Westlake Weekly Update 7.1.20
Featured Item: We Cherr-ish Summer
It is finally the first day of July! And, as we settle into our lazy summer days, don’t be so relaxed that you forget to buy and enjoy Rainier Cherries. The season is, if we’re lucky, 6-7 weeks! Unlike other fruits, they can only be bought and enjoyed in the summer. July 11th is National Rainier Cherry Day, the only nationally recognized day to commemorate a cherry variety. If you assumed it was named after Mt. Rainier, the 14k + volcano/mountain just outside of Seattle, you would be correct! This blushing variety was developed in 1952 by cross-pollinating two cherry varieties, the Van and the Bing. The result was an exceptional new cherry!
Although Rainiers can be more expensive, they are worth their weight in gold! The delicate Rainier tends to be a little more work for growers. They are not only loved by humans but birds too! Who can blame them? Growers go to great lengths to cover trees and deter birds from oversampling in their groves. Rainiers are prone to bruise more easily, which makes it easy for us to pick good fruit, but presents added challenges for growers. They are also more likely to be damaged by the weather, like rain or wind, than other varieties. Here’s the big BUT…they are naturally larger and sweeter than other varieties. They have a higher Brix level, which is the amount of sugar in the fruit. Basically, one-fifth of each cherry is sugar! Yes, Rainiers are beauty queens, but they are not just a pretty face. They have a complex flavor that is intensely sweet, sometimes a little bitter, but with a caramel type finish. Oh and the texture! The Rainier has a smooth and creamy texture in your mouth. As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for!” Rainier cherries will not disappoint!
These gorgeous little stone fruits won’t be around for long. Buy them by the bag full each week, and enjoy them while you can! They are just perfect for eating out of hand, and if you’re feeling generous…sharing!
Currently, the Northwest cherry crop has been running approximately 5-7 days behind schedule due to cold weather and rain. Luckily, there is warmer weather for the coming week! We expect to see the pressure on the supply side lighten up a bit.
The California navel game is winding down…with only a few packing houses with supply. We expect their supply to get us through next week on the final floor counts. Never to fear, we have imported navels expected by the end of this week. They are coming from our growers in Chile and Australia. We are hearing the peak sizing to be on the 56s and 48s.
Valencia oranges are ramping up! The flavor and quality have been excellent. They are peaking on size 72s and 56s on fancy.
Lemons are still in high demand and selling out daily! The supply of fancy grade lemons is limited out of Southern California and unfortunately will continue to be very tight. Choice grade lemons remain available. They are in good demand from the foodservice sector and for value-added orders. Westlake can meet your citrus needs, just give us a call! We all need those lemons for lemonade and limes for our cold beers!
Star Grapefruit still has another couple weeks of supply. The demand has been very good on grapefruit. The Summer Marsh variety from Southern California will be ready to move in as we finish with the Star Grapefruit.
Our imported mandarins and minneolas are expected to arrive by the end of next week into Southern California! We expect supply to ramp up by mid-July. The fruit is looking fantastic as the weather in Peru has been perfect! This great weather has allowed for optimal growing conditions. Westlake is anticipating stellar imported citrus this summer. We will have promotable volume for AD’s starting July 22nd.
Westlake has plenty of serrano peppers available from our growers. As June comes to a close, California has started harvesting out of Bakersfield. Whether you want jalapenos, red Fresnos, or Anaheim chilis, we have you covered.
The overall berry market is limited at this time. Strawberries out of Santa Maria and Salinas/Watsonville region are expected to have a light supply for the next few weeks. This shortage in supply is due mainly to replenishment and weather conditions from a few weeks back. Santa Maria saw warmer weather which really colored up the strawberries. This was good for supply, but shippers were moving through the berries quickly before the quality diminished due to high sugar content. Now crops are on a two-day picking cycle at best. Some growers in Santa Maria are winding down…while a few are finished with their season and will resume in the Fall. For now, it is day to day on availability out of both growing regions.
Also, be prepared, expect to see smaller sizes and higher berry counts per clamshells.
Blueberries are sluggish due to weather conditions out of Mexico and California. We are also seeing some quality issues. With cooler weather expected in California, production should ramp up a little, while the Pacific Northwest has begun with their production. Raspberries from our growers in California and Mexico have also been limited.
If you would like more information, please give us a call at the office. We encourage you to call us for day to pricing and availability on all our berries.
Westlake has some excellent offerings from our organic growers! The organic blueberries out of the Northwest are currently available. Call now for special pricing and future lid pricing. They are perfect to promote for the end of July!
We also have organic seedless watermelons available out of Yuma, AZ. There are good numbers on the 6 ct. Out of Oxnard, we have organic cabbage, red and gold beets, as well as beautiful striped beets available while supplies last. Don’t miss out!
Organic lemon prices have gone up and supplies are limited, but we have juicy Valencia oranges and red grapefruit available. Valencia’s are peaking on the 88s, while the grapefruit is peaking on the 40s/48s. It’s a good time to increase your Vitamin C intake with our organic citrus!
The availability and pricing of limes from our growers in Veracruz have remained consistent. Westlake will continue to ship from this region. We have a good supply ready for you to buy!
We also have mangoes out of Mexico! They are readily available and are eating great!
Varieties include Tommys, Kents, and Ataulfos. Looking for organic mangos? We have organic Tommys for you!
Yellow dragon fruit is available via air shipment from Ecuador. We have the product already on hand, please call for size and pricing!
Florida red dragon fruit has started and is available for air shipment in LA as well. Call now to pre-book!
Vietnam has white and red dragon fruit available via air shipment, but pricing is still in the mid-40s. Call for pricing and availability.
Young Coconut is available out of Thailand and Vietnam, but pricing differs based on conditions and quality.
Specialty Melons are available out of the Desert. Hami Melons are now available! Call to place your orders!