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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - May 3, 2018

local produce timeline

We are nearing the time of year when a wide variety of produce is available from local farms. At Produce Express, we consider local to be within 150(ish) miles of the Sacramento Valley. Please keep in mind that the following timeline is dependent on mother nature.
Strawberries– harvested in Watsonville; Farmer’s Market Strawberries available by the 12 pint case only and must be specified when ordering.
Cherries– we are waiting another week until quality improves. California crop is down nearly 60%; expect a very short season.
Stonefruit– Rich May Peaches and other early varieties expected by the end of May; freestone varieties to follow. Twin Peaks hopes for Nectarines in early June. Plums and Pluots usually start by the end of May.
Squash (Zucchini, Gold Bar, Yellow, Teenage)- harvest is expected to begin in late May from Dwelley, Castaneda, and Del Rio.
Apricots– Frog Hollow should have their legendary apricots available by mid to late May.
Fresh Beans (Green, French, Romano, Yellow Wax)- Dwelley Farms should have fresh beans available by mid to late May.
Peppers– we hope Padrons and Shishitos will start around the first week of June. Jimmy Nardellos, Pimentos, Lipstick, Gypsy expected to be available in late June.
Cranberry Beans– mid-late June from Dwelley.
Corn (White and Yellow)- early to mid June from Dwelley Farms.
Cherry Tomatoes– will be available the last week of June/first week of July from Del Rio and Riverdog.
Heirloom Tomatoes– “Uncle” Ray Yeung should begin harvesting the first week of July. Peak harvest season is in mid-July, lasting through the end of October.
Melons– local melons should start mid-late July. Some varieties might have a later start into the first week of August.
Heirloom Cucumber– mid July from Del Rio Botanical.
Heirloom Eggplant– end of July from Riverdog and Full Belly.

cowgirl creamery

Every Cowgirl Creamery cheese starts with milk made from only one source creating unique flavor profiles that can’t be found anywhere else. We proudly offer the following:
St. Pat– their spring seasonal cheese, with its distinctive green rind, is now available! Its flavor is mellow and tangy, with notes of smokey artichoke. Made with single source organic Holstein milk from John Taverna’s Jersey Dairy, the rich, creamy wheels are wrapped in wild nettle leaves. Available by the 10oz piece.
Mt. Tam– their first aged, soft-ripened cheese is named for a Northern California landmark, Mt. Tamalpais. This elegant triple cream cheese has the delectable flavor of cultured butter with hints of white mushroom. Mt. Tam starts with milk from Straus Family Creamery. Available by the 8oz piece.
Red Hawk– the creamery’s first washed-rind cheese is heavily allocated with limited pieces produced. The wild bacteria that defines this bold, sumptuous cheese is native to Point Reyes. Red Hawk is aged four weeks and washed with a brine solution that creates the sunset red-orange rind. Its flavor is rich and smooth, complemented by pungent aromas. Sold by the 8oz piece.

upcoming events

spring brunch  - tuesday, may 8 (1pm-3pm)

We hope you can join us for a special Tasting Tuesday featuring brunch essentials! Stop by our warehouse (8340 Belvedere Avenue, Sacramento) anytime between 1PM-3PM. Tasting Tuesday events are open to anyone working in the restaurants industry. This is a great opportunity for your team to learn more about the products you cook and serve every day. Please spread the word to your staff and team members. The menu will feature:

twin peaks orchard - tuesday, may 15

Let the R&D fun continue! While we usually wait to visit Twin Peaks when the trees are full of fruit, we are going to see it from a different perspective this time around! We will take a tractor ride through the orchard and learn about the various stages of growth. At this time of year, the blooming stage has passed and the fruit is set, currently in the ripening process. We will learn more about Twin Peak’s growing and harvesting methods such as hand thinning the trees to allow the fruit to grow to size, get the right amount of sun, and distribute their energy and nutrients efficiently. We will meet at Produce Express at 8:45AM and return by 2:30PM. Transportation and lunch (by Tap and Vine) is included. Space is limited so please RSVP by texting/calling Marissa at (916) 956-5536 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

clover sonoma dairy - tuesday, june 12

Local should include milk and dairy products too! Join us for a tour of one of Clover Sonoma’s family dairies where we will learn about the entire process from raising and milking the cows to packing and distribution. We will meet at Produce Express at 8AM and return by 3PM. Transportation and lunch will be provided. Space is limited; please RSVP by texting/calling Marissa at (916) 956-5536 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please spread the word to staff.

Market Outlook - April 26, 2018

farmer's market strawberries

We have reached that magical time of year when strawberries are at their peak– sweet, juicy, and red all the way through! California strawberries account for 88% of the strawberries produced in the U.S., with three major growing regions– Santa Maria, Watsonville, and the Southern District (Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties). The mild days and cool nights in Watsonville produce the sweetest tasting berries, especially in the spring months. The peak harvesting season runs through June, when up to 10 million pint baskets are shipped daily. All strawberries are picked, sorted and packed by hand in the field. Large growers that ship to outlying areas rush the full trays to onsite refrigerators that quickly cool the berries down to 34 degrees to create a longer shelf life. Strawberries from smaller operations are picked riper, are more flavorful, and are typical of the quality you find at farmer’s markets. This week we begin offering a farmer’s market quality strawberry from Watsonville, carefully sourced by Ainslee Urkofsky-Reyes. Farmer’s Market Strawberries are hand-packed into 12/1# pint baskets and available by the flat only. Price is slightly higher than 8/1# flats, but the yield is greater as well. Because Farmer’s Market Strawberries are picked at the peak of ripeness, they should be used within 3 days. Please specify FARMERS MARKET STRAWBERRIES when ordering or we will send a conventional case.

spring brunch pop-up
tasting tuesday
may 8, 2018
1pm-3pm

We hope you can join us for a special Tasting Tuesday featuring a variety of products perfect for all your brunch needs! Stop by our warehouse (8340 Belvedere Avenue, Sacramento) anytime between 1PM-3PM. Tasting Tuesday events are open to anyone involved in the industry. This is a great opportunity for your team to learn more about the products you cook and serve every day. Please spread the word to your staff and team members. The menu will feature:

cinco de mayo

Whether Mexican themed dishes are a staple on your menu, or you are planning some specials for Cinco de Mayo, we have you covered– from fresh
ingredients such as avocados, an array of peppers, cilantro and other herbs to Mexican cheeses, rice, beans, tortillas, chips, and salsa!

  • Mixed Chips– a 50/50 blend of thick and crispy corn chips and totopos chips, made with blue corn, quinoa, chia, and maca grains. Perfect for nachos and dipping, as they will hold their texture when heaped with ingredients. Available in a 15# bulk case only (perfect for the Cinco de Mayo crowds!)
  • Medium Salsa (red)– made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, vinegar, & cilantro; with a bit of heat. Sold by the gallon.
  • Salsa Verde– a tart and tangy salsa made with fresh green tomatillos. Sold by the gallon.
  • Queso Fresco Cheese– a creamy, soft and mild un-aged white cheese with a trademark salty/sour flavor; often used to garnish soups and tacos. Available by the 7# wheel.
  • Oaxaca Cheese– a semi-soft, slightly acidic cheese often called ‘string cheese’ as it pulls apart similar to mozzarella. Perfect for quesadillas, stuffing chilies, and in vegetable dishes. Available by the 5# wheel.
  • Cotija Cheese– a dry aged cheese, similar to Parmesan with a nutty/salty flavor. Use crumbled over enchiladas and bean dishes. Available by the 7# wheel.
  • Corn Tortillas Cut for Chips (30# case)
  • Tortillas: 14” Flour (10 pack case), 12” Flour (10 pack case), 10” Flour (10ct package or 12 pack case), 8” Flour (10 pack case), 6” Flour (12 pack case), 6” Corn (12ct package or 40 pack case), 4” Corn (45 dozen/case)

Market Outlook - April 19, 2018

J. Marchini Farms

J. Marchini Farms is owned and operated by the father-son team, Joe and Jeff Marchini. Growing up on his family farm, Joe Marchini enjoyed gardening from a young age, starting with tomatoes. In the ‘80s, Joe began experimenting with a lettuce seed from Italy called radicchio, making him the original radicchio grower in the U.S. The Marchini family now grows several varieties of Italian specialty vegetables, including three varieties of chicories– Radicchio, Treviso, and Castelfranco. Chicories are a closely related group of leafy vegetables that exhibit a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. Chicories are quite versatile and may be used in any manner of culinary techniques. They are excellent raw in salads, and have a sturdy texture that is great for both braising and grilling. We are pleased to offer the following varieties from J. Marchini Farms (LeGrand, CA):

  • Radicchio– globe shaped, similar looking to a small head of red lettuce or cabbage with a distinctive bitter flavor. 12 count case or by the each
  • Treviso– a radicchio with romaine shaped heads of red and white. 12 count case only.
  • Castelfranco– seasonal variety with the mildest flavor of all the chicories. Individual heads with attractive purple red flecked, creamy white leaves. 12 count case only.
  • Mixed Chicory– a “Toy-Box” of Treviso, Castelfranco and Radicchio. 12 count case only.

green almonds

Green Almonds are unripe almonds that are picked before the shell has had a chance to harden. Like their cousin, the peach, green almonds have a fuzzy exterior with a gel-like interior. The "nut" has a gelatinous texture, similar to a firm grape. Green Almonds have a delicate, grassy and fruity flavor. They are a rare delicacy and are very popular in Mediterranean cuisines. Green Almonds can be sliced whole to be used as a garnish for soups and salads. European chefs make a green almond paste for pastries, and they pair very well with fish and seafood. Produce Express offers Green Almonds that are locally grown by J. Marchini Farms. Available in a 10# case.

 

 

cowgirl creamery

Cowgirl Creamery was founded by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith in 1997. Prior Both women established careers in prominent Bay area kitchens– Sue co-owned Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkley and Peggy spent 17 years at Chez Panisse. Together, they established Tomales Bay Foods, helping chefs access delicious products from West Marin farms and dairies. Shortly after, they began using milk from neighboring Straus Family Creamery to make delicious fresh cheeses. Two decades later, they’ve earned dozens of awards, have 2 creameries and 4 retail stores, and they have produced over 2,000 tons of cheese that is loved by chefs and consumers alike. One reason that Cowgirl Creamery cheeses are so special and delicious is that each cheese starts with milk made from only one source creating unique flavor profiles that can’t be created anywhere else. Produce Express proudly offers their Mt. Tam and Red Hawk year-round, and we rotate their seasonal cheeses accordingly.

  • St. Pat– their spring seasonal cheese, with its distinctive green rind, is now available! Its flavor is mellow and tangy, with notes of smokey artichoke. Made with single source organic Holstein milk from John Taverna’s Jersey Dairy, the rich, creamy wheels are wrapped in wild nettle leaves harvested by Paradise Valley Farms. 10oz piece.
  • Devil’s Gulch– we have a limited amount of this seasonal cheese available so order before it is gone until next year. The rich bloomy rind wheels are dusted with a mixture of sweet and spicy ground heirloom peppers from Allstar Organics. It has a bright, sweet spice softened by the rich creaminess of the paste. 10oz piece.
  • Mt. Tam– their first aged, soft-ripened cheese is named for a Northern California landmark, Mt. Tamalpais. This elegant triple cream cheese has the delectable flavor of cultured butter with hints of white mushroom. Mt. Tam starts with milk from Straus Family Creamery. 8oz piece.
  • Red Hawk– the creamery’s first washed-rind cheese is heavily allocated with limited pieces produced. This cheese cannot be made anywhere else because the wild bacteria that defines this bold, sumptuous cheese are native to Point Reyes. Red Hawk is aged four weeks and washed with a brine solution that creates the sunset red-orange rind. Its flavor is rich and smooth, complemented by pungent aromas. 8oz piece.

save the date
for our next tasting tuesday!

produce express spring brunch pop-up
tuesday, may 8, 2018
1pm-3pm
8340 belvedere avenue, sacramento, 95826

We will be serving pancakes made with Giustos Vita-Grain Flour, 3 different brunch toasts highlighting Z Specialty honeysnut butters, and fruit spreads, yogurt parfaits with Clover Sonoma yogurt and Nuthouse GranolaAmazon Planet Acai Bowls, Chocolate Fish Coffee, plus we will be showcasing a variety of spring produce!