Featured Produce: Strawberries
This week’s featured produce, with its ruby-red coloring and heart shape, is perfect for Valentine’s day. Did you know? Strawberries are part of the rose family! Any time you walk by a strawberry bush, make sure to stop and take in the sweet scent.
Strawberries are hugely popular. The average American eats over three pounds of strawberries per year! Plus, eighty percent of the nation’s strawberries are grown right here in California. It’s no wonder these tasty, bright favorites are so popular-they are one of the first berries to ripen in the early spring!
Reminding us of brighter summer days. Strawberries are low in calories, but they contain high levels of nitrates, which increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles, making them a great pre-workout snack! You’re going to want to stock up on strawberries to celebrate Valentine’s day and the imminent arrival of a sunny spring!
Looking for a way to use our featured produce? Try this:
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Recipe by: Kitten
16 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
Holding them by toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.
Apples & Pears
The Gala and Granny Smith apple markets continue to firm up. Small Granny Smith apples are running very short.
We have good supplies of small Bosc and large D’Anjou pears!
Fun Fact: One of the most incredible natural features of the Opal Apple is that it does not brown after cutting!
A sweet treat!
We have good supplies of blueberries from Chile and Mexico! Strawberries from California, however, are not as widely available due to winter weather impacts. Mexican blackberries are plentiful, but mexican raspberries are hard to find at the moment.
Fun Fact: Berries are linked to brain health! They can help to reduce inflammation, protect brain cells, and increase the brain’s flexibility in adapting to new experiences.
California will be getting some rain through the week, so citrus pricing and availability will tighten up temporarily. California lemons has leveled off, and will remain steady for now. The lemon market has come off, and will remain steady from this point. Navel oranges and Minneolas are in full swing, with promotable supplies. California Cara Cara and blood oranges are moving well, though they are peaking on smaller sizes. California W.Murcott mandarins are available, with most of the product being put into bags.
Texas oranges and grapefruit are shipping! However, rain has slowed production in the growing areas.
Israeli Orri have arrived, though supplies are limited. Please give us a call for availability!
Fun Fact: Lemons are believed to be a hybrid between a sour orange and a citron.
Potato and Onion Update
Hearty and wholesome!
Western Washington’s Skagit valley continues to pack excellent quality red, white, & yellow potatoes. Western Washington will be finishing their white potato crop in the near future. Florida is packing their 2019 red, white, & yellow potato crop! Bakersfield, California is packing white and yellow potatoes but the quality and availability are variable.
Fun Fact: Many people think potatoes are vegetables but, in fact, potatoes are legumes! A legume is plant that is able to fix nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil, and potatoes do just that.
Washington and Idaho are continuing to move through their 2018 russet potato crop. The upward pressure on the carton russet market will continue, with the Midwest and East Coast business much stronger than normal.
Fun Fact: Idaho, the present-day largest producer of potatoes, actually did not begin growing potatoes until 1836!
The onion market seems to have leveled off for the moment! Washington, Oregon, and Nevada continue to pack yellow, red, and white onions. Mexico is packing new-crop onions, but production is very light with very few of these onions coming to the US market.
Fun Fact: The pungent juice of onions has been used as a moth repellent and can be rubbed on the skin to prevent insect bites
Tropicals & Melons
Ataulfo mangoes, out of Mexico, have started. Their pricing remains strong due to limited crossings. These mangoes look very nice, and demand is currently exceeding supply. Kent mangoes, from Peru, are making regular arrivals and will remain available through February. The Kent mango market is also strong, and the size is peaking on 8’s and 9’s.
Fun Fact: Mango seeds traveled with humans from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D.
Limes are currently transitioning from one crop to the next. Larger limes are becoming more limited. Currently, new-crop limes are small-to-medium sized. Rain in the growing areas will affect the lime harvest somewhat in the coming weeks, but pricing remains steady!
Fun Fact: India is the greatest producer of limes in the world.
Honduras and Costa Rica continue to supply good quality and volume of cantaloupes. Cantaloupe sizing has been good in recent weeks! The majority of the available fruit is coming in jumbo 9’s, 9’s, and 12’s.
Honeydews are coming from Mexico and Honduras. Honeydew sizing has been on the smaller side at sizes 6’s, 8’s, and 9’s. With the addition of the Honduran fruit, the honeydew market has been relieved of some pressure. There is more competition within the honeydew market than there has been in a couple of months. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions!
Flavorful and colorful!
Red Fresno chilis will remain active through March. All other varieties of hot peppers are widely available now, and prices are slowly coming down! Jicama, from new fields in Nayarit, Mexico, are now available. They have clean, white skin and they’re medium-sized. This jicama crop will remain available through June. Mexican papaya is readily available with good quality!
Fun Fact: Peppers are a fruit, technically, but the most popular peppers we eat are also part of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants.