February 2, 2015 - General Produce Co.

We Solve Your Produce Needs.
Volume 33, Week 5
Monday, February 2, 2015
Cold winter weather beckons
us toward satisfying warm
and hearty meal ideas.
Sticking to our resolution to
eat healthier while upping
the ante
vegetables, soups made
from scratch are genius.
Winter vegetables are ideal
for putting together a
wholesome, filling lunch or
supper. The ultimate
comfort food, a bowl or cup of
piping hot soup melts away those winter blues.
Kale, spinach, celery, potatoes, leeks, carrots,
ginger and squashes set the stage for best made
soups. Fresh onions, shallots and garlic, of course,
are the first step ingredients of many.
The ease of assembly combined with short
cooking time is key to weeknight soups for
dinner. Paired with a crusty chunk of bread, fruit and
cheese plate or simple salad makes for an easily
prepared meal, company worthy.
Soup does not have to be rich or heavy to be
satisfying. Clear broths or tomato stocks offer
lighter fare. Pure vegetable broths assume a
lively personality when infused with fresh herbs,
lemongrass and citrus.
French onion soup amazingly calls upon very few
ingredients to deliver an indulgent, classic favorite.
Tender, sweet strips of caramelized onions are the
star show. White wine, vermouth or brandy build
depth of flavor during the cooking process.
As other soup recipes get
put into the weekly rotation,
try Worcestershire or
Bordelaise sauces to jump
start the broth.
Complexity of flavor is at
the heart of any good soup.
Melded together, slowly
cooked components steep
in their earthy goodness.
Single allstar soups might
fennel, chard and even
broccoli or peas. A case could be made for quite
simply tomato soup.
Boredom is not a requisite for one pot meals. The
pantry is full of interesting ingredients to include in
soup creations. Beans and other legumes (like
lentils and soybeans) provide texture, protein and
Noodles, rice and
grains are likely soup
component candidates. Branch out with unfamiliar
grains such as farro and barley. Both have
substantial staying power. These hearty additions to
the soup mix keep us contented.
More than a cure for common winter ailments,
warm liquids in soups vanquish the February chill.
Look for the comfort of soup to soothe sore throats,
relieve congestion and nourish fatigue.
Believe in the healing powers of homemade soup.
Good for the body, good for the soul. Winter
soups are just plain good.
P.O. Box 308, Sacramento, CA 95812 • Phone 916.441.6431 • Fax 916.441.2483 • www.generalproduce.com
Apples & Pears: Apple demand and
movement are very good. Supplies
continue to be short on all small fruit in
all varieties. There are still great
promotional opportunities on 88’s and
larger red delicious. Quality remains
excellent. Pear demand is exceeding
supply, especially for 110’s and smaller. Supplies
continue to be tight on these sizes. Crop is running
heavy to U.S. #1, peaking 90’s and larger. Trucking
continues to be an issue with more booked loads than
trucks to haul them. Rates have eased somewhat but
not reflecting lower fuel prices.
Avocados: Supplies from Mexico are steady and
beginning to catch up at shipping points. California
fruit is starting to come to market with light supplies.
We will be into California product in the next two
weeks. Overall supplies and quality are good. Demand
for all sizes of fruit is good and market is steady to
Berries: Strawberry markets
are active with limited supplies.
We are still seeing some white
shoulders, green tips, light
bruising and water damage
showing up in the packs
although quality has improved some after the most
recent rainfall. Look for the strawberry supplies to be
challenging again this week and into next. Both
Mexico and California raspberry supplies continue to
come off and we will continue to see the raspberry
market firm. Product will continue to tighten up through
mid-late February Fruit quality is fair. Blackberry
markets are firm; quality fair. Blueberry markets have
improved slightly, but still a challenge.
Citrus: Tangelos are peaking
now. Get them into the citrus
rotation. Growers have some
buildups on large choice Navel
oranges so this might be an area to focus on. An eight pound
bag is a good ring and can get
some citrus action going. Lemons are starting to take
before Lenten business. Small fruit will remain
tight so mark your ad planners with larger fruit ads.
Cara Caras are fabulous this year, movement has
been very good. If you have not tried them, now is a
good period as there is still a full run of sizes and quality is great. Organic lemons and navels are in the
mix so keep your variety and selection expanded.
Meyer and seedless lemons are selling well and
round out that lemon category. Ask about “pink” or
“zebra” lemons. Meyers will get tight in about four
weeks so best to get them going now. Pummelo
supplies are winding down faster than we would like.
The Lunar New Year is coming up (February 19th).
Start promoting early. Cuties will run about 3-5 more
Seasonal Fruits: Offshore
melons are arriving on the
west coast and are finally
more available. The market
is trending lower. Quality is
good on all
Cantaloupe and honeydew
are coming down quickly. Chile is the main kiwi fruit
supply area. California is starting. Italian is available off
East Coast and will be available on the West Coast in a
Chilean stone fruits are in and ready for a “taste of
summer in winter”. Light but steady demand for
peaches and nectarines with adequate supplies has
held this market about steady. The one exception to
this is the smaller volume-fill packs that shippers are
discounting to move. Red plums are still the primary
plum available with a few black varieties also
beginning to increase in volume. These markets are
steady with quality being reported as good.
The West coast continues to suffer from the recent
labor slowdown at the ports. Vessels are subsequently
late and supplies of various products and sizes are
affected as the shippers try to unload and meet
current demand. This should only be a temporary
issue as the next vessels unload and supplies get
back to a more normal footing. The grape market on
the West Coast for red seedless is about steady with
signs of easing as supplies again become more
available. The market on green seedless continues to
be steady with adequate supplies to meet demand.
We have Peruvian globe grapes available.
Tomatoes: Western markets have strong supplies of
tomatoes. Growers in Western Mexico are shipping
increased numbers of Romas and rounds with good
quality. Grape tomato production is a little light, but
there is more than enough to meet demand.
VALUE ADDED PRODUCT UPDATE: Please keep in mind that all value added items are going to have
shorter shelf lives due to past freezing temperatures and weather related issues. so please go lean and move
as quickly as possible. Issues of pin rot with broccoli continues to be reported. Romaine supplies will be light
in availability all week. Blister and peel has made this commodity weak in terms of shelf life. Lettuce
supplies are lighter as demand has picked up. Broccoli supplies are moderate, overall. Cauliflower supplies
are steady. Many premade salad mixes continue to be prorated, short, poor quality and problematic.
Asparagus: There will be some rain in the growing
regions of Mexico and this will likely cause production
numbers to be less than normal. Standard and large
sizing will be the main sizing available. Extra large and
jumbos are extremely tight. This will continue through
the month of January. Peruvian product is available
but only light supplies exist.
Broccoli, Cauliflower & Celery:
With the warmer temperatures
broccoli continues to be more readily
available. Expect supplies to improve
over the next few weeks to meet demand. Crews are staying on top of
fields to provide only the finest quality broccoli (reports of
some brown bead and other heat related issues).
Cauliflower supplies are good this week. The majority of
sizing will continue to be on 12’s. Quality remains very
nice. Celery supplies are steady in both Mexico and
Yuma. Demand is fair and the market remains steady.
Quality is good with the exception of very light blister.
Color is a strong green.
Lettuces: This market is up. Rain at the beginning of
the week hurt production numbers with all suppliers.
Supplies will be lighter with all shippers. Blistering,
misshapen heads, ribby and epidermal peel continues
to be the pressing issue lettuces. Demand is up.
Weights will fluctuate. Shippers are working through
product as best as possible and are reluctant on
issuing credit. Please educate customers and
consumers as much as possible. Romaine blistering
is especially problematic. Epidermal peel continues to
pose issue for whole and processed cut products.
Mixed Vegetables: Colored bell peppers are
increasing in production and supplies ought to meet
demand. They aren’t coming off just yet but, we
anticipate them slowly settling. Green bells are
and excellent quality. Green onion
production out of Mexico is moderate to light. High
pricing this past week has slowed demand with most
suppliers. Wilted tops, light color, burnt tips and
flopping continues to be common defects.
English Cucumber supplies are improving as product
becomes readily available out of Mexico. Expect to
see improvement as the weeks continue. Light
artichoke supplies continue this week and next week.
Chokes this week will still be “frost kissed”. Green
cabbage supplies will continue to increase throughout
the month of February in advance of St. Patrick's Day
demand in March. Red cabbage is steady and
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 medium onions, sliced
1/8 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons flour
5 cups low-sodium, reduced fat beef broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (you could also substitute chicken broth)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
4 slices (about 1/4 inch thick each) toasted French bread
(preferably whole grain)
2 garlic cloves, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
Method: In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over
medium heat; add the onions and cook, uncovered, until
golden – about 8-10 minutes. Blend in the sugar and flour
and cook for 3-5 more minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the beef broth, wine, thyme,bay leaf, and pepper;
increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to
a boil, stirring constantly for about 6 minutes. Adjust the
heat to a simmer, partly cover the saucepan, and simmer
for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, spoon out the bay leaf
and add the brandy (if using).
Preheat the oven’s broiler. Rub each piece of bread with
the cut side of garlic. Ladle the soup into 4 ovenproof
bowls. Place a piece of bread on te top of the liquid in
each bowl and sprinkle the top of each with a tablespoon
of cheese.
Place the bowls in the oven 4-6 inches from the heat, and
broil until the cheese is golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).
Recipe courtesy Cooking Done Light
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