That Fuzzy Feeling

Delicious kiwis growing on the vine

Local green kiwi is back in season and we couldn’t be more excited! Kiwis have a distinctive flavor, balanced somewhere between sweet, tart, and refreshingly citrus. The flavor also varies depending on the variety, of which there are about 60. Some of the most popular types are golden kiwi, which tends to be a little sweeter; green kiwifruit, which is the most common type; and kiwi berries, which are a smaller variety and lack the fuzzy skin of the typical green kiwi.

New Zealand is the largest exporter of kiwis, exporting 583,177 metric tons in 2016 alone. However, the fruit actually originated from China and only came to New Zealand in 1904. Since then, the kiwi’s unique taste, appearance, and health benefits have caused it to explode in popularity worldwide. The green flesh varieties are very popular due to extreme color contrast with other fruit.

Kiwifruit lend themselves to a variety of uses, such as fancy fruit salad, juices, smoothies, garnish, and even cocktails. The fruit is also known for its bounty of vitamins and minerals. Some varieties have more vitamin C than an orange, and more potassium than a banana, all while having less than 50 calories in each fruit!

Merchandising Corner:

Great display of Persimmons and pomegranate in a store

 

The weather has shifted and so have our produce displays. The new items on the fall scene are pomegranates, kiwis, and persimmons. All three of these fruits have great texture and shape, with a color that makes them a perfect contrast for a large display of apples or pears. They also work well grouped together as the focal point of a fall display. Here are a few things to keep in mind with these products:

Kiwis should arrive to you firm, and they will ripen over a few days to a week. When firm, their flavor is tart with subtle sweetness. As kiwi ripen, they will become softer and may wrinkle a bit. These fruits will be sweet and citrusy and may even have a slightly tropical flavor, sometimes almost banana like. Yes, kiwis are delicious, but they can also be messy. They are notoriously fuzzy fruits and shed their little shorts hairs all over any surface they touch. It’s a good idea to give their area a good wipe down every day just to limit the fuzz factor. When maintaining your displays, look for overly wrinkled fruit and cull those from your displays. But remember: Kiwi berries are best eaten when very soft and wrinkled.

Pomegranates are a fall must-have in your department. Customers tend to seek out larger fruit, but smaller fruit are also appealing for the lower price point. Two things to watch for in your pomegranate displays are softness, and skin that appears to be hardening. This is all due to dehydration. The seeds in the soft fruit are still good and have become sweeter. These are still perfectly fine to leave in the display. The pomegranates that have had their skin turned into a hard shell need to be pulled. This is a sign they have become severely dehydrated; their seeds will start to show damage and may even completely break down.

Persimmons come in several varieties but when we talk persimmons, we are usually referring to the Fuyu and Hachiya. The Fuyu persimmon, which looks like a tiny pumpkin, is the most popular. The Fuyu is meant to be eaten when firm and will have a crunchy texture and sweet flavor like pumpkin pie. Hachiya persimmons range from oblong to round. These are generally thought of as cooking persimmons. Unlike the Fuyu, the Hachiya is naturally very astringent and needs to be soft before eating or cooking with it. A ripe Hachiya will start to feel like a water balloon when ready to be consumed or used.

Get creative and incorporate these delicious seasonal fruits into your fall displays!

 

*Staff Pick

New & Exciting!

Apple: We have a wonderful assortment of heirloom and specialty apples, including Envy, Empire, Liberty, and many more! The Envy apple was ranked #1 for flavor, texture, aroma and appearance, after being tested against category bigwigs like Honeycrisp, Fuji and Gala in past flavor comparisons. The Empire is a cross between a Delicious and McIntosh. It is a sweet apple with hints of melon or pineapple. The Liberty is a McIntosh-style apple, with red skin and juicy flesh. The flavor is well balanced. Talk to your Account Manager for more apple flavor profiles!

ChestnutCalifornia Grown Keitt Mango: Large, green-skinned mango with sweet and tangy flavor. This variety stays green even when ripe. Give it a light squeeze to see if it’s ready to eat!

*Chestnut (left): Smaller crop than last year but fruit size is reported to be larger! Boiled, grilled, or roasted—there’s no wrong way to enjoy fresh chestnuts! Enjoy this buttery sweet nut while it’s in season!

Cranberry: Domestic, biodynamic cranberries have arrived early. Sharply priced Canadian berries are arriving any day.

Alexandre eggnogEggnog (right): Available during the fall and winter holiday season only! Made with organic, pasture raised eggs and Alexandre Family Farm A2/A2 whole milk. Preorder only!

*Green Kiwi: Your favorite fuzzy fruit is back in season! Sweet, tart, and just a little citrussy. Grown locally from Wild River, located in the Sacramento Valley. Volume fill cases to start; single and double layer and more pack types coming soon!

Robin Koginut Squash: This new squash variety has a deliciously sweet flavor and creamy flesh. Edible skin (no peeling!) makes preparation a breeze. No wonder it’s a favorite among squash enthusiasts!

Sunchoke: Coming very soon! Also known as the Jerusalem artichoke, this root vegetable has a wonderful nutty and sweet flavor when cooked.

 

Promotable:

Dry Farmed Tomato: Smaller fruit with robust flavor and nice texture

*Fuyu Persimmon: the quintessential fall fruit! When ripe, Fuyus have a sweet flavor reminiscent of pear, dates and brown sugar.

Honeycrisp Apple: Tasting great with nice color.Papaya Sunrise

Jalapeno: Readily available. Perfect to spice up fall soups and stews!

Mini Seedless Watermelon: Hanging on to the last of the summer fruit? These mini melons are in good supply and taste delicious. Juicy, sweet, and sure to please!

*Papaya (right): Juicy with sweet flavor and creamy texture. Rich in papain, an enzyme that improves digestion and many other health properties.

Spaghetti SquashRed Potato: Steady supply, sharp pricing. Mashed, roasted, boiled, fried–there is nothing more versatile than the humble potato!

Red Starkrimson Pear: A juicy, sweet pear, with a subtle, floral aroma, and smooth texture. The striking red color will brighten your fall displays!

*Spaghetti Squash (left): A perfect low-carb substitute for pasta, spaghetti squash is easy to bake and pair with a delicious sauce.

 

 

Limited:

Artichoke

Hass Avocado: Small size domestic Hass are running out but larger, incredibly rich fruit from California will go another few weeks.
Baby Peeled Carrots

Blackberry: California grown fruit winding down; Mexico season starting up at the end of the month.

Cherry Tomato: market is tight. Pest pressure and colder temperatures in Mexican growing regions is impacting production. Prices are increasing. Expect shortages through early November.

Cranberry Bean

Delicata Squash

Mushroom: continues to be limited across multiple varieties; supply is shaky as many growers are gapping.

Orange Bell Pepper: extremely limited.

Raspberry: prices are on the rise; Mexico fruit is 2-3 weeks out.

Strawberry: the local season is winding down.

 

Done for the Season:

Mexicola/Mexicali Avocado

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