We have lots of beautiful produce arriving from around the globe to offset the ongoing weather problems in Oxnard: Greengage plum from New Zealand, AA white asparagus from Holland and gorgeous morels from China are bright spots on the produce scene this week. The persistent rains out west continue to damage anything with the word “baby” in front of it (think lettuce, radishes, carrots, etc). California strawberries are non-existent and full head lettuces like Iceberg and Romaine will continue to undergo price increases. But, all that rain did bring on wild nettles earlier than usual as well as miners lettuce and wild spring onions. At the same time, citrus choices are expanding with Ruby Tangos and Bernard Ranch blood oranges now making their debut. Finally, in exciting news— Sharwil avocados from Hawaii are now available in the US for the first time in 25 years! Considered by some to be the world’s best avocado, the Sharwil has a small pit and off-the-charts oil content that gives it an exceptionally smooth, buttery texture.
Avocados | Mexican Hass are going to be very, very limited in the upcoming week. Organic Avocado market is tight as well. Expect prices to climb further. Avocados from Bernard Ranch in Riverside, CA have started as a welcome back-up. Baldor has an exclusive on the new Hawaiian Sharwil Avocado. This green-skinned variety resists oxidation and has a smaller pit, creating fruit with better yield.
Berries | Strawberries, Conventional: 100% from Florida this week because Oxnard, which is normally peaking this time of year, is still under water. Berries are decent with good flavor, but also some light bruising. Strawberries, Organic: More readily available and supplies increase. Blueberries: All berries are from Mexico and supplies are good on both conventional and organic. There’s about a month left on jumbo California blueberries. Raspberries: Decent market with excellent quality and good supplies on both conventional and organic. Blackberries: Market is higher this week, but quality is still good. We also have good supplies on organic blacks. Harry’s Berries: Delayed a week due to Oxnard rains. Expect the first arrival next week!
Citrus | Now is the time to use citrus on your menus. This category is peaking and Cara Caras, blood oranges, Sevilles, Pomelos, Oro Blancos, Minneolas, heirloom Navels are all in stock. Ruby Tangos, a spectacular cross between bloods and clementines, are in stock and at peak flavor. Sumo Citrus season is winding down, but product will be around for two more weeks. Bernard Ranch un-waxed blood oranges are now in and we just received a new shipment of Meyer lemons from Rising C Ranches. The regular lemon market tightening as rain continues to affect harvesting schedules. Lime market steady for now, but expected to climb in the coming weeks. Organic Grapefruits are down a bit and Ugli Fruit is in from Jamaica.
Lettuces | Radicchio and Treviso are steady and cheap. Red watercress is back in stock. Beautiful Texan crate arugula has arrived. Red and green leaf, romaine hearts and iceberg are much higher as growers have gotten ahead in the fields and are now gapping. Organic leaf lettuces and Romaine are also tight with some mildew issues. No true Circus Frisee is available at this time. Red and green Gem lettuces are both limited this week as are all baby lettuce due to rains in Oxnard. We do have some baby lettuce selections from County Line Harvest but they have been affected by bad weather as well. Mann Packing’s Arcadian Harvest lettuce mix is a great option this week. Hydroponic arugula from Florida is readily available and we have beautiful local, organic arugula from Gilbertie’s Farm in CT. Rosa di Gorizia radicchio from the Veneto region of Italy is limited this week.
Mushrooms | Beautiful morels are here from China--really large and firm. Moroccan chanterelles have arrived but are somewhat limited this early in the season. We do have value chanterelles from California which are larger in size and not as clean. Pink oyster mushrooms from Holland are still going strong for a few more weeks. Black Trumpets, Hedgehog and Yellowfoots continue from the Pacific Northwest and South African porcini are steady.
Tomatoes | Market is saturated right now with plenty good tomatoes out there. Only cherry tomatoes continue to be limited as growers are opting to grow grape tomatoes instead. Great organic options are available as well – 4x5 Beefsteaks from Mexico are full red color right now. Good availability and pricing on organic heirloom beefsteaks, cherries and mixed medley.
Global treats to brighten the winter gloom, plus a few local lettuce surprises!
Guatemalan crops coming on heavy.
West Coat Lettuce still presenting challenge; be sure to check out our many other salad options.
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