In 2020, the hearty cabbage experienced its rise to fame when it became the most popular vegetable during the pandemic lockdown in the USA. Its popularity reached new heights as cabbage appeared in all sorts of recipes, search algorithms, and buzzworthy Instagram posts. It was clear: Americans wanted cabbage with 50% more people buying it 2020 than the year before. Cabbage’s newfound notoriety is not surprising! It’s hardy, nutritious, and one of the most versatile vegetables out there.
Cabbage is thought to have originated in Europe around 1,000 BCE, and was enjoyed by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It has an incredible number of produce ‘relatives’ that are still popular today. Kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi all evolved from an early form of cabbage. And there are many types of cabbages common in Asia, such as those in the choy family.
There are many varieties of cabbage, but the most common ones eaten today in the Western states are: Red (sometimes called purple), Green, Savoy, and Napa. Green and red are the most familiar, while the others work well with specialty dishes, such as dumplings, soups and stir-fries, or fermented as with kimchi and sauerkraut.
This nutritious and versatile vegetable has been around for a long time and is still inspiring new recipes. Add some to your order today and don’t miss out on this cruciferous veggie trend!!
Preparing for Lunar New Year
February brings many opportunities for celebration in the produce department. Not only is it peak citrus season, but there are several major holidays including Valentine’s Day and the Lunar New Year, not to mention the Super Bowl.
The Lunar New Year falls on February 1st and it’s a great opportunity to make some fun displays and educate your customers about this holiday. Today, Lunar New Year is a special time to bring friends and family together for feasting and festivities in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Mongolia and other countries all over the world. For the most part, customers will be looking for products that serve as decoration and gifts, as well as food.
Stem and Leaf Citrus – Tangerines with fresh leaves still attached to the stem are highly sought after during this time. The leaves represent wholeness and balance. Any orange-colored fruit such as satsuma, murcott, or navel orange can be presented this attractive way. Stem and leaf citrus isn’t easy to find, but if you can get some, make sure not to pass on the chance to bring it in for your customers.
Pomelo – Traditionally, it is important to have at least one pomelo in the house for Lunar New Year. To decorate your house with pomelos implies a hope that you and your home will have everything it needs.
Kumquats – Kumquats are delightful and delicious, and they also represent wealth and good fortune. Kumquats are becoming more readily available and should be in steady supply soon, but make sure to snap some up when you see them on the list.
Oranges, Tangerines and Mandarins – These golden colored fruits also represent good fortune. The easy-to-peel varieties like Satsuma, Clementine, Minneola and Kishu tend to be more popular. Stock up on these varieties.
Flowers and Budding Branches – Daffodils and tulips are some of the first flowers we see in the new year, and are very popular during the Lunar New Year. Blossoming quince, plum, and cherry branches are fragrant and signal that Spring is coming. Don’t forget to stock up for Valentine’s Day as well! The weather is unpredictable, so talk to your Account Manager soon!
New and Exciting
Artichoke: Just in after a long gap! Mild nutty flavor similar to asparagus and Brussels sprouts.
Blood Orange* (right) : These have striking red flesh with a subtly sweet orange flavor as well as notes of a tangy red grapefruit, berry, and tart cherry.
Honey Tangerine: A new variety and a B&J Ranch exclusive. It has very few seeds with low acidity. It offers a mild, sweet flavor with subtle honey notes.
English Peas: The first of the season from Mexico! They have a tender yet slightly crunchy texture, and a sweet pea flavor.
Fuerte Avocado* (left) : Move over Hass – these green-skin avocados have a delicious nutty flavor as well as a rich and buttery texture.
Kent Mango: Good supply out of Peru, these offer a sweet, succulent flavor and near fibreless flesh. Kent mangoes remain mostly green on the outside but often develop yellow undertones on the skin when ripe.
Kishu Tangerine: A fan favorite, Kishus are small, easy to peel, and are said to taste as sweet as candy.
Purple Brussels Sprouts: Purple Brussels have all the flavor and health benefits of their green counterparts, but with the added bonus of beautiful presentation. They keep their purple hue when cooked, allowing you to make spectacular culinary creations!
Retail Greens* (right) : These greenhouse-grown salad greens come from Spring Born, an organic indoor farm in Slit, Colorado. Greenhouse-grown greens require 95% less water than field grown greens, yet they’re incredibly fresh and crisp, with a delicious flavor.
Wild Mushroom: Brand new retail pack from Far West Fungi, these 8 x 8 ounce clamshells contain Hedgehog, Yellow Foot, and Black Trumpet mushrooms.
Bell Pepper: We’re seeing great volume ono range, red, and yellow bell peppers; prices are sharp!
Cara Cara Navel Orange: Distinctly rich sweet flavor with beautiful reddish-pink colored flesh. Steady supply makes this perfect for promoting during citrus season!
Cherry Tomato: Tasting great and available in environmentally friendly Ready Cycle Pints.
Gold Pineapple: This variety is famous for its extra sweet flavor and low acidity.
Green Cabbage* (left) : Expect continued demand of this ever-popular veggie. Supply remains steady.
Green Kale: Healthy and versatile, this is one super food that one won’t go out of style. Order up while supply is strong.
Heirloom Tomato* (right) : This mixed medley offers rich tomato flavor during the peak of winter. Grown in Mexico, Ram’s Farm tomatoes are handpicked, cooled, and carefully packed for long lasting quality!
Turmeric: Earthy-sweet taste and is widely used in natural medicine. Great supply from Kolo Kai Organic Farm, out of Hawaii.
Cilantro and parsleys: Limited due to cold weather.
Natural Trading sunflower sprouts
Tomatoes: Tomatoes on the vine as well as slicing tomatoes are limited.
Done for the season
African Shaddock Pomelo