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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - August 9, 2018

Local fresh dug potatoes

Fresh dug potatoes are distinct from conventional Russet or Idaho potatoes both in their flavor, moistness, texture, and seasonal availability. We are pleased to offer the following fresh dug potato varieties from Riverdog Farm (Organic) and Coke Farms:

  • Nicola– rich golden brown skin with cream colored flesh and mild taste make this potato delicious in a variety of applications. It is one of the waxiest varieties and has one of the lowest glycemic indexes. Excellent as a salad or boiling potato and wonderful for mash. 25# case from Riverdog Farm.
  • Masquerade– creamy and buttery flavor; bicolored, thin skin has a golden yellow base spotted with purple and violet. Their flesh is yellow to light gold and is firm, dense, and moist. 25# case from Coke Farms.
  • German Butterball- a Russet-type potato loved for its rich, golden flesh, buttery flavor, versatility, and long-term storability. Smaller size and round shape. 25# case from Riverdog and Coke Farms.
  • Colorado Rose- heirloom potato with red skin and flesh; retains color when cooked. It has a sweet flavor and is deliciously moist and creamy. They are not waxy which makes them great for most uses- baked, mashed, steamed, scalloped, and uniquely colored fries and chips. Available in a 10# case from Coke Farms.
  • Yellow Finn- perfect balance of sugar and starch; makes delicious mashed potatoes, gratins, gnocchi, and salads. A great all-purpose potato with yellow flesh, creamy texture, and buttery flavor. 25# case from Riverdog Farms.

produce alive hydroponic mixed lettuce

We are pleased to partner with Produce Alive to offer a variety of local, hydroponically grown items. Produce Alive is owned and operated by Eric Powell in Loomis, CA (Placer County). Erik chooses to grow 100% hydroponic because it allows him to control the environment and guarantee consistency even with poor weather. He grows year round in his 4,100 square foot green house, using 90% less water than traditional growing methods. New this week, we offer Produce Alive Hydroponic Mixed Lettuce packed in a 24ct case. The case includes both green and red heads. Butter lettuce has a small, loosely formed head with soft textured leaves. The flavor is mildly sweet and succulent. Butter lettuce is an ideal ingredient for almost any meal including salads, sandwiches, soups, smoothies and its leaves are also the perfect size, shape, and texture for rolling wraps.

We also offer Produce Alive Watercress and Flowering Wasabi Arugula in 1# bags.

delta pears

Local pear season is upon us! Stillwater Orchards is located next to the Sacramento River in the town of Courtland– an area known to produce some of the best pears in the world. The land has been owned and operated by the Elliot family since 1860 when their ancestor, David Osborne, settled on the Delta on the heels of the Gold Rush and ordered the area’s first pear trees from France. The Elliotts take pride in producing some of the most flavorful pears. They grow, pack, and ship on site ensuring the highest quality standards. We are currently offering the following, with more varieties to follow as the season progresses:

  • Delta Bartletts- classic summer pears that are sweet and juicy with buttery flesh and distinct aroma. Their wonderful flavor and smooth texture make Bartletts a wonderful addition in a variety of application from salads, pizzas, and jams to pies, galettes, and canning; or simply add to a cheese board. 40# case, pound, or piece.
  • Stark Crimson/Red Bartlett– this colorful red pear has the same characteristics as the Bartlett. When fully ripe, the skin is at its brightest. 20# case or pound.
  • Bosc– one of the most useful and commonly available varieties for cooking. A ripe Bosc will still be firm and dense, with tender flesh that is honey-sweet, rich and aromatic. A Bosc with heavily russeted skin will not change color when ripe, those with light russeting will turn yellow when ripe. 40# case, pound, or piece.

buffalo mozzarella

In Italy, mozzarella almost always starts with buffalo milk, while the dense, chewier cow's milk version we often see in the U.S. is knownbuffalo-mozzarella-cheese-fresh as fiore di latte. Buffalo mozz is a fresh, soft, semi-elastic textured cheese with twice the fat of cow’s milk mozz. It has a plump texture that exudes sweet, rich, grassy whey when sliced. Its flavor is slightly nutty with gamey notes and is a bit more acidic than cow’s milk mozzarella. The cheese goes well in antipastis, with salads, pastas, calzones, vegetables and various side dishes. Our buffalo mozzarella is made by di Stefano Premium Italian Cheeses, a family owned company in Los Angeles. Their cheeses are made fresh daily using locally sourced milk. The milk for their buffalo mozzarella is sourced from Wilton, less than 30 miles southeast of Sacramento. Available in a 3# case (6 cups with 2-4oz balls/cup); $39.75.

Market Outlook - August 2, 2018

local peppers & eggplant

Local pear season is upon us with peak season lasting the next several weeks! Stillwater Orchards is located next to the Sacramento River in the town of Courtland– an area known to produce some of the best pears in the world. The land has been owned and operated by the Elliot family since 1860 when their ancestor, David Osborne, settled on the Delta on the heels of the Gold Rush and ordered the area’s first pear trees from France. The Elliotts take pride in producing some of the most flavorful pears. They grow, pack, and ship on site ensuring the highest quality standards. We are currently offering the following with more varieties to follow as the season progresses:

  • Delta Bartletts- classic summer pears that are sweet and juicy with buttery flesh and distinct aroma. Their wonderful flavor and smooth texture makes Bartletts wonderful in a variety of application from salads, pizzas, and jams to pies, galettes, and canning; or simply add to a cheese board. 40# case, pound, or piece.
  • Stark Crimson– this colorful red pear has the same characteristics as the Bartlett. When fully ripe, the skin is at its brightest. 20# case or pound.

Locals Melons & More

While conventional cucumbers are available year round, our local cucumber season is here and we have some delicious varietal cucumbers from Del Rio Botanical- an 80-acre farm located in West Sac along the Sacramento River. For over 15 years, we have proudly partnered with Del Rio to offer unique and delicious organic produce grown exclusively for Produce Express that is varied, rare and targeted to restaurants.

  • Mixed Cucumbers– may include gherkins, lemon, Armenian, serpentine, Persian, and more. 10# case.
    Armenian Cucmbers– a long, slender fruit which tastes like a cucumber and looks somewhat like a cucumber inside, but is actually a variety of muskmelon. The skin is very thin, light green, with no bumps. It has no bitterness and the fruit is almost always used without peeling. 10# case.
  • Lemon Cucumbers– baseball sized cucumber resembling a lemon in shape and color. Its flavor is a bit sweeter, and a lot less bitter, than normal cukes. They make great pickling cucumbers and are delicious when enjoyed raw in a salad or in a cocktail. 10# case.

dinapoli field trip

Join us for a field trip featuring DiNapoli Specialty Foods on Monday, August 13! We will be visiting the Pacific Coast Producers processing plant in Woodland, enjoying a sampling of DiNapoli Tomatoes in Woodland. We will meet at the Produce Express warehouse at 8AM, returning by 2PM. Transportation and lunch will be provided. Seating is limited. Please RSVP to your sales rep or Marissa with inside sales at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call/text (916)956-5536.

Based locally in Modesto, the DiNapoli family has over 60 years of tomato processing experience. All of the tomatoes used by DiNapoli are vine-ripened, fresh picked, California tomatoes with the primary variety being the San Marzano Style Plum tomato. DiNapoli tomato products are characterized by deep red color, soft fragile texture and a sweet natural taste. We are pleased to offer local DiNapoli tomato products packed in 6/#10 cans per case:

  • San Marzano Style Plum Tomatoes– packed whole and peeled in natural juice.
  • Ground Tomatoes in Puree- 50% chunky ground, vine ripened, peeled tomatoes, 50% fresh pack tomato puree.
  • Tomato Sauce– whole peeled plum tomatoes, seasoned, cooked and strained to create a rich, flavorful sauce.
  • Diced Tomatoes & Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes in Juice– peeled tomatoes diced to a cube, holds shape during cooking. Fire Roasted tomatoes are blackened and flavorful.
  • Tomato Paste- whole peeled tomatoes cooked and reduced to a rich red concentrate. Adds thickness and body to soups and sauces.
  • Tomato Puree (Extra Heavy)- whole peeled tomatoes, briefly cooked and strained to a thick liquid.
  • Simply Red Whole Peeled Tomatoes- ‘cold-pressed’, uncooked, whole, peeled, round, tomatoes.
  • Marinara Sauce- perfect for pastas.

Market Outlook - July 25, 2018

local peppers & eggplant

We have lots of new seasonal items available this week from Riverdog Farms. Located in Capay Valley, the rich creek bottom soil and ideal climate results in large variety of year-round crops. Tim Mueller and Trini Campbell, along with their team, grow a variety of organic produce, nuts, and grains, as well as raise pigs and chickens.

  • Jimmy Nardello Peppers- sweet and light when enjoyed raw; great frying pepper as its fruity raw flavor becomes creamy and soft when fried. Makes a gorgeous pepperonata, or delicious in pastas, pizzas, and risottos. 10# case.
  • Gypsy Peppers– available in both yellow and colored; intense sweet flavor; perfect for stuffing. Enjoy raw or roast to enhance sweetness. 10# case.
  • Shishito Peppers– sweet, thin skinned peppers commonly used as a starter dish; roast until blistered and season. While shishitos are mostly sweet, one in every ten is mildly hot. 5# case.
  • Padron Peppers– small, crinkled green peppers that are sweet and mild with one in ten being spicy! Lively addition to pizzas, salads, soups, and rice dishes; or pan-fried, blistered, and served as a side. 5# case.
  • Graffiti Eggplant– striking bicolor purple and white striped skin with white flesh. Excellent in pizzas, pastas, ragouts, gratins, and eggplant parmesan. 10# case
  • Listada di Gandia– a specialty purple striped Italian heirloom variety with a classic egg shape. They are tender, smooth and creamy with a thinner skin than most Italian varieties. 10# case.
  • Mixed Eggplant– 10# case
  • Yellow Finn Potatoes– perfect balance of sugar and starch; makes delicious mashed potatoes, gratins, gnocchi, and salads. A great all-purpose potato with yellow flesh, creamy texture, and buttery flavor. 25# case.
  • German Butterball Potatoes– russet-type with rich, golden, slightly flaky flesh. Luscious in any potato dish, regardless of its preparation. Excellent, long-term storability. 25# case.

Locals Melons & More

Ron Kelley Farms is a 25-acre farm along the Sacramento Delta growing over two dozen varieties of summer fruits and veggies. Ron has been farmed in the Delta for over 40 years.

  • Mixed Melons– 5/6ct case
  • Savor Melon– bright orange flesh, deep aroma and very sweet flavor. Excellent with prosciutto. 5/6ct case.
  • Passport Melon– ‘Honeydew-type' melon with a light green/yellow rind and thick, sweet, light green flesh. 5/6ct case.
  • Crème de la Crème Melon– creamy white flesh marbled with pale orange. The skin is orange/yellow and slightly netted. Deliciously fragrant and very sweet. 5/6ct case.
  • Ambrosia Melon– exotic melon hybrid often confused with a cantaloupe, but it's quite different. Its flesh is very sweet, floral, tender and pale orange in color. 5/6ct case.
  • Twice as Nice Melon– strong, pleasing aroma; distinct dark yellow rind; crisp white flesh with sweet, clean flavor and firm texture. 5/6ct case.
  • San Juan Canary Melon- very fragrant with pale green to cream colored flesh, crisp and firm with delicate, sweet flavor. 5/6ct case.
  • Black Eyed Peas and Purple Hulled Black Eyed Peas– 15# cases

heirloom tomatoes from ray yeung

Ray Yeung tomatoes are highly praised by local chefs for their intense flavor, unique sizes, shapes, and colors. Ray’s tomatoes are ‘open-pollinated’ and are able to reproduce itself from seed. By definition, an heirloom tomato must have been introduced more than 50 years ago and have a history of its own- for example, the origin of the popular Brandywine tomato is credited to the Pennsylvania Amish community and is named for a local river. Yeung Farm has over two dozen varieties during the season, which usually runs from now through October. We are pleased to offer the following:

  • Toy Box Case– 10# single layer case.
  • Pineapple- A large, golden-orange beefsteak heirloom tomato often with red stripes with a luscious, very rich, sweet pineapple like flavor. 10# case.
  • Black Pineapple– bright green flesh with deep red streaks; its flavor is both sweet and smoky with a hint of citrus.
  • Patty’s Striped Beefsteak– deep orange skin streaked with thing red stripes with beautiful orange/red marbled flesh. 10# case.
  • Green Zebra– striped green/yellow skin with juicy green flesh; more tart flavor than other tomatoes. 10# single layer case.
  • Black Zebra– beautiful mahogany flesh with purple/mahogany skin with deep green steaks. Its flavor is rich and complex with hints of smoke and sweetness. 10# case.
  • Giant Black Zebra– 10# case
  • Evergreen– strong sweet flavor with tender green flesh. 10# case.
  • Carolina Gold– beautiful gold/orange skin and flesh; sweeter than red varieties. 10# single layer case.
  • Pink Brandywine– lovely pinkish red skin and flesh; distinctive rich flavor; tends to be on the larger side. 10# single layer case.
  • Cherokee Purple– deep red/purple skin with dark green shoulders; more acidic than sweet. 10# single layer case.
  • Black Prince– known for its rich, sweet flavor and juiciness; very deep red skin with red/brown flesh. 10# single layer case.
  • Shady Lady True Vine Ripe- perfect for sandwiches, burgers, soups, and sauces. 20# case.