Westlake Weekly Update 12.5.20
Featured Item: La Noche Buena
and all through our casa,
every creature was kneading tamale masa.
For one of our holiday tradiciones,
is making tamales – not one, but montones!
And every last person, both chicks and chicos,
is needed to make our tamales taste ricos.
This is the beginning of a spin on the popular Christmas poem ‘Twas the Night before Christmas… in celebration of the La Buena Noche, or Christmas Eve. Tradition rules in many families and cultures, Latin Americans are no different. Whereas most cultures celebrate on Christmas Day, Latin American families do the whole shebang on Christmas Eve and have a more laid back Christmas Day. Like most families across the globe, it’s celebrated with lots of amazing home-cooked food, drink, villancicos or Christmas carols, dancing, and finishing off the night with a midnight mass, or Misa de Gallo.
The traditional feast for Mexican families like mine was tamales! You know that saying, it’s not about the destination but the journey? Well, making tamales epitomizes that phrase. I think I enjoyed the cooking with my grandma, mom, aunties, and sisters more than the actual food. That’s saying a lot because those little warm corn wrapped meats and sweets are a coveted treat! One that is only made during the holiday.
The food eaten kind of depends on where your family is from. Cubans typically roast a whole pig over hot coals, served with rice and beans. In Spain, you may have seafood and soup as your main dish. While Venezuelan households have hallacas, which are very similar to Mexican tamales.
What’s better to wash down all that delicious food with, than a traditional Christmas punch, like ponche or Coquito. Mexican Ponche is a warm and comforting fruit punch made with tejocotes (apples), pears, oranges, and guavas and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, tamarind, and hibiscus. It is then spiked with a little brandy or rum for the adults. Coquito is an eggnog-like drink made with condensed and coconut milk, and then of course splashed with white rum.
After the feasting is done, and it’s done typically late, families go to a Miso de Gallo or midnight mass. The legend goes that a rooster or gallo crowed the night Jesus was born. The night is in celebration of the birth of Jesus, and he is the star, instead of Santa, who has a more supporting role. In fact, nativity sets are laid out all month, but with baby Jesus either covered or not placed in the display until midnight.
The night continues with kids opening gifts and running around with cousins until they drop, uncles indulging in the punch, and aunties gossiping into the wee hours of the morning.
Hence, the “taking it easy” on Christmas day that happens.
In citrus news, California navel oranges are starting up in a light way. The supply will begin to ramp up in the next couple of weeks. Navels are now being de-greened for color, with the process taking up to 3 – 4 days. The current peak sizes are 88s and 113s, followed by 72s and 138s. The 56s and larger and larger are limited. Demand will continue strong on this variety. It’s a good time to look ahead on what you need. We will have promotable supply for mid-November!!!
The California desert and Arizona lemons are available with good quality. The peak sizes on these are 140s and 115s. Demand overall is very good on 115s and larger for retail. Central California lemons are also getting started in a light way. As offshore lemons finish up, prices are expect to firm up.
Texas Rio Star Grapefruit is definitely available. The fruit is eating great and we have good supply of most sizes.
Pummelo Grapefruit will start up this week in a very light way, with more supply being packed next week. The peak size on 10s and 12s. Some growers are ring picking to allow some 6s and 8s.
Honey Tangerines from Peru remain available for your enjoyment. We will continue to have product through November. Peaking sizing remains in 60s and 70s. The fruit continues to eat excellently!! Please call us for pricing and availability.
We will continue to push Australian Tango Mandarins in bags through next week. The fruit looks and eats great. Mostly size 28s and larger. Packing in 2lb and 3lb bags. Call us for availability !!
New Crop Domestic Clementines are expected to start the first to the second week in November. They are being held back a bit due to color. We are expecting a very good supply to come in by mid to late November. A fantastic opportunity for promotions on this item!