Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - - Take a look at what’s fresh and in season.
We source the finest specialty produce from the best growers the world over.
Origin: Clackamas, Oregon
Limited Availability. Not grown elsewhere in the United States, but Clackamas, Oregon with a production of less than 600 single layer cases for the fall. The wonderfully crunchy Hidden Rose Apple offers a tart taste reminiscent of strawberry lemonade and a texture similar to a Granny Smith apple.
An unusual and beautiful hand fruit, this apple's colorful personality is revealed when thinly sliced and served as edible garnish for most anything. Dress up cheese plates and fresh fruit platters. The eye-catching color makes this fruit a scrumptious and gorgeous dessert apple. While resistant to browning, this apple does have a tendency to dry easily when exposed to room air. To store, refrigerate at 34-36 degrees F. An excellent keeper, this hardy apple has a refrigerated shelf life of several months.
An heirloom variety, the Hidden Rose Apple® is patented and registered exclusively by an elite grower in Clackamas, Oregon. Available on the market for the last four years, the fruit was first planted commercially in 1992 by Eric Schwartz. Grown at Thomas Paine Farms in Oregon, this special apple was discovered in the area by former farm-manager Louis Kimzey. Although the compatible and unique climate of the Pacific Northwest helps to develop its vibrant pink flesh, special growing techniques also contribute to the extraordinary color.
A lengthy and difficult growing process, it takes three years for the tree to mature and to bear fruit after planting. During the month of April, growers assess the tree's blossoms to aid in predicting the harvest for that year, the fruit is then harvested in late October. Grown organically, no pesticides or chemicals are ever used. Easily scarred, only four or five out of ten apples are blemish-free. Only top quality premium apples are shipped to the marketplace even though the flesh inside of blemished apples is unaffected. The name, Hidden Rose Apple®, is trademarked by the grower.
Availability: Just Starting
For over a millennium, the Chinese and Japanese have prized the bizarre Buddha's Hand Citron, which looks like a cross between a giant lemon and a squid, and can perfume a room for weeks with its mysterious fragrance. Normal citrons (Citrus medica L.) resemble big, rough lemons, their thick yellow rinds often used for candying. A hybrid, though some say a mutant form of this citrus, the Buddha's Hand (var. sarcodactylis), splits longitudinally at the end opposite the stem into segments that look remarkably like long thin gnarled human fingers.
Originating in Japan from the Aomori Apple Research Center around 1920, the Green Dragon apple was named after the Chinese symbol for royalty. It is highly prized and a delicacy in many Asian countries.
The appearance of the Green Dragon apple resembles a green tinted Golden Delicious but the white, crisp-textured flesh of the Green Dragon apple is encased in a skin that resists bruising. Coming from the same parents as the Mutsu and Shizuka apples, it has raised above its siblings in taste, flavor and popularity. It is a sweet apple, with low acidity, and numerous fruit esters in the aroma, it is known as the most aromatic of apples. The flavor has been described as having a slight pineapple flavor and yet others have compared it to a pear-like taste. The taste is sweet yet it leaves a subtle hint of tart behind. Although locally grown and harvested in the Pacific Northwest, until now the Green Dragon apple has been mainly exported to Asia, available only to the public through fruit stands, farmers markets or you-pick orchards.
Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America, primarily Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.
The flavour has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavour notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavour reminiscent of coconut or banana.
The flesh of the fruit consists of an edible, white pulp, some fiber, and a core of indigestible, black seeds. The pulp is also used to make fruit nectar, smoothies, fruit juice drinks, as well as candies, sorbets, and ice cream flavorings.
Availability: Good Supply
Deliciously sweet, this orange tends to be less acidic than more commonly available oranges. Its tasty, inviting pulp offers a raspberry undertone and its juice can be quite dark. The color of the blood orange is due to a pigment called anthocyanin, a naturally occurring chemical not usually present in citrus but common in other red fruits and flowers. Blood oranges have been slow to catch on commercially in the United States, perhaps because of their quirky need for cold weather and their unpredictable harvest commencement. The red pigment in this variety of orange does not develop until there has been sufficient cold in the groves, making this a late harvest citrus. Generally available from January – May, the first harvest may be a lighter color of red if the weather has not been sufficiently cold.
Blood oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. The peel may be used just the same as any other orange for adding flavor to relishes, salads and baked goods with zest. A classic Mediterranean use of this orange is to combine it with sliced fennel in a salad.
Grown mostly in Mediterranean countries, the Moro blood orange is the most common commercial variety. There are other varieties, including the elongated Tarocco and the egg-shaped Sanguinelli. Each type differs in climate preference, size and flavor. Temperature, amount of light and the variety seem to affect coloration and intensity of blood oranges. It is believed the first mutation of the blood orange occurred in Sicily in the seventeenth century. Easy to peel and medium-size, blood oranges are usually seedless.
Pack: 24/12 oz.
Fresh cranberries are one of two berries native to North America (blueberries are the other indigenous fruit); what distinguishes the cranberry from others is that they grow on evergreen bushes with trailing vines in bogs – or bodies of water. When ripe, the berries are buoyant and float on the top of the water, attached to their plants. When harvested fresh the cranberries are round and firm like small marbles and are a bright red color with a sheen, when raw they have a very tart flavor. Much like rhubarb, cranberries must be cooked to be edible and are they not particularly palatable when raw. Classically cranberries are cooked with sugar and other seasonings the make them appealing and with their tart flavor, they are a great balance to rich holiday fare.
The North American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, is the fruit that's recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the standard for fresh cranberries and the cranberry juice cocktail. The European variety, which is grown in parts of central Europe, Finland and Germany, is known as Vaccinium oxycoccus. The European variety is a smaller fruit with the same anthocyanin pigment in the North American variety but it has a different acid profile in terms of the percentages of quinic, malic and citric acid levels present. This fruit is commonly known as lingonberry or English mossberry in Europe.
When sourcing fresh cranberries, avoid berries that are shriveled or pale in color. A great test of freshness is to "bounce" a cranberry off of a hard surface; if the berry falls flat, it is "soft" and not as fresh as it could be. If you purchase more fresh cranberries than you can use, they freeze well and can be used later for cooking like any frozen berry. Harvested traditionally in the fall from mid-September through November, winter is the season for cranberries in North America.
Origin: New Zealand
Pack: 12/4.4oz clamshells
The Baby Kiwi are grape sized berries with beautiful smooth green skins and delicate seeds. They are cousins of the Kiwi Fruit but lack the undesirable fuzz found on the larger Kiwi fruit. They have a short season and limited supply. They make excellent snacks and are high in nutritional value.
Pack: 11 lbs
The Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae, native to southeast Asia, and the fruit of this tree. It is believed to be native to the Malay Archipelago although its precise natural distribution is unknown. It is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the Lychee, Longan and Mamoncillo. In Costa Rica and Nicaragua, it is known as mamón chino. In Guatemala it is known as Rambutan.
The rambutan is a fruit considered exotic to people outside of its native range. To people of Malaysia, Thailand, the Phillippines, Vietnam, Borneo, and other countries of this region, the rambutan is a relatively common fruit the same way an apple is common to many people in cooler climates.
The fruit is a round to oval drupe 3-6 cm (rarely to 8 cm) long and 3-4 cm broad, borne in a loose pendant cluster of 10-20 together. The leathery skin is reddish (rarely orange or yellow), and covered with fleshy pliable spines, hence the name rambutan, derived from the Malayan word rambut which means hairs. The fruit flesh is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavour. The single seed is glossy brown, 2-3 cm long, with a white basal scar; it is poisonous and should not be eaten with the fruit flesh.
Rambutan roots, bark, and leaves have various uses in medicine and in the production of dyes.
Pack: 25 lb - 20 lb - 20 lb - 12/1 lb
Availability: Good Supply
A sunchoke is an underground vegetable like a cross between a rutabaga, potato, sunflower seed, and water chestnut. A sunchoke, related to the sunflower, makes a delicious addition to salad, salsa, marinade, and soup.
Also called Jerusalem artichoke, the sunchoke is a flowering plant native to North America. It is grown throughout the temperate world for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable. Despite its name, the Jerusalem artichoke has no relation to Jerusalem, and little to do with artichokes.
Native Americans enjoyed digging up and eating sunchokes for centuries before the colonialists settled. Myths about the dangers of this starchy tuber kept Europeans for cultivating them until the threat was proved superstitious and they embraced the tasty vegetable. The sunchoke got its new name when a French explorer sent some plants back to his friend in Italy to cultivate in the Mediterranean climate. Thinking they tasted like artichokes, the Italian named the tuber "girasole articicco," meaning, "sunflower artichoke." Americans corrupted the pronunciation, which they thought sounded more like "Jerusalem," but the name stuck.
Pack: 8 lbs
Availability: Just Starting
Carambola (Star fruit) The golden-yellow Carambola is the perfect five pointed star when cross-cut, hence it’s nickname, star fruit. Elliptical in shape and two to five inches long with deep ribs, this fruit originated in Southeast Asia but is now also grown in Florida. Carambola can be eaten out of hand, like an apple and they have very few seeds. The outer skin should be shiny and firm. The skin on unripe fruit is tinged green but by ripening the fruit at room temperature, it will turn a rich golden color and develop a sweet aroma. Simply wash the fruit, remove any blemished areas, cut crosswise to get the star shape, and eat! Add to fruit salads, sauté lightly or use as a beautiful garnish. Star fruit are an excellent source of vitamin C, are low fat, and sodium and cholesterol free. A small whole star fruit will provide approximately 2/3 cup of sliced fruit.
Availability: Starting, Good
Also known as a Japanese squash, Orange Hokkaido or Uchiki Kuri squash, this fruit is commonly known as the Kuri squash. Medium sized and round with a tapered end, this is a thick-skinned, orange colored squash that looks like a pumpkin with a topknot and without the ridges. Its deep orange-colored shell reveals a mild flavored flesh with a somewhat dry texture. The firm flesh provides a very delicate and mellow flavor similar to the taste of chestnuts. Under its deep orange shell is mild flavored flesh with a somewhat dry texture and a delicate, subtle flavor similar to chestnuts.
All Squash are members of the Cucurbitaceae family and are relatives of both melons and cucumbers.
Pack: 40 lbs
Availability: Good - starting
Although this variety is considered a hard squash, the skin is edible when steamed or roasted. A member of the Cucurbitaceae family , this fruit‘s creamy pulp tastes like a cross between a sweet potato and butternut squash and it is distinguished by it's oblong shape. Also called Bohemian squash, the delicata has pale yellow skin with medium green or orange striations. Delicata can range from 5 to 9 inches in length and 1 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter and make an attractive daisy-like presentation when cut as a cross-section prior to roasting. It's in season from late summer through late fall.
Delicata squash can be stored up to 3 weeks at an average room temperature. Delicata squash is a good source of potassium, iron and vitamins A and C.
Pack: 30 lbs
Availability: Just Starting
Fresh Black Eyed peas are a shelling bean and legume and a subspecies of the cowpea. These fresh beans are not a pea but rather a bean surrounded by a long and green pod. Some Black Eye pods can grow to two feet in length, although they are rarely found fresh. The beans themselves are a petite white legume with a curved shaped and a narrow black circle in the center of the bean's structure – this is the signature 'eye'. The eye is developed at the exact spot where the bean attaches to the pod. The color of the eye may be black, brown, red, pink or green. All the peas are green when freshly shelled and brown or buff when dried. Black eyed peas are firm when cooked and have a slightly nutty flavor.
Most Black Eye peas are sold as a dry legume and are a traditional meal for the New Year.
Pack: 60-90 ct/135 ct/Loose
Forelles are one of the smallest varieties of pears, a little larger than Seckels. Their symmetrical body, often bell-shaped, begins with a small round base that tapers evenly to a short neck. Their stem is usually longer and more narrow than a Seckel. For what they lack in size, Forelle pears make up in sweet flavor and beautiful appearance.
The name Forelle translates to mean "trout" in the German language. It is believed that the variety earned this name because of the similarity between the pear's brilliant red lenticles and the colors of a Rainbow trout. Forelles are one of the smallest varieties of pears, a little larger than Seckels. These are exceptional amenity fruit for guest areas and waiting rooms. For what they lack in size, Forelle pears make up in sweet flavor and beautiful appearance. A bowl full of ripening Forelles provides a beautiful and edible centerpiece, particularly during the holidays and other special occasions.
Garbanzo Beans or chickpeas are the most widely consumed legume in the world. Originating in the Middle East, they have a firm texture with a flavor somewhere between chestnuts and walnuts.
Chick pea and garbanzo bean are 2 names for the same thing (Cicer arietinum) a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae). They are also called ceci (Italy), Egyptian pea, gram, Kichererbse (Germany), and revithia (Greece).
Garbanzo is the name used in Spanish speaking countries. The English name chickpea comes from the French chiche, which comes from the Latin cicer.
Garbanzos are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, garbanzos' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, garbanzos provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. But this is far from all garbanzos have to offer. Garbanzos are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites.
Pack: 25 lb.
Tsuru Noko - this fruit is referred to as the "Chocolate" persimmon because of the dark color of the internal flesh. Each fruit has a sweet flavor with hints of cocoa. Can be eaten firm or soft. This is a very rare seasonal offering.
Pack: 25 lb.
Availability: Limited 3 weeks
New harvest, fresh pistachios have a beautiful pink and white outer skin which feels a bit like a thick flower petal. This outer layer is called the epicarp. When fresh, the epicarp will easily come apart and can be peeled off. Once the soft outer skin is removed, the traditional beige shelled pistachio nut is revealed beneath this protective layering.
Classically a Persian delicacy, fresh pistachios are soft, sweet and juicy inside. Fresh pistachios have a short season and are usually available in September.
Until the mid-1970s, all pistachios sold in the United States were imported, mainly from the Middle East. The traditional growing and harvesting methods used by pistachio farmers in countries such as Iran, Syria, and Greece often left blemishes on the outer shell, which American importers would mask with a red vegetable dye. But with the growth of the domestic pistachio industry, the days of the red pistachio may be numbered. About 96 percent of the pistachios currently sold in the United States are grown in California. These nuts are harvested without blemishes, which makes the red dyes unnecessary.