Broccoli is not only a super healthy vegetable, but it works in a variety of cooking styles. No wonder it was a favorite vegetable among the Romans!
It originated in the Mediterranean and was cultivated by an ancient civilization called the Etruscans, who lived in present-day Tuscany. While the vegetable has been an important food to the region since ancient Rome, it didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1920’s! The U.S. now ranks 3rd in the world for the highest production of broccoli – after China and India.
Part of why this vegetable is a staple around the world is because it’s a hardy crop that can withstand freezing temperatures. It also has some stunning varieties, such as the Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Romanesco, which have to be seen to be believed, and make for a fantastic garnish. (Top tip – heat breaks up the purple molecules, so Purple Sprouting Broccoli is best served raw!)
Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It also offers more protein than most other vegetables. We prefer it steamed for that fresh and natural flavor or eaten raw with a delicious dip.
Get Ahead of the Christmas Rush
There is often a shopping lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and retailers who take advantage of this time generally have a much better experience during the holiday season. Take this opportunity to strategize and tackle small projects so your store can continue running smoothly during the upcoming Christmas rush.
Tidy up: Now is a great time to do a deep cleaning and reset your displays. Schedule time when your store is not open to break down tables and give them a good cleaning.
Advertise Popular Items: Plan some exciting specials or ads to keep customers interested. Build a large citrus display to bring color into your department. Specialty citrus, like Satsumas, are here and in good supply. Amazing apple varieties like Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp, and Pink Lady are always a big hit with customers. Blackberries and raspberries sell well at this time, as do the strikingly green-skinned domestic avocados, Bacon, and Zutano.
Social Media Promotion: Promote all the spectacular new produce and holiday items available. Post recipes your customers can try and list out ingredients they will need. Try to show high quality images or fun videos to really get your customers excited!
Get Ahead: Catch up on any projects that got pushed to the side during Thanksgiving. Promote Christmas specials as early as possible. Plan out your weekly schedules as far out as you can. Catch up on recording invoices and credits. Don’t wait until after the New Year to play catch up!
New & Exciting!
Cosmic Crisp Apple: A cross between a Honeycrisp and an Enterprise, these apples are large and strikingly red, with a sweet, tart, and refreshing flavor. The name comes from the fact that their ruby red color, with little specks of yellow, looks like a brilliant night sky.
Dried Prune: An excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, this is a versatile fruit that can go in your oatmeal, trail mix, or be eaten by itself.
*Meyer Lemon (Left): This sweet winter citrus is a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. Less tangy than a standard variety lemon and much sweeter! The rind has a lovely aroma reminiscent of spicy bergamot.
Orlando Tangelo: A cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit, these have very few seeds, extra loose skin, and a wonderfully sweet flavor. Delicious for juicing!
Purple Brussels Sprout (right): Good supply for the next couple of weeks. These are much sweeter than the typical green brussels sprouts, and they retain their color when cooked.
Bartlett Pear: The classic pear flavor with lots of juice and a smooth, buttery texture. Great for processing, cooking, or eating fresh.
Broccoli: Healthy and versatile, supply is steady and available at an excellent price!
Cranberry: Still available throughout December. A cherished holiday treat!
Globe Eggplant: The meaty texture makes this variety great for a protein substitute. Sharp pricing and readily available!
Green Bean: Green bean prices are dropping fast! Supply from Mexico is plentiful.
*Maple Products (left): Delicious maple syrup and maple candies are available from Maple Valley Cooperative at fantastic pricing throughout December. Perfect for pancakes, ice cream, or just a sweet treat! Stock up before Christmas to round out your produce displays! Maple Sugar Candy makes great stocking stuffers!
Persian Cucumber: Nearly seedless and extra crisp with a mild, sweet flavor.
Pink Lady Apple: Delicious with a beautiful color!
Red Seedless Grape: Firm and crisp, with a mild, sweet flavor. Enjoy the last few weeks of grape season!
Satsuma Tangerine (right): Sweet, juicy, easy to peel, and seedless!, Perfect for little hands as a snack or lunchtime treat!
Shallot & Cipollini: 100% recyclable and compostable retail packaging!
Smitten Apple: A wonderfully sweet apple that is juicy, with a crispy bite.
Soft Squash: Straight Neck squash and zucchini are readily available with promotable pricing.
Yellow Onion: Supply is steady with competitive pricing. Versatile and essential through the holidays!
Avocado: Bacon, Zutano, and MacArthur varieties are trickling in, but all grown in California
Cantaloupe: One more shot before the season comes to an end for the year
Lettuce: Iceberg limited. Romaine Hearts limited, we are likely to gap.
Oyster and Maitake Mushroom
Plantain: Still gapping
Pomegranate: Winding down for the season
Done for the Season:
Hard Squash Special Varieties: Honeynut, Red Kuri, Red and Grey Kabocha