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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - June 11, 2020

Dwelley Farms

The first harvest of Dwelley Farms corn began arriving last week, along with fresh beans and squash! Dwelley Family Farms is located in Brentwood, CA and is fortunate to be in a region that experiences hot days and cool nights. Their climate results in ideal growing conditions for a variety of fruits and vegetables such as beans, squash, corn, stone fruit, and much more!

Corn- Although corn is available year-round, local summer corn usually tastes sweeter– from fresh off the cob to succotash, soups, and more. Sold by the 48ct case or per piece.

Blue Lake Green Beans– Often called snap or string beans, these beans are bright, sweet, and tender. Sold by the 30# case or pound.

Yellow Wax Beans– Another variety of snap bean that is crisp and meaty. Available by the 10# case or pound.

Romano Beans– Also referred to as Italian flat or broad beans, romanos lend well to braising and are perfect for summer minestrones. 10# case or pound.

Varietal Squash– We are currently stocking 6 varieties of locally grown squash: green zucchini, yellow crookneck, gold bar, sunburst (yellow patty pan), summer (green patty pan), and grey squash. Each variety is available by the 24# single variety case. We are also offering a toy box squash that consists of gold bar, sunburst, summer, and grey, with the occasional appearance of zucchini and crookneck. Toy box squash is sold by the 22# case only.

Flavor Rosa Pluots– Pluots are a hybrid between plums and apricots (being plum dominant). The Flavor Rosa pluot is sweet and juicy with a vibrant flesh. Its skin is dark and tart. Sold by the 20# case or by the pound.

polestar farm


Polestar Farm is a 12-acre property nestled in the Capay region of Northern California, just east of Lake Berryessa. They are a new, family-owned, organic operation, headed by Jim and Karina Knight. When Jim and Karina purchased their land, they sought out to do more than just own an orchard. The pair hoped to create a gathering place for the community that embodied wellness while sharing their bounty. Polestar tends to over 12 hundred trees- 800 Royal Blenheim apricot trees, 400 Elegant Lady peaches, and 50 Skeena cherries. Polestar is currently the only supplier of the prized Blenheim apricot for Produce Express.

Blenheim apricots are rumored to be quickly disappearing from produce markets due to their fragile nature. They are petite with green shoulders and a soft blush over their warm colored skin. Do not let their looks fool you– they are full of the coveted “apricot flavor”, even with their tinge of green. They are considered to be one of the best eating apricot varieties but also work well in desserts and jams. We are currently stocking Blenheims as our house apricot. They are available by the 12# case or by the pound.

fresh & dried pasta 

Our fresh, handmade pasta is back! It 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.

Pappardelle– A 1-inch wide, flat ribbon of pasta traditionally used for rich, heavy sauces and ragu of meat and game.

Tagliolini– Long, cylindrical ribbons of pasta best served with smooth, light bodied sauces.

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.

EDUARDO'S 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 - May 11, 2020

seasonal update

Riverdog Mixed Medley Large 300x300
Cherries: We are starting out the season with Coral Cherries from Lodi, CA. They are available by the 16# case or by the pound. Varieties such as Bing and Brooks will follow in the coming weeks, weather permitting.
 
Pluots and Apricots: Flavor Rosa pluots from Dwelley are expected in late May with more     varieties trickling in by mid July. Local Blenheim apricots are due in the first week of June from Polestar Farm.
 
Mixed Medley Cherry Tomatoes: Mixed medleys are expected from Del Rio Botanicals by the end of May.
 
Heirloom Tomatoes: Following the schedule of years passed, local heirloom tomatoes will be available the first of July from Uncle Ray Yeung.
 
Squash Blossoms: Currently available from the coastal region and will be available from Del Rio the beginning of June.
 
Baby Squash: Baby mixed summer squash varieties are expected to arrive in the beginning of June from Del Rio.
 
Summer Squashes: Multiple varieties of  summer squashes are expected by the beginning of June from Maciel Farm and Dwelley Farms.
 
Corn: White and yellow corn are both expected from Dwelley Farm at the beginning of June.
 
Bloomsdale Spinach: Bloomsdale is currently gapping and expected to return in just a couple of weeks.
 
Summer Beans: Local summer beans are expected late May and into early June from Dwelley. Bluelakes are expected in late May, yellow wax and romano beans available early June, and cranberry beans by the middle of June.
 
Melons: Local varietal melons from R. Kelley Farms are forecasted to be available by mid July. Local black watermelon is expected by early July.
 
Peppers: Locally grown varietal peppers typically start appearing in mid June, with multiple varieties being harvested throughout  July.

twin peaks orchards


We officially have local stone fruit from Twin Peaks in Newcastle, CA! Twin Peaks Orchard was established in 1912 and has been family owned and operated for four generations. They follow the principles of sustainable agriculture, using beneficial insects to control pests and organic fertilizers to promote healthy tree growth. The goal at Twin Peaks is to pick tree ripened fruit that will reach a maximum degree of ripeness within 2-3 days after harvest.

We are currently stocking Snow Angel white peaches. The Snow Angel variety is very floral, juicy, and full of spring flavor! They are currently sold by the 18# case or by the pound. Because they are early season stone fruit, they are on the smaller, firmer side. Early season fruit are considered cling/semi-freestone, which means the flesh will stick to the pit. Several varieties of freestone peaches will follow in the coming weeks, most likely by the beginning of June. Yellow peaches are expected by the beginning of next week.

Yellow nectarines are expected in by the end of next week, beginning with Zee Fire. Zee Fire nectarines are bright, tangy, and fairly acidic.
 

Market Outlook - March 12, 2020

Z SPECIALTY

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!

Z Specialty honey is minimally processed, unheated, unpasteurized, and certified Kosher. Each honey is specific to a single floral source and location contributing to their unique flavors, colors, and aromas.

NEW! California Avocado Honey (12# tub)- Rich, dark honey with a silky texture and notes of chocolate, caramel, and molasses.
Local Wildflower (12# tub)– Light in color with subtle floral overtones.
California Pomegranate Honey (12# tub)- A deep mahogany color with subtle notes of grenadine and dried fruit.
California 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.
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.
 
Fruit Spreads and Nut Butters
Apricot Honey Spread (10# tub)– A sweet/tart blend of local Blenheim apricots and wildflower 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 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.

TERRA FIRMA FARM


We are excited to announce Terra Firma Farm as a new addition to our local farm partnerships! Terra Firma Farm is a 200-acre CCOF-certified organic farm in Winters, CA, that has been growing vegetables and fruit year-round for over 25 years. The seeds for Terra Firma Farm were planted in the late 1980s when Paul Holmes began farming a few acres in the hills west of Winters with a few friends under the name Sky High Farm. In 1993, the name of the farm was changed to Terra Firma. Paul then gained two new additions to the ownership of the farm, Paul Underhill (Pablito) and Hector Melendez-Lopez. Terra Firma prides themselves on being a non-traditional family farm. They practice ecologically sustainable agriculture that protects and builds the soil, provides habitat for wildlife, conserves energy and water, and produces healthier, more nutritious fruits and vegetables.

We are currently offering the following products from Terra Firma Farm:
Little Gem Lettuce– Described as a combination of butter lettuce and romaine. It has thin stalks and thicker leaves. Specify local or Terra Firma when ordering. Sold by the 24ct case.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce– A vibrant burgundy in color with smaller leaves. It has a buttery texture with an incredibly mellow, nutty, and sweet flavor. 24ct case only.

Baby Mixed Lettuce– A mix of both Little Gem and Red Oak Leaf. 24ct case only.

White Spring Onions- 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. Sold by the 10# case.

Red Beets– Earthy in taste, bright red in color, and easy to pair. We are currently stocking Terra Firma’s beets by the 25# sack only. Please specify organic/local when ordering.
 

DELTA ASPARAGUS 

Delta Asparagus is just around the corner! We are expecting to transition into Delta product by next week. We will be stocking all sizes in 28# cases. Asparagus is packed in five sizes: pencil, standard, large, extra large, and jumbo. The size of the asparagus should be determined by how you intend to cook it.

Pencil (about the diameter of a pencil) is best for sauté/ stir-frys and very quick cooking.

Standard (roughly the diameter of your pinky finger) is great blanched in chilled salads or cold appetizers.

Large (the diameter of your index finger) is the most common size and is great for grilling as it will allow you to add a nice char and still be al dente.

Extra Large and Jumbo (about the diameter of your thumb) is perfect for longer cooking applications such as roasting or braising.
It is important to know that size has no bearing on flavor or color.