Monday, March 27, 2017 - - Take a look at what’s fresh and in season.
We source the finest specialty produce from the best growers the world over.
Pack: 32ct 2 layer
Quince is harvested from a small fruit tree that's botanically in the rose family, this makes quince also related to apples and pears. Common quince is native to Iran, Turkey, and perhaps Greece and the Crimea.
When raw, this golden-yellow fruit has a strong and fragrant aroma with an astringent taste. When cooked, quince takes on a pink color and makes an excellent preserve. Quince contains so much pectin, that traditionally it was used as an added ingredient in jellies and jams that feature fruits such as strawberries and peaches. It is still commonly used in conserves and seasonal fall compotes, condiments and stews. California is the only state in the U.S. that grows quince commercially. Harvested from mid-August to early November, the fruit stores well and is generally available through January. There are small shipments imported to the US from Chile during the months of March to May.
Those willing to take the time to prepare quince are rewarded with a floral aroma and an apple and pear flavor accented by a surprising attractive pink flesh. When quince is cooked, heat and acidity convert the compounds in the raw fruit to anthocyanins; this chemical reaction is what colors the flesh and diminishes the astringency of the raw fruit. Common cooking techniques include baking and poaching - featuring this fruit in pies, tarts and crumbles is common.
Pack: 25 lb.
Availability: Just Started
The fresh "grassy" flavored green almonds are eaten as a snack, used in salads or made into a paste. Use the almonds shaved, sliced or whole in soups or salads. A traditional snack in the Middle East, green almonds have recently caught on with adventurous chefs. The fuzzy green almonds change markedly during the springtime harvest: In April, they're tender enough to eat whole and have a herbaceous taste (like a raw pea pod, but slightly tart and bitter); brined or dipped in salt, they're addictive. Within a few weeks, the hull and shell toughen, and the seed, which hardens from translucent jelly to a crunchy white nutlet, is the only part eaten.
Pack: 5 lb.
Ramps (or wild leeks, as they are also known) are a true harbinger of spring - often the first edible plant in the wild forager's harvest. Many years (including this year), wild ramp shoots can be found poking up through the last crust of winter's melting snow.
Right now, it's early spring ramps from Ohio and West Virginia. These slender ramps have a sweet, but spicy bite and amazing flavor. About the size of a green onion or scallion, these early ramps are a real taste treat. Once cleaned of their root and "button", the entire ramp is edible, sliced raw into salads or cooked in any way you can imagine.
Ramps or Wild Leeks: What's the difference? Ramps and Wild Leeks are the same plant (Allium tricoccum), a wild-growing member of the onion family (Alliaceae), generally seen with the edible small white bulb and the broad green leaves attached. Found as far south as Georgia and north to Canada, they're especially popular in the folk cuisine of the Appalachian mountains when they first emerge early in the spring. Ramps have a spicy exciting flavor, like a combination of onions and garlic. They make a bold statement on salads, in soups or sauces or whole as a garnish.
The names "Ramps" and "Wild Leeks" are differentiated primarily by their different growing regions. Where they are found growing in the south, they are known as Ramps. Harvest in this region typically begins around the middle of March. A few weeks later, the harvest begins in the Great Lakes region where they are called Wild Leeks. Northern Wild Leeks tend to have a larger bulb and a slightly milder flavor than their southern cousins. Wild Leeks deepen and mature their incredible flavor to perfection.
Ramps are a Spring Tonic
They've traditionally been considered to be a powerful folk medicine said to keep away colds and flu! The reputation which holds both ramps and wild leeks to be powerful healers turns out to be well deserved. They are high in Vitamins C and A, and are full of healthful minerals. And they have the same cholesterol-reducing capacity found in garlic and other members of this family.
A Few Ramp Tips:
Good ramps or wild leeks should have two or three whole bright green leaves with the small white bulb attached by a purplish stem. The leaves are generally about 6 inches long, although ramps tend to be harvested at a somewhat earlier stage than are wild leeks. Depending on where you get them, ramps or wild leeks may be still muddy from the field or all cleaned and trimmed. The key is that they be fresh. Yellowing or withering in the leaves is a sign that they have gone too long.
Handling Fresh Ramps/Wild Leeks A papery wrapper leaf (and some dirt) may surround the bulb and should be pulled off as you would with scallions. Trim away any roots along with their little button attachment. The entire plant is now ready for eating.
Once ramps / wild leeks have been cleaned, store them in the refrigerator tightly wrapped to keep them from drying out (and to protect the rest of the contents of the fridge from the heady aroma). They should keep for a week or more, but use them as soon as possible after harvest.
Origin: New Zealand
Pack: 11 lb
Availability: Limited Global Availability 3 weeks only
The Greengage plum has a deep green skin and juicy yellow green flesh. It is considered one of the most striking of the plums. It was developed in France from a green-fruited wild plum (Ganerik) originally found in Asia Minor. It is identified by its small, oval shape, smooth-textured flesh, and ranging in colour from green to yellow, grown in temperate areas. They are known for their rich, confectionery flavour that causes them to be considered one of the finest dessert plums.
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: 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.
Origin: New Zealand
Pack: Place Pack.
Availability: Few (Starting)
Passion fruit that's identified by a purple - brown outer rind is available year around with a peak in season from January through June. Purple passion fruit is classically an egg - shaped fruit, approximately two to three inches in diameter at maturity. The fruit's skin is brittle and smooth, yet dimpled and at peak maturity should be heavily wrinkled. The skin's color varies with hues of dark purple and red. Passion fruit, also known as Granadilla, is of the family Passifloraceae. Granadilla is the fruit of the plant Passiflora ligularis.
Below the outer skin is a cottony white peel. The interior cavity is filled with edible yellow to green pulp and flesh covered seeds like those of a pomegranate (granadilla means 'little pomegranate' in Spanish). The fruit's pulp is highly aromatic and has a tropical sweet tart juice with nuances of pineapple, papaya, mango, citrus and guava.
When choosing ripe fruit, look for wrinkled skin and a deep purple color – this is the fruit that has ripened the most and will be the sweetest. The softer the shell, the more ripe the fruit will be; The outer shell becomes pliable and wrinkled when fully ripe and if there is any mold evident, it can be wiped off–it does not impact the inside product or flavor. Remember–this fruit is wrinkled and ugly when ripe!
Pack: 20 lbs. Hot/House
Availability: Just Starting
Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum L.) is a cool season, perennial vegetable, grown for its leafstalks that have a unique tangy taste, generally used for pies and sauces. Rhubarb was first cultivated in the Far East more than 2,000 years ago. It was initially grown for medicinal purposes, and not until the 18th century was it grown for culinary use in Britain and America.
Although the leaves are toxic, various parts of the plants are purported to have medicinal and culinary uses. In the kitchen, fresh raw stalks are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong tart taste. Most commonly the plant's stalks are cooked with sugar and used in pies and other desserts. It pairs well with strawberries for an exquisite combination of sweet and tart. It is also delicious stewed. Good source of calcium and potassium.
There are two primary varieties of rhubarb: Hothouse and field grown. The hothouse variety is generally a little lighter in color and less 'stringy'. Hothouse rhubarb, which is cultivated in Washington and Michigan is harvested from January through June. Field grown usually hits the market from April through June or July.
Identification note: Rhubarb is usually considered to be a vegetable; however, in 1947 a court in New York, NY decided that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties.
Culinary Note: Never eat the leaves, raw or cooked, as they contain toxins. Cut the leaves off and discard as soon as preparation begins. Rinse the stalks and trim off the tops and bottoms of each piece. With the more mature stalks – or field grown rhubarb, remove the outer skin by peeling from the base of each stalk.
Storage: Fresh rhubarb can be stored for two to four weeks at 32-36 degrees F and 95% relative humidity. Store in perforated polyethylene bags.