellow Star Thistle Honey. Tart Cherry Honey Spread (10# tub)– tart Montmorency cherries blended with sweet honey.
Apricot-Cherry Honey Spread (10# tub)– balanced sweet/tart flavor.  

california nut  butters

Unique nut butters made with 100% nuts- no salt, sugar, or stabilizers added! Refrigerate to keep fresh, smooth, and spreadable. All nut butters should be stirred until they come to a smooth consistency for easiest and tastiest use.

California Almond Butter (7.5# tub)– made simply with roasted California almonds– no salt, sugar, or stabilizers. Nut Crunch (7.5# tub)– California almonds, filberts from the Northwest, and tropical cashews make a delicious crunchy combination.

 

 

Market Outlook - February 13, 2019

SCIABICA OLIVE OIL

Last week, we explained that irregular weather patterns in 2018 caused a production shortage for California Olive Ranch, and many olive growers across California. We remain committed to offering local products and are pleased to offer a high quality, great tasting extra virgin olive oil from Sciabica, a local source based in Modesto. The Sciabica family has been cold-pressing olive oil on the same property in Modesto for over 80 years, making them the oldest producer in the United States. The artisan tradition of olive oil production was learned in Sicily in the olive oil mills of Castelvetrano by Nicola Sciabica, the patriarch and founder of Sciabica’s California Olive Oil. Their olive oils are 100% GMO-free, sustainably farmed, and artisan-crafted in small batches. Sciabica EVOO is certified extra virgin by the Olive Oil Commission of California. We are proud to offer the following olive oils:

  • Sciabica Mission Trail 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil– *this is the replacement for California Olive Ranch COR Blend EVOO.* Made from Mission variety olives (native to California), this oil has a lush buttery flavor, with a delicate sweetness and subtle notes of olive blossoms; no bitterness or pungency. It is perfect for general use, cooking, garnishing plates, baking and more. Packed in a 2.64 gallon bag-in-box (10 liters). Bag-in-Box packaging extends shelf-life, preserves quality, dispenses reliably and is environmentally conscious.
  • Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil– *we will continue to send California Olive Ranch Arbequina for one more week, or while supplies last.* Arbequina EVOO is loved for its strong fruity notes with little pungency. It has a very pleasing clean taste and flavors of tropical fruit and fresh artichoke. Used for “strong” pestos, and works well for vinaigrettes and finishings. Packed in a 2.64 gallon bag-in-box (10 liters).
  • California Olive Ranch 80/20 Blend– an all-purpose blend of 80% non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil and 20% EVOO (from South America). Versatile for most any cooking application, a mild and buttery blend with light hints of fresh olive flavor. Available in a 5 gallon box.
  • California Olive Ranch 50/50 Blend– made with a 50/50 blend of Canola and EVOO (from South America), it is milder in flavor and lighter in color than pure olive oils. It is ideal for high-heat cooking and is great for recipes that require a light taste profile. 5 gallon box.

lOCAL & SEASONAL CITRUS

Winter months are when citrus fruits are at their sweetest and juiciest. J&J Ramos (Hughson, CA) is supplying us with wonderful citrus varieties that are great for a variety of applications. J&J Ramos started with only 20 acres in 1997. They continue to be family owned and operated, and now have over 120 acres growing an assortment of seasonal items year-round. The following is currently available:

  • Shasta Tangerines– extremely juicy with rich, very sweet flavor. They are large in size, seedless and easy to peel. Delicious addition to salads; or use the zest and juice in marinades, beverages, vinaigrettes, glazes and sauces. Available by the 25# case.
  • Cara Cara Oranges– a type of navel orange, crossed with a ruby red grapefruit. They have a distinctive pinkish red flesh that is characterized by a sweet cranberry-like flavor; seedless, tender and extremely juicy with bright citrus aromatics. They are great juicing oranges for cocktails/beverages; and are delicious eaten out of hand or in salads, marmalades, jams, compotes and syrups. Available by the 20# case.
  • Navel Oranges– seedless, juicy and rich flavor; well balanced sugar and acid. Wonderful for juicing and use in desserts, compotes, salads, vinaigrettes, marinades, braises and cocktails. Available by the 88ct case or per pound.

BLACK GARLIC

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 goes through a fermentation process similar to wine. It starts out with fresh, high quality California raw garlic bulb and is placed in a fermentation machine that is carefully monitored. As a natural result of the process, the garlic turns black. Black garlic has a distinct flavor and a unique texture and can be used in everything from breads to seafood and vegetable dishes. Black Garlic is produced in Hayward, CA, which happens to be the only manufacturer of Black Garlic in the U.S. Available by the pound.

ASPARAGUS UPDATE

The current supply of asparagus is arriving from Mexico. “New” fields are being harvested and quality has been very nice. On Tuesday, February 12th, we began selling 28 pound cases. The market will be around $2.00 per pound when purchased by the case. Due to heavy rains and wind, the California season will not start until early March. The first region to start will be Firebaugh, quickly followed by the Salinas Valley. We anticipate the Delta region to start in mid-March. Please adjust orders to reflect the new 28 pound pack size.