Monday, November 14, 2011

Produce notes from Allen.....121 Local Items!

Where are the Mangos?  When the organic Mexican harvest ended, we tried the conventional ones from Brazil.  They were not very good, and just as we decided to drop the Brazilian Mango, a small harvest of California Mangos began.  This very expensive California Mango was one of the best Mangos I have ever eaten and many members have made the same comment.  Unfortunately that brief season has ended as well.  Organic Mangos should start up again from Ecuador soon and this Monday we will try a conventionally grown Mexican Ataulfo Mango, the tiny kidney shaped yellow Mango and hope that we all like it.  Supply has been choppy for the last couple of months and occasionally you were disappointed.  Sometimes seasons for various produce items overlap seamlessly and sometimes it seems like nothing is working right.  The last couple of months with hurricanes and floods (and miserable weather affecting regions we are all less aware of), have led to some disappointing periods when some of our favorite foods have temporarily disappeared.  Instead of having an "OMG, no Mangos!" reaction, take this as an opportunity to try something else... a Rambutan, which is a relative of the Lychee and the Longan. It looks like a Lychee on LSD. It is relatively available from southeast Asia year round, but most of that harvest is irradiated.  We carry it only when available from Honduras or Guatemala, where the fruit is not irradiated. Incidentally, members have asked about Mangosteens, which we do not carry.  All Mangosteen imports into the USA are irradiated, so we will not carry them until the post harvest treatment changes.
Clementines are here!  We waited for the Spanish harvest and the first Clementine is very good.  It will improve over the next few weeks and the price will likely get lower by the week.  This first one is a bit tart, which many of you like, but kids love them because they are sweet.  We will get deliveries almost daily; look for increasing sweetness with each delivery.
Speaking of sweetness, some members love Japanese Sweet Potatoes because they are sweeter that the Garnets and Jewels, but others love them because they are less sweet! 
Every year, we hope that the Pumpkin supply and quality will last nearly till the end of the year.  This year, despite the mountain you will see today at the front of the produce display, we fear that there will not even be enough to get to Thanksgiving.  If you are counting on a Traditional Pie Pumpkin, do not wait!  By next week we may have only the "weirder" Pumpkins, weird only on the outside, but they are Pumpkins on the inside.  If it comes to this, try the Cheese or Blue Queensland Pumpkins, or Jarrahdale, Musque de Provence, or Seminole Squashes (which really are Pumpkins) or take a walk on the wild side and try any Winter Squash instead.
There are times that produce items that we take for granted disappear, like Green Grapes, Mangos, or Heirloom Tomatoes.  It is difficult to hang up signs explaining the absence of something that isn't there, at the location where something isn't.  If you are wondering about an item when you are shopping look at the produce menus that we provide at the front and rear of the produce aisle, which is posted daily, Monday through Friday.   If you request something that we are not carrying, it is frustrating and fruitless for the folks who try to find these items in the basement.   The daily menu of items that we have in stock is posted on our website here - Daily Produce Pricelist

 - Allen Zimmerman -
Produce Buyer - General Coordinator - Lover of Cabbage