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Westlake Weekly Update 7.22.20
Featured Item: Westside Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe season is among us! It is hands down the most popular muskmelon in the U.S. Americans love the small oval netted melon for everything from fruit salad to prosciutto-wrapped appetizers. What’s not to love? These melons pack a powerful punch when it comes to vitamins and minerals. One single serving will provide our bodies with a full day’s worth of our recommended daily intake of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Think about that! If you eat just one cup of cantaloupe in the morning, you will have already accomplished something good for the day! Nutritionally, the cantaloupe is just getting started. It also has HUGE amounts of Beta Carotene. When it comes to Beta Carotene, this melon leaves all other orange-fleshed fruit in the dust! Beta Carotene is important. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that attack cells in our bodies. The list is long when it comes to all the good things gained when eating a low-calorie cantaloupe, so what’s not to love?
Well, for most, picking one is a crapshoot! Now I would love to believe that my local produce person really enjoys our conversations and picking out my melons each week, but I suspect it must get old answering the same questions every day for us less educated produce connoisseurs. There are really just three little steps to picking out the best cantaloupe for yourselves:
- Checking the color of the cantaloupe is key. The lighter the better! Try avoiding anything too green.
- Check the blossom end. The “belly button” of the melon should have a little give but not be too soft.
- Follow your nose! Discreetly pull down your mask and sniff the little fellow. If it has a sweet smell that is not overwhelming, it is perfect!
Following these three easy steps will ensure you pick a good melon! If you still want to chat up your local produce people, instead of haranguing them, you can ask, “Where do these cantaloupes come from?” Then you can impress them with your new-found knowledge of cantaloupes!
Start off with a little fun fact that seventy-five percent of cantaloupes are grown in California’s hot and dry regions, such as the “Westside.” Then explain that the region encompasses 200 miles stretching from Bakersfield to Sacramento on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Finish off with, typically the growers from this region plant the cantaloupes in early April through mid-summer and harvest between June and October. This is sure to solidify your friendship with your favorite local produce person, because you know we all have one!
Besides Minneola Tangelos, we have offshore bagged mandarins from Chile and Peru. They continue to move well. The fruit is arriving with very good flavor, and the bags are showing good demand from the retailer sector. We expect the clementine variety in bags will see us through another 10 days. After this, we will be switching to Peru W.Murcott mandarins. We feel Chile will gap slightly on mandarins as they switch from clementines to murcotts.
Peruvian Bulk Mandarins and Tangelos started arriving last week! Demand currently exceeds supply on these two varieties. The W.Murcott mandarins have been received with very good quality. Minneola Tangelos are also arriving with fabulous flavor and full of juice! The volume of these two items will ramp up by the end of the week. We will have promotable volume on these Peruvian varieties going forward. Please call for ad pricing!
Daisy Tangerines from our Australian growers are showing very nice quality. The fruit is looking excellent in color and clean. Currently, the fruit’s demand is exceeding supply available. We expect supply from Australia on this variety will continue moderately at best, but please call us for availability!
California navel oranges are on final floor counts this week and will be completely done by the end of the week. The Chilean navels and Australian navels just started to arrive last week. Supply will begin to ramp up this week with good availability going forward.
California Valencia oranges remain available. Demand is very strong on this variety as the fruit eats very sweet and full of juice. USDA programs continue to take a good supply of fruit in bags. The fruit continues to be excellent quality, but we will start to see some re-greened fruit as we continue with the hot summer weather.
Lemons are moving extremely well during this time. The warm summer temperatures are bringing on more demand from the entire country. Our Chilean lemons are making their way into the US. This will help us keep up with demand.
California Grapefruit is moving extremely well! We are finishing up with Stars this week and moving into the Summer Marsh (Pink) grapefruit. The marsh variety will see us through the summer and likely finish up in September. Grapefruit will peak in the middle to small sizes. The supply of Xlarge grapefruit will be limited.
As the summer heats up, so do our peppers! We currently have the following peppers available:
- Red Fresno
Westlake has new pear crops available from our growers in California. We have a great range for your specific needs.
- Starkrimson pears
- Green Bartlett
- Golden Russet Bosc
- Forelle Pears
- Seckel Pears