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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - May 13, 2021

Local Stone Fruit

June is just around the corner and that means it is the beginning of stone fruit season! We do our best to source from local farms when possible. We are currently offering the following:

Apache Apricots: An early variety that boasts a sweet, delicate flavor. Apache apricots have a beautiful pinkish-orange skin with a smooth orange flesh. They are currently available from Frog Hollow, located in Brentwood, CA. Frog Hollow is certified organic with CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). Available by the 10# case only and you must specify Frog Hollow when ordering.
Conventional apricots are available by the 14# case and by the pound.

Snow Angel White Peaches: Snow Angels are highly floral and slightly more acidic than other varieties. Because they are early  season stone fruit, they are on the smaller, firmer side and a clingstone variety. Available from Twin Peaks Orchards, located in Newcastle, CA. Twin Peaks was established in 1912 and has been family owned and operated for four generations. Single layer flat or per pound.

Super Zee Yellow Peaches: Super Zees are a smaller variety with a nice sweetness, juicy flesh, and low acidity. Also available from Twin Peaks Orchards. Single layer flat or per pound.

Royal Tioga Cherries: Royal Tiogas are a large, firm cherry with deep red skin and rose colored flesh. Grown in Lodi, CA and sold by the 16# case and by the pound.

 

Sparrow Lane Vinegar

Sparrow Lane vinegars are made exclusively with varietal wine grapes grown in Napa and Sonoma  counties. The vinegars are aged in small oak barrels using the traditional French method. Careful attention is given to the acid level of their vinegars creating approachable and delightful flavors. Sparrow Lane does not add colors, flavors, or other unnatural ingredients. We stock the following by the gallon:

CABERNET VINEGAR Ruby red color, lush and full bodied.
CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR Delicate, crisp and fresh, with the classic color of fine champagne.
DARK BALSAMIC VINEGAR Rich dark chestnut color with slightly sweet silky hints of caramel.
GOLDEN BALSAMIC VINEGAR Honey colored with the slight floral tones of the sweet Muscat Grape.   Delightfully sweet with just enough pucker.
SHERRY VINEGAR Deep caramel color with a smooth and assertive crisp deep oak flavor.
WHITE WINE VINEGAR Slight golden color, smooth, crisp and clean.
ZINFANDEL VINEGAR Deep red in color, old vine flavors with plenty of pepper and spice and slight port overtones.

We also stock the following vinegars:
Apple Cider
Citrus
Fig Balsamic
Mango
Pear
Pear/Raspberry
Pink Champagne
Red Wine
Rice Wine

Market Outlook - April 23, 2021

riverdog farm

Riverdog is a 450 acre, certified organic, diversified family farm located in Guinda (Capay Valley), CA since 1990. Owners Trini Campbell and Tim Mueller grow a variety of fruits and vegetables using a system that promotes healthy soil and a sustainable ecosystem around the farm.

Spring (Green) Garlic: Spring Garlic is loved by chefs for its light, delicate flavor. It is the same species as regular garlic, but its bulbs have not yet matured into the pungent bulbs of common garlic. Quite sharp when raw, it mellows when cooked and is ideal for infusing sweet garlic flavor into soups, stocks, and pasta fillings. 10# case or per pound

Spring Onions (Red and White): Spring onions are sweeter and more mellow than traditional onions, but the greens are more intense in flavor than scallions. Spring Onions look similar to scallions, with a small onion bulb at the base that can be red or white, depending on the variety. They are wonderful grilled, roasted whole, or used in place of pearl onions. 10# case only

Tadorna Leeks: King Richards leeks are finished for the season and we will be transitioning to Tadorna. Tadorna leeks are shorter than the King Richards variety and have wider stalks, although the edible portion of a Tadorna is a bit smaller. Locally grown leeks add wonderful flavors to stocks, soups, stews, and more. They can also be blanched and served chilled in salads, fried for garnishes, or grilled as a side. 12ct case only

Bloomsdale Spinach: A sweet, heirloom variety with a deeper and more interesting flavor than the standard flat leaf spinach. Each leaf is heavily crinkled, giving it a heartier texture, perfect for sautéing or wilting. 4# case

Braising Mix: A wonderful blend of seasonal, robust greens. Ideal for dishes that require sturdier greens that hold well under heat. 3# case

Tokyo Turnips: Tokyo turnips look similar to radishes with smooth white skin and white flesh. They are mild, slightly spicy, with an earthy sweetness. 10# case

 

california asparagus

Spring has sprung! We have officially moved to all California asparagus, grown in Gonzales, CA. We are currently offering 28# cases or per pound.

Asparagus is packed in five sizes: pencil, standard, large, extra large, and jumbo. The size of the asparagus should be determined by how you intend to cook it.
Pencil (about the diameter of a pencil) is best for sautéing and very quick cooking.
Standard (roughly the diameter of your pinky finger) is great blanched in chilled salads or cold appetizers.
Large (the diameter of your index finger) is the most common size and is great for grilling as it will allow you to add a nice char and still be al dente.
Extra Large and Jumbo (about the diameter of your thumb) is perfect for longer cooking applications such as roasting or braising.

It is important to note that size has no bearing on flavor or color.

 

the impacts of covid


In the last year, we have all questioned the impact that the long-term effects of Covid would have on our economy– the agriculture sector is no different. The lack of labor, funding, and demand are felt by farmers across the country. When transitioning from winter to spring crops, questions begin trickling in from customers about the availability of seasonal items. We are continuing to support local farms when possible, although the recent pandemic has made it increasingly difficult.

One of the largest hurdles is the lack of labor. Numerous reasons have caused the void, including restrictions on occupancy, illnesses, travel  restrictions, inability to social distance, and monetary struggles.

Another large issue being faced is cost. With Mexico having such a large presence in products being shipped to California, the overall cost of products are drastically different. California labor costs can not compete with Mexico’s. Because the market does not support the higher cost of California products, farmers have been forced to either abandon their crops or sell at a deficit.

Along with labor costs, California farmers have also had to make the difficult decision on what to grow and the quantities. The pandemic has made the supply and demand chain very unpredictable. Farmers have chosen to not plant numerous crops, especially specialty or delicate items, due to the lack of demand. Now that the supply chain has started to move again, the demand for certain specialty items is returning but growing the crops takes time.

We are urging our customers to remain patient and understanding as we adjust to the “new normal.” We love seeing our customers back in their restaurants and our partnered farmers in their fields, but it will take time to adjust. As always, we will continue providing updates as they are available.

Market Outlook - March 11, 2021

Nippon Shokken

Nippon Shokken, located in West Sacramento, produces a variety of sauces and batters that are free of MSG, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and preservatives. 
TEMPURA BATTER– Creates a crisp and light texture for anything that can be battered and fried. Sold in a 3.3# bag.
KARAAGE BATTER– Use for crispy fried chicken, onion rings, fish and chips, and calamari. 3.3# bag.
TERIYAKI SAUCE– Soy sauce perfectly balanced with sweetness (from prune juice) and fresh ginger. It makes the perfect glaze or marinade. Available in a 4.9# container. Teriyaki marinade is also available by the 5.3# container.
BLACK PEPPER SAUCE– A nice balance of sweet and peppery that makes a delicious marinade, sauce, and glaze for meat and seafood. Available in a 4.8# container.
GINGER SAUCE– Use as a marinade and stir-fry sauce. Made with fresh ginger and miso paste. Available in a 4.8# container.
ORANGE SAUCE– Made with three types of oranges: juice, peel, and natural flavor. Available in a 5.2# container.

Available with a 72 hour pre-order:

CURRY SAUCE– A versatile spicy sauce, made with onions, apple, tomato, and spices. Available by the 4.6# container.
MANGO SAUCE– A sweet and tangy, fruit based sauce. Available in a 4.6# container.
PEANUT SAUCE– Use as a dipping sauce or peanut dressing for cold noodles & salads. It is made with  roasted peanuts, peanut butter and lemon. Available in a 48oz container.
JAPANESE DRESSING– A soy-sauce base dressing with a hint of wasabi that makes a flavorful addition to salads, meats and seafood. Available in a 60oz container.

 

Rue & Forsman

Rue & Forsman Ranch was founded in 1946 just south of Marysville, CA by Frank Rue and John Forsman. More recently, Frank’s grandson, Michael Bosworth, has helped make Rue and Forsman one of the most innovated and sustainability-minded rice producers in the state. In order to produce the highest quality rice possible, each step is carefully controlled from the day the rice is planted until it is milled and delivered to customers.
BROWN RICE Short grain and long grain available by the 25# bag. Medium grain available by the 50# bag.
WHITE RICE Sushi (short) and long grain available by the 25# bag.
BASMATI RICE An extra long grain, which results in a very light texture when cooked. This basmati rice is considered by many to be the best quality rice of its type grown in the US. 25# bag
BLACK RICE A mild, nutty taste similar to brown rice. Black rice has a deep black color and usually turns to a deep purple when cooked. 25# bag
JASMINE (WHITE) RICE A long grain that fluffs when cooked with the characteristic floral aroma. 25# bag
RED RICE A sturdy rice that is a bit nuttier and subtly more sweet than other varieties. It is typically similar to brown rice in terms of texture. 25# bag

 

Hodo Soy Tofu


Hodo Soy Beanery was founded by Minh Tsai in Oakland, CA. They are strongly committed to quality and take great care in producing this exceptional tofu. Hodo Soy uses only Organic Non-GMO soy beans grown in the United States. 

FIRM TOFU- Flavorful, nutrient-rich, full of character, and high-quality. 20# case (4/5#), 5# bag, 6/10oz case, 10oz package. In stock. Hodo Soy firm tofu is considered by many to be ‘extra firm’. You may want to experiment with it and judge for yourself.

MEDIUM TOFU- Made fresh daily in small batches; cloud-like and ethereal in texture, while still keeping their shape when added to stir-fries or grilled. 15# (20x12oz) case. Pre-order.

YUBA NOODLES & FRESH YUBA SHEETS- Fully formed, mature soymilk skin offers creamy, nutty and sweet flavors with a distinctively firm, yet somewhat chewy, bite. Its pliable texture is extremely versatile. Noodles available in plain, sesame, and spicy. 6x5oz case. Fresh Yuba Sheets available by the 5# case. Pre-order.
 
TOFU PUFFS- Firm tofu is twice fried to create puffs that have a unique chewy, meat-like texture and a great canvas
for flavors. Great in soups, braises, curries and stir-fries. 5# case. Pre-order.

BRAISED TOFU- Poached in in a light Chinese Five-Spice blend and caramel sauce, this braised tofu has a smooth texture and can be sliced or cubed for a sandwich, or cut into thin juliennes for salads or stir-fry. 5# case. Pre-order.

THAI CURRY TOFU NUGGETS- Flavorful and fragrant morsels of tofu cubes that are fried then braised in an  aromatic curry of lemongrass and warm, exotic spices. They are juicy, slightly spicy, and have a chewy texture. 5# case. Pre-order.

SOY MILK- Fresh and creamy soymilk made simply with organic soybeans and water; no carrageenan or other additives. 1/2 gallon. Pre-order

Artisan Oils- La Tourangelle

Starting with perfectly pure ingredients, each batch of artisan oil from La Tourangelle is unique and hand-crafted in Woodland, CA. 

TOASTED SESAME SEED OIL– Golden brown oil with bold, nutty flavor ideal for vinaigrettes, stir fry, and marinades. Works well in medium-high heat applications. 1,000mL canister

GRAPESEED OIL– Light, neutral flavor and a very high smoke point make this oil best for stir fries and sautés; also makes a lovely addition to marinades. Gallon

AVOCADO OIL– Rich emerald green oil; thick with a subtle buttery flavor. Delicious in uncooked items like salads and dips, but also ideal for cooking because it has a higher smoke point than olive oil. 1,000mL canister

ROASTED WALNUT OIL– Rich nutty taste and light color. Use in baking, salads, pasta, sauces, or on grilled fish or meat. Works well with medium-high heat. Gallon

ROASTED ALMOND OIL– Good sub for olive oil; adds subtle almond flavor to any dish. Works well with medium-high heat. 1,000mL

BASIL INFUSED OIL– Fragrant basil flavor perfect for pesto, caprese salad, grilled chicken or fish, or as a dipping oil for bread. Works well with high heat. 250mL canister

ORGANIC VIRGIN COCONUT OIL– Organic coconuts pressed within 4 days of being hand harvested. Pure coconut taste and beautiful texture, perfect for cooking, baking, dressings, or frying. 15oz canister

PUMPKIN SEED OIL– Should not be cooked due to its low heat point but makes a great finish for salad dressing, soup, pasta, spreads and baked goods, and more. 250mL canister. (Pre-order)

OIL SPRAYS
A convenient, non-aerosol, and propellant-free spray. La Tourangelle oil sprays are 100% oil and full of flavor. We currently offer white truffle infused and garlic infused, both excellent finishing oils. Each variety is sunflower oil based. 8oz spray