Ramadan, an annual month-long period of spiritual reflection, is approaching on April 23rd this year. Dates are key to Ramadan, as Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, taking neither food or water. Traditionally, a date is the first food to pass one’s lips after the sun goes down. Dates are also prominently featured in Eid al-Fitr, the feast that ends Ramadan.
The origin of dates can be traced back to the Middle East. Their scientific name is phoenix dactylifera, a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae. Date palms typically reach close to 70 feet in height. Date fruits are oval-cylindrical shaped and range from bright red to yellow, depending on variety. Fossil records show that the date palm has existed for at least 50 million years and experts estimate there are more than 3,000 varieties!
Medjool and Deglet Noor varieties are the ones most familiar to those in the United States. Medjool dates are a fat, maple-hued fruit that are prized for its succulent taste and very moist texture. Deglet Noor dates are a drier, smaller date often found in baked goods. Both these delicious varieties are found piled in bowls and baskets during the Ramadan holiday. Ramadan Mubarak! (Happy Ramadan!)
Merchandising During a Crisis
Merchandising during a global pandemic sounds daunting, but there are some simple solutions to keep your community safe. Shoppers have shifted towards purchasing less handled products or safely pre-packaged items. Berries already come packaged in environmentally friendly cardboard or recyclable plastic clamshell packs. As we head into peak berry season, both of these options are easy to work with and perfect for building displays. Packaged berries are also a perfect product to cross merchandise in several locations all over the store.
Some stores are using their labor hours to package and bag up bulk items. This addresses many concerns customers have of products being heavily handled or exposed. Produce departments are keeping their team members in the back instead of being on the floor to pack items like mushrooms, potatoes, loose greens, peas, and beans. This allows customers to have more personal safe space to shop.
Many products we offer already come packaged ready for retail sale. Talk to your Account Manager for a full list.
New & Exciting!:
- Alta Kirsty Peach: Mexico-grown. Firm, good-sized, and rounded with a shaded blush color. Yellow flesh. Classic well-rounded peach flavor with balanced sweet and acidic notes.
- Basil: California-grown basil is starting up! In good supply.
- Blueberry*: Californian and Mexican berries are steady in supply.
- Durondeau Pear*: Golden exterior coloring with streaks of red blush and heavy russeting. Great for fresh eating. Very tender texture. Tastes very sweet, rich, juicy and delicious.
- Green Almond*: Fuzzy, light-green exterior encases the soft jelly-like skinless almond. Tastes delicately nutty. Can be eaten whole when fresh. Available by pre-order only.
- Shiitake Mushroom*: New clamshells from Top Hat Mushrooms are looking great and in good supply!
- Strawberry*: California-grown berries are trickling in! Rainy conditions delayed production. Supply is expected to be strong and steady.
- Zucchini*: California-grown is now in! Supply is off to a slow start, but availability is expected to improve as the weather continues to warm up.
Did you know…the flower of the zucchini plant is edible? Fried squash blossoms are considered a delicacy! You can stuff them lightly, too!
- Hass Avocado*: Tasting great and in good supply. Sharper pricing on California-grown fruit. Add some to your order today!
- Berry: Mexican blackberries and raspberries are in great supply with sharp pricing.
- Cherimoya*: In strong supply. Tastes very sweet with tropical notes of pineapple.
- Cherry Tomato*: In plentiful supply with sharp pricing.
- Cucumber: Persian, English Hot House, and slicers are all in great supply with sharp pricing.
- Green Kale*: In good supply. Curly leafed with a bright, peppery flavor.
- Golden Nugget Tangerine: Tasty and easy to peel.
- Kiwi: In good supply. Add some delicious California-grown fruit to your order today! Import fruit is expected to begin in June.
- Ojai Pixie Tangerine*: Sweet, seedless, easy to peel. In great supply
- Sunrise Papaya: In great supply. Grown in Hawaii from Kumu Farms, on the island of Molokai. Pink-orange, firm, and juicy flesh. Tastes super sweet.
- Table Carrot*: Immature carrots that have been harvested early. Snappy and crisp flesh. Flavor is earthy and sweet. Great in supply. Add some to your order today!
- Yellow Potato*: California-grown and in good supply. Firm, yellow flesh is dense with a waxy texture. Great buttery flavor when cooked.
- Young Thai Coconut*: In great supply. Each coconut is wrapped for individual sale. Inside is a refreshing juice and soft jelly-like meat. Coconut juice is exceptionally high in potassium and great for hydration. The white coconut meat has a sweet flavor that is soft enough to be eaten with a spoon. In Hawaii they call fresh young coconut ‘spoonmeat’.
- Bell Pepper: Orange, red, and yellow are extremely limited.
- Broccoli: Supply remains tight as production and harvest schedules have been impacted.
- Cauliflower: Limited in supply.
- Egg: Demand continues to be extremely high and unprecedented. Production needs limit the amount suppliers are able to fill. We are getting as much as we can.
- Garlic: Very limited as demand remains high.
- Ginger: Limited with high pricing.
- Onion: Supply is limited as demand remains high.
- Passion Fruit: Limited in supply.
- Russet Potato: High demands and limited supplies.
Done for the Season:
- Import Green Seedless Grape