Featured Produce: Dragon Fruit and Young Coconut
Did you know? Dragon Fruit is also referred to as Pitaya or Pitahaya. There are different varieties of dragon fruit grown in Mexico, Central America and South America, but dragon fruit grows year-round in Vietnam. Dragon fruit varieties include: red flesh/ red skin, white flesh / red skin ( the most commonly-seen type of dragon fruit), and the newly-introduced white flesh/ yellow skin out of Ecuador. Dragon fruit is a vibrant and exotic looking piece of fruit that packs a wonderful taste, similar to kiwi! Dragon fruit is rich in protein, fiber, iron and antioxidants. Plus, depending on the variety, dragon fruit can also be extremely sweet and juicy!
Young coconut is a popular summer refresher. But, here’s some good news: young coconuts are a year-round item! That means you can enjoy a taste of summery goodness any time. Grown in Vietnam and Thailand, young coconut is mainly used for the coconut water inside and their jelly-like meat. Their shelf life is 1 to 2 weeks after being refrigerated, and 5 days after being opened. Plus, fresh coconut water has huge benefits! It’s concentrated with electrolytes and vitamins - which means that coconut water can be used as a natural substitute for your traditional sports drink. Coconut water even has tons of potassium, calcium and magnesium!
Looking for a way to use our featured produce? Try this:
Magenta Dragon Fruit Lemonade
Recipe by Julie Morris
5 dried or fresh red dragon fruit slices
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Sweetener of choice, to taste
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Mash ingredients together and blend to give this summery lemonade a magenta color!
Apples, Pears, & Cherries
The Granny Smith apple market has softened up a bit. There are good promotable volumes and prices on these favorites! Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious apples are still going strong. We will see the storage crop carry over into the beginning of the late-August apple harvest.
Northwest pears nearly finished, with just one more week of D’Anjou packing. We have good promotable volumes of Red D'Anjou pears. California pears will begin to be harvested very soon. We have Chilean and Argentinian Bartlett, Packham, and Bosc pears.
The California cherry harvest is close to finishing up. Harvesting will continue for another 5-7 days. The Northwest cherry harvest is underway! We will see cherry volumes from this area ramp up by the end of this week. There will be good promotable cherry volumes for the 4th of July holiday!
Fun Fact: One of the most incredible natural features of the Opal Apple is that it does not brown after cutting!
Domestic Cantaloupes continue to come out of Arizona and the Imperial Valley at the moment. Their sizing continues to be on the larger side, with plenty of 9’s and Jumbo 9’s available. We even have some Jumbo 6’s. Fruit out of the Imperial Valley has been brixing at 16-17%, and their volume continues to roll along with the warmer weather. Forecasting to the future, it looks as though melons out of central California will start to be harvested next week, which should help prevent a potential gap as we move growing regions
Honeydews continue to come out of both Nogales and the Salton Sea, with plenty of volume available. The domestic dews have, for the most part, produced a higher quality melon. However, Nogales is currently offering great value on their fruit.
Seedless watermelons have all but stopped being harvested out of Nogales. Most seedless watermelon volume will come out of the desert for the time being. Quality out of the desert has been very good, and it has exceeded the quality that was coming out of Nogales! Sizes on seedless watermelon have been skewing larger, but there is more smaller fruit available than what Nogales was producing. Looking ahead, pricing should see an uptick with the approaching 4th of July holiday pull, however the west side (Firebaugh – Mendota area) watermelon should begin harvesting next week. This upcoming harvest may help to alleviate some of the pressure from the 4th of July pull. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call!
Mangoes continue to be in good supply! The crop is moving from Michoacan, MX to the Nayarit area. We have limited mango supplies from Guerrero as well. We will continue to have a good supply of sizes 9 and 10 Tommy Atkins mangoes. Ataulfo mangoes are also consistently available, and peaking at sizes 18 and 20. Overall mango quality has been great this season!
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 looking nice with good exteriors. We are now seeing much more availability of limes sizes 200 and 175. This is a great time for ads!
Fun Fact: India is the greatest producer of limes in the world.
California navel oranges are still available, with supplies expected to last through the end of this month. The fruit is holding up great and it has excellent sugar and flavor! Growers are now into late season varieties.
California mandarins are finishing up quickly. Murcott mandarins are just about done. Only Gold Nugget and Pixie varieties will remain for another couple of weeks.
Cara Cara navel oranges are finished.
Mexican Valencia oranges should go for just another couple of weeks. Valencia oranges from Mexico are winding down, but California growers are ramping up their harvest! California Valencias are looking and tasting great. Their peak size remains at 88s and 72s, followed by 113s. Call us for promotions!
Lemons are in demand! This higher demand for lemons usually begins after Memorial Day, which indicates the start of summer. Lemons sized 140 and smaller are very limited, as most available lemons are sizes 115 and larger.
Star grapefruit remains available! We currently have good supplies of this variety and they should last through July. Star grapefruits are mostly available in size 36 and larger. Once we reach July, growers will start harvesting the Marsh Ruby variety grapefruit.
Chilean Clementines are being offered in 2 and 3lb bags. We are seeing better demand on imports as California mandarins finish up.
Fun Fact: Lemons are believed to be a hybrid between a sour orange and a citron.
Potato and Onion Update
Hearty and wholesome!
California's potato harvest is in full production. Arizona is running this week as well. Red potatoes are short, and will be for the next few weeks at least.
Fun Fact: Many people think potatoes are vegetables but, in fact, potatoes are legumes! A legume is a plant that is able to fix nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil, and potatoes do just that.
Washington and Idaho continue to move through their 2018 russet potato crop, and quality remains good. Idaho will be packing Burbank russets only.
Fun Fact: Idaho, the present-day largest producer of potatoes, actually did not begin growing potatoes until 1836!
California's Central Valley, is currently packing yellow, red, white, and sweet onions. Supplies are tight and prices are rising. New Mexico has been packing onions on a limited basis due to weather. Vidalia, Georgia is packing their Vidalia sweet onion crop. Georgia’s onion acreage is down from previous years, and the weather has impacted yields.
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!
Flavorful and colorful!
We have Anaheim, yellow, and Habanero chilis available out of Selma, California. We will also have jalapenos from Selma soon! New fields out of Baja, Mexico are still a few weeks out. Prices are active on pasilla, tomatillo, serrano, and jalapeno peppers. Santa Maria, California won’t have peppers available until July.
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.
A sweet treat!
Strawberries continue to be short due to the heat from last week. The heat has definitely put stress on the strawberry plants. Strawberries are available, however, from Salinas and Santa Maria areas. Mostly in Salinas growing districts. Blueberries and raspberries, out of the Central Valley, have also been impacted by the recent heat. Oregon blueberries and blackberries are expected to start at the end of June! Quality on all berries is fair at best, due to weather impacts.
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.
Exotic and Exciting!
Currently all dragon fruit out of Vietnam is extremely tight. Ecuadorian yellow dragon fruit will be available in 5lb and 10lb cases, with sizes ranging between 6 count and 9 count. White flesh/red skin dragon fruit supply is still limited, but it’s expected to increase in the next few weeks. 10lb cases of red flesh/red skin dragon fruit from Nicaragua are available - please give us a call if you’re interested! Mexican dragon fruit is expected to start near the end of June or beginning of July. Stay tuned for updates!
9ct young coconut is available out of Vietnam and Thailand.
Natural and nutritious!
Organic melons, out of California, are a hot item right now! The best sizes to push are size 9’s on cantaloupes and 5/6's on honeydews. We have a good supply of cantaloupes and honeydews out of Holtville and El Centro, CA. Mini, red, seedless watermelons are tight this week, but we are expecting to have better supplies toward the weekend. Please call us as this varies day-to-day!
We have plenty of organic stone fruit available out of Dinuba, California; including white and yellow peaches, white nectarines, pluots, red plums, early Queen black plums, and apricots. Call us for promotions!
Organic Tommy Atkins mangoes are still available, in steady supply, out of Mexico. There are a lot of sizes 8, 9, and 10 Tommy Atkins available. Pricing on these tropical treats remains consistent.
Organic, Mexican flame and Sugarone grapes are now available - call us for pricing and availability!
Northwest, organic cherries are now available! We have 10 row, 11 row, and 11.5 row cherries available. Call us for availability and pricing!
Flora Loca avocados are on the horizon, but there won’t be enough volume to tear the market down. Realistically, we will not see any volume or price relief until we get Aventejada avocados. California and Peru have smaller avocado crops this year. Overall avocado supply from Mexico is less than half of what it was during April and May. Rain in Mexico over the weekend is causing additional problems, but demand isn’t slowing. We don’t have much flexibility in terms of avocado supply. The general avocado market is in the $80 range.