Westlake Weekly Update 8.12.20
Featured Item: California Pears
I think by now, we have all realized it’s August. Although we may be missing some things this month, you don’t have to miss California pears. California’s beautiful climate has done it again…produced two gorgeous varieties of pears being harvested now. I’m talking about the old favorite, Bartlett, and the ever elegant Bosc.
Bartlett pears, also known as Williams’ pears, date back to the 1700’s. It was named Williams’ Bon Chretien, which literally translates to “Williams’ good Christian” and distributed around England. Later it was acquired by a Mr. Enoch Bartlett in New England. Unbeknownst to him, he distributed it as a Bartlett pear. It became widely popular in the US and once the Williams pear officially made it over, they realized it was one in the same! At that point it was too late to change the name, pretty tricky of Mr. Bartlett if you ask me! So beware when travelling (someday) overseas, it will be referred to as a Williams pear.
Bartlett’s popularity stems from its flavor. It has a thin, almost delicate skin, wrapped around a sweet and juicy flesh. They bruise easily, but they can be harvested unripe. Bartletts ripen perfectly at room temperature, turning from a firm bright green pear to a pale yellow. They are great for snacking on, using in salads, canning, or making pear sauce. In fact, most canned pears are made from Bartlett pears, but why buy canned when you can have fresh picked! As for cooking, they practically melt at any sign of heat. So they work great to make a sweet and smooth sauce. If you’re looking for a pear that holds its head up high when cooked, that’s Bosc.
The Bosc stands heads above other pears literally, when it comes to cooking and baking. It has a long elegant neck making it the tallest of the pear varieties. The russet brown skin is easily identified when shopping, and it does not change color as it ripens. When picking Bosc pears, be sure to use your nose. They have an aromatic sweet and spicy scent, especially at the stem end. Like the Bartlett, Bosc is also great for snacking. The texture is classically pear; they are sweet, crisp, and firm. But they really shine in desserts! All those beautiful poached pear desserts you see online are Bosc. They hold their shape and texture well when cooked or baked. Plus, they are such a dignified stunning pear when plated.
California pear harvesting has officially begun. Growers along the Sacramento River Delta have been working hard to bring these varieties to you fresh from their family farms. Since they are the first pears to be harvested in the US, they are also known as, “America’s First Pears.” You won’t have to salute them before you eat them, but you may feel like applauding the growers when you taste them!
The following varieties of California Pears are being picked and packed today:
Other varieties also available:
There are great options currently in the citrus department. We have easy peeling, seedless Tango and W. Murcott mandarins available bagged or in bulk. Demand for bags has been strong since the fruit is eating and looking fantastic. Please pre-book bagged varieties as these are limited. Bulk W. Murcotts and Tangos are available and packed in 22 lb cartons with PLU stickers. Promotobale volume begins next week. Call for AD lids and available supply!
One of the most refreshing pieces of citrus right now is the Minneola Tangelos. Our growers in Peru have once again done an excellent job. Bursting with flavor and full of juice. It is no wonder why they are so popular, and seeing such strong demand! Near the end of August, we expect Minneola Tangelos from our growers in Australia. The supply is expected to be moderate at first.
Also from Australia, Daisy tangerines. Although they are winding down, we still have a final shipment coming this week. They are expected to finish as strong as they started! You’re definitely going to want to call for these.
Last but not least…navel oranges. The navels from Chile have been extremely popular. Even with arrivals ramping up, it’s hard keeping up with demand. The fruit continues to sell out before it hits the warehouse. We expect to see a better supply by the end of next week, and with prices to remain steady. The navels from Australia are doing well. Both fruits are of outstanding quality; in flavor, and condition.
The Cara Cara navels from Australia and Chile are also just becoming available. The fruit we’ve seen from Chile has been well received. We expect to see similar quality from the Australian variety as it arrives at the end of the week.
COMING NEXT MONTH:
We have blood oranges from Australia, with promotable supply for several weeks! Start thinking of Halloween promotions for those spooky cocktails! Another good Fall item with good volume coming is the Honey tangerine. Be ready for these two hot new commodities in September!
As the summer heats up, so do our peppers! We currently have the following peppers available:
- Red Fresno
The California dragon fruit season is starting. Although it is off to a slow start, we expect more volume in the next week or two. Call us directly for expected start dates and pricing.
We have yellow dragon fruit readily available from Ecuador. As well as Young coconut from Thailand and Vietnam. The pricing is starting to stay consistent, while expecting high volumes in the coming weeks.
We’ve got strawberries available! The Salinas and Watsonville regions are going strong. There is a new crop out of Santa Maria starting with the Portola and Monterey variety.
Our raspberries continue to be in high demand! There has been a limited supply, which has only increased pricing. We do have domestic blueberries available out of California, Oregon, and Washington.
Call for deal pricing!
Mexican limes are peaking on the 200/230s. We expect supply to be readily available. Rain is forecasted in the growing region of Veracruz which may slow down some of the harvest.
We have Mango Madness at Westlake! Kent Mangoes are winding down. They accounted for almost 70% of mangoes exported from Mexico. We have started to see Keitt mangoes arrive into the US from Mexico.
Mexican states currently shipping are Michoacán, South Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, and North Sinaloa.