Featured Produce: California Pears
Did you know? Pear trees can produce fruit for an average of 50 to 75 years! Some pear trees even continue to grow fruit after 100 years. Pear trees are also unique because they are self-pollinating, meaning that they do not need bees for this process.
Pears need rich soil, plenty of water, warm days and cool nights to grow. This makes California the perfect place to farm pears! The California pear harvest begins in late June and continues through September. In fact, California produces 25 percent of all pears grown in the United States. The pear is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree, so growers pick the fruit when it is mature, but green, and not yet ripe. Pears are harvested by hand, placed into bins and transported to a packing house. Westlake is so proud to offer perfectly ripe California pears for you to enjoy all season long!
Looking for a way to use our featured produce? Try this:
Steak and Quinoa Bowl with Bartlett Pears and Fennel Salad
Recipe By: California Pear Association
1 cup uncooked tri-colored quinoa
2 cups water
Salt, to taste
1 pound top sirloin steak, about 1” thick
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 medium Bartlett pear (8 oz)
1/2 medium fennel head (4 oz), cored
3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup crumbled feta
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Rinse and drain the quinoa. Place in a medium pot and add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes or until nearly all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Heat a grill pan or grill to medium heat. Rub the steak with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on the skillet and grill until steak is medium-rare or medium, roughly 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on preference and thickness of steak. Remove from the grill pan or grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice, about 1/4” thick.
While the steak and quinoa cook, thinly slice the pear and fennel. Place in a bowl and add the parsley, feta, and almonds. In a small jar with lid, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Shake until well combined. Pour over the pear salad and toss until the salad is well combined. Set aside and let rest.
Assemble the bowls by dividing the quinoa into four bowls. Top with salad followed by sliced steak. Sprinkle with parsley and extra almonds, as desired, before serving.
Apples, Pears, & Cherries
We will see the apple storage crop carry over into the beginning of the late-August apple harvest. The Northwest storage crop of Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious apples is still going strong. Other varietals, such as Pink Lady and Honeycrisp, are finishing up for the season.
California pears will begin to be harvested very soon. We have good promotable volumes of Red D'Anjou pears. We have Chilean and Argentinian Bartlett, Packham, and Bosc pears.
Overall cherry sizes are up as we begin to harvest from northern districts! Sizes are peaking at 9.5 and 10 row on red cherries
Fun Fact: One of the most incredible natural features of the Opal Apple is that it does not brown after cutting!
Domestic cantaloupes have wrapped up out of the Imperial Valley, with only a minimal product coming out of the region. Cantaloupes have started on the west side (Mendota/Firebaugh area), but because it’s early in the season, sizing has started off small (12’s and 15’s), but more and more 9’s are beginning to trickle onto the market. The highest value in the cantaloupe market is size 12’s, which are going for less money than size 9’s.
Honeydews have wrapped up out of Nogales, and are winding down out of the Salton Sea area. Like cantaloupes, honeydew production has begun out of the Firebaugh/Mendota area, but sizing is also trending smaller (6’s, 8’s, and 9’s). Regardless of where you get your honeydews from, quality will be good! However, fruit coming out of the Imperial Valley should be the better price-performer until their season wraps up at the end of this week.
Seedless watermelons have stopped being harvested out of Nogales. Most seedless watermelon volume will come out of the desert for the time being, until the west side comes in with full volume early next week. Quality out of the desert, and quality out of Central California, have been very good. Sizes are trending on the smaller side for the moment, with many fields in the desert on their second and third cut. We expect to see bigger sizing early next week as Mendota gets going with more volume!
Tommy Atkin variety mangoes are finishing up. Ataulfo mangoes are becoming available again, after going through a small gap. We will have supplies of Ataulfo mangoes through the end of July, before they finish completely. Kent mangoes will increase in volume from Southern Sinaloa. Kent mangoes are expected to peak on sizes 8, 9, and 10. These mangoes look and taste amazing! We have promotable supplies of Kent mangoes. Call us for ad pricing!
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.
We are seeing a slight change in lime supplies from Mexico. Lime prices will increase slightly, due to high demand. The fruit continues to peak on sizes 200 and 175, and their quality remains good! Give us a call for current pricing and availability.
Fun Fact: India is the greatest producer of limes in the world.
California Valencia oranges are looking and tasting great. Their peak size remains at 88s and 72s, followed by 113s. Call us for promotions!
California lemons are starting in district two, while imported lemons from Chile are arriving! Smaller-sized lemons are demanding higher prices.
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. Growers will harvest the Marsh Ruby variety grapefruit very shortly.
Chilean bagged clementines will remain available for another couple of weeks, before transitioning into the W Murcott Mandarins from the same region. We do expect a gap on larger clementines from Chile in the next few weeks.
We will begin to see W Murcott mandarins from Peru by the end of July. We are expecting good sizes from Peru. Perfect for bags, with fruit peaking on 28’s and larger from this region. Peruvian Mandarins are always a tasty favorite! Call us for pricing and availability.
Peruvian Minneola tangelos are ramping up! They are peaking on sizes 36 and 45. Their quality and flavor are excellent! Call us for promotion opportunities.
Chilean lemons and navel oranges have begun to arrive with very nice quality. Both of these fruits are very clean and peaking on Cat 1 grade. Navel sizes will peak on 56’s and 72’s, while lemons sizes are peaking on 140’s, 115’s, 95’s, and 165’s.
Fun Fact: Lemons are believed to be a hybrid between a sour orange and a citron.
Potato & Onion
Hearty and wholesome!
Kern County California’s colored potato harvest should be finished by the end of this week. Demand continues to exceed supply on red potatoes. This excess demand is bleeding over into the white and yellow potatoes. Stockton, California will start their colored potato crop in the next day or two.
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. This market is moving up, and availability could get tough as we get to the end of the month.
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. New Mexico has been packing onions on a limited basis, due to weather. Vidalia, Georgia has finished their sweet onion crop.
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 are about four weeks out from the New Mexican pepper harvest. All hot peppers are currently coming from Northern Baja. Pasilla, jalapeno, la paz, and tomatillo peppers are coming out of Ensenada.
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!
Blueberries are now available, in good supply, from Oregon, British Columbia, and California’s Central Valley. Now is a great time to promote blueberries! The strawberry market will continue to be short for the next couple of weeks. Blackberries will be short for the next month. Raspberries are available out of the Salinas/Watsonville area of California, and they should become more available over the next few weeks.
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!
White dragon fruit out of Vietnam is still limited. Give us a call for pricing and availability! We have plenty of yellow dragon fruit from Ecuador. Call us if you’re interested in promotions on this tropical favorite! Red dragon fruit from Nicaragua is readily available. Pricing and sizing changes regularly, so please reach out for the latest information!
Young coconuts are perfect for summer! We have special pricing available at the moment.
Natural and nutritious!
We have organic stone fruit available, with plenty of promotional volume! Varieties include: white nectarines, yellow nectarines, apricots, donut peaches, and plums.
Organic Tommy Atkins and Kent mangoes are available out of Mexico! Call us for sizing and pricing. We are offering special pricing for load volume!
Organic, California seedless grapes are now available out of Delano and Bakersfield, California. Starting varieties include: Sugarone and Flame grapes. Call us for pricing and pack availability!
Looking for other organic items? Please give us a call!
Lamb Hass avocados have a thick, black skin they feel firm, but are ripe inside. Remember, skin color is not an indicator of ripeness when it comes to avocados. When avocado trees defoliate, the avocados turn black as they are exposed to the sun, but they still aren’t ripe for a little while! Flora Loca is in full swing. Peru and California are adjusting as a result, but Negra prices remain higher than Loca. This price difference is causing a two tier price structure. Negra and California Hass avocados have better flavor, and their pricing reflects this flavor-induced demand. California Lamb Hass avocados have been harvested, with more availability each week.