The pomegranate originated in the region extending from Iran to northern India. This delicious fruit has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and was introduced to California in the 17th century by Spanish immigrants. The word pomegranate is derived from the medieval Latin “pomum granatum,” meaning apple of many grains or seeds.
Pomegranate is characterized by a tough rind, which when opened reveals a plethora of arils–edible small seeds surrounded in red pulp. The arils offer a sweet-tart taste with notes of cranberry, red currant, and concord grape. Pomegranates are rich in potassium, protein, fiber, and vitamins B and C.
Pomegranates owe their superfood status to polyphenols, powerful antioxidants thought to offer heart health and anti-cancer benefits. In fact, pomegranate seeds have more antioxidant power than cranberry juice or green tea.
Pomegranates are now in season until early winter—making them a delightful and popular holiday treat. Incorporate these ancient fruits into your fall and holiday displays for a colorful eye-catching look!
Holiday Planning with James Sotelo at Grassroots Natural Foods
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and it’s time for produce buyers and managers to prepare pre-orders and plan for seasonal displays. We caught up with James Sotelo, the Produce Manager from Grassroots Natural Foods in South Lake Tahoe, about his plan for the Thanksgiving rush. Here are some planning and purchasing tips that can be used in your store.
- Plan Ahead: Plan for Thanksgiving at least a month in advance. Order pallets and half pallets of key products like garnet sweet potatoes and yellow onions. Keep in close communications with your Account Manager and place large orders at least 2-3 weeks in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute to secure what you need!
- Large Displays: Do not be afraid to order big and build huge displays of key products! The more product you bring in and the bigger the display, the more product you will move and sell. Bulk up holiday displays with popular items like green beans, cranberries, brussels sprouts, chestnuts, walnuts, butternut, celery, russet potatoes, Italian parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary and mixed holiday herb bunches.
- Display Upkeep: After building your displays, walk through the department with your teammates to explain how to build, rotate and maintain the displays. Communicate to your team the expectations on maintaining display aesthetics. Leave detailed notes for your team so anyone can lend a hand to spruce up displays when things get busy.
New & Exciting!:
- Braeburn Apple: Thin skin is bicolored with a yellow base and covered with red to pink blush and red striping. Firm flesh that is pale yellow to gold and contains a few dark brown seeds. Crisp and juicy. Flavor is sweet with hints of spice, pear, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Cranberry*: Bags and volume-fill are in good supply and perfect for holiday menus. Flesh is firm and has a crisp texture. There are four small air pockets in the center of each berry, giving it buoyancy and bounce. Flavor is sharp and tart.
Did you know…cranberries have high levels of polyphenols and phytonutrients which give the skin of the berries their intense red-color? These compounds provide antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Floral*: Dried floral wreaths and bouquets are now available from Full Belly Farm. These are perfect for fall and holiday decorations. Each wreath is handmade and unique. Talk to your Account Manager to sign up for our weekly floral availability list!
- Hachiya Persimmon: Rounded, slightly elongated and acorn-shaped. Thin-skinned. Flesh is a deep orange in color and becomes soft in texture when ripe. Flavor is candy sweet and has hints of raisins and brown sugar.
- Navel Orange: Starting up at the last week of October. Short crop is expected this season. Smoke and inclement weather have impacted growing regions. High demands are expected to impact supply.
- Pink Lady Apple*: California- and Washington-grown fruit in good supply. Delicious, sweet-tart taste. Creamy white flesh is crisp, slightly dry, and firm. Skin has a pink to reddish-pink blush over a yellow background.
- Broccoli: In good supply. California-grown is starting up from our exclusive grower Rundle Family Farms and projected to be a very strong season.
- Brussels Sprouts: In steady supply with sharp pricing.
- Fuyu Persimmon*: Thin reddish-orange skin and soft flesh. Squat and rounded in shape. Flavor has notes of pear, dates, and hints of cinnamon. Texture varies from crisp and succulent when young and become tender as they mature. No astringency and edible when firm.
- Granny Smith Apple*: Tasting great and in good supply. Bright green skin reveals white flesh that is white, dense, and crisp. Balanced sweet-acidic flavor with tangy and tart notes.
- Jazz Apple*: In good supply with sharp pricing. Round with a rosy red skin that has undertones of yellow, orange and green. Flesh is creamy yellow, dense, and juicy with an exceptionally crisp texture. Flavor is sweet-tart with low-acid.
- Kiwi: California-grown and in plentiful supply. Tasting great. Talk to your Account Manager if you’re interested in ordering bins.
- Red Mini-Seedless Watermelon: In good supply with extremely sharp pricing. California-grown is winding down so grab these while you can!
- Slicer Cucumber: In very strong supply with sharp pricing. Talk to your Account Manager for volume deals!
- White Corn: In steady supply and tasting great.
- Zucchini*: In great supply with sharp pricing.
- Berry: Blackberry supply is gapping until the last week of October. Blueberry in very limited supply as they transition to import growing regions. Strawberry continues to be in very limited supply as season winds down.
- Heirloom Tomato: Supply is tightening up with prices on the rise.
- Plantain: In tight supply.
- Romaine Lettuce: In limited supply. High temperatures are expected in growing regions and may continue to affect production.
- Valencia Orange: California-grown fruit is winding down and in limited supply. Mexican fruit is expected to begin the last week of October.
Done for the Season:
- Paper Lantern Pepper
- Red Fresno Chili Pepper