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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - February 13, 2019


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.


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 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.


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.