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  • The Cinderella Pumpkin

    Oct 26, 2016
    Cinderella Pumpkin

    Availability/Origin

    Fall and winter months, 60% of crop is grown on the East Coast.
     
    Appearance/Flavor
    Vivid red and orange with some green. More of a flattened look with deep lobes. The flesh is thick and sweet almost like a custard. (All little girls want to be Cinderella. Now, you can buy her the pumpkin that resembles her carriage.)
     
    Storage
    Whole
    Keep indoors and do not place on a wooden table top or on carpet because it can cause breakdown. Another good idea is to place a cloth or cardboard between the pumpkin and the surface.

    Cut
    Refrigerate in a covered container or in aluminum foil, will last up to 5 days.
     
    Freeze
    Cut flesh away from the outer skin and remove the seeds, cook until soft. Then mash, let cool and place in a heavy-duty freezer bag or covered container. Will last up to a year or more.
     
    Ways to enjoy
    Roasted, breads, cakes, cookies. Can even puree to make ice cream or butter. (See, there's more than just those lattes) :)
     
    History
    An heirloom variety from France which began in 1830 and gained popularity in the 1880s. Supposedly, the pilgrims served this form of pumpkin on the second Thanksgiving. Pumpkin types.
     
  • Rainbow Carrots

    Oct 20, 2016
    rainbow carrots

    Availability/Origin

    Year-round. Grown in Asia, the Mediterranean and the United States.
     
    Appearance/Flavor
    Variety of colors (yellow, purple, red). Tender, crisp and sweet, however have an earthy flavor. They are harvested before maturity to preserve color and taste. (We tell them we are preserving their youthful appearance. No chance to get to grow up to be an adult carrot, poor things.)
     
    Storage
    Cut off the green tops and place in a container with water, ensuring they are fully submersed. They will last up to two weeks. If they are stored properly, the green tops will attempt to grow back. (Just like growing your hair out after a bad haircut.) :)
     
    Ways to enjoy
    Raw, salads, pastas, cakes, roasted, steamed, boiled and microwaved.
     
    History
    Carrots in general have been consumed for over 1,000 years and originated in Afghanistan and were actually yellow and purple at the time.
     
  • Purple Cauliflower

    Oct 13, 2016
    purple cauliflower

    Availability/Origin

    California (year round), Northeast (fall).
     
    Appearance/Flavor (The purple is real! No GMOs here.)
    Outside florets are purple, while the stem and core remain cream. Texture of the stems and florets are the same as white cauliflower. However, the taste is milder and less bitter with a nutty undertone.
     
    Storage
    The head will last up to two weeks when loosely wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge. The cut florets will last up to one week when sealed in a plastic bag and stored in the fridge.
     
    Ways to enjoy
    Raw, roasted, steamed, soups.
     
    History
    The wild grown origin is unknown, most likely a heritage variety from either South Africa or Italy. (Can we be anymore vague?) :)
     
  • Produce Facts: Baby Broccoli

    Oct 06, 2016
    baby broccoli

    Availability/Origin

    Year-round. Grown in Central California (spring to fall) and Yuma, Arizona (winter).
     
    Appearance/Flavor
    Smaller florets with a thinner stalk than broccoli. Baby broccoli isn't young broccoli, it is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale. Flavor is sweet and tender. (Tell kids it's broccoli's mini-me, and I bet they will eat it.)
     
    Storage
    In a plastic bag tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Will last up to five days.
     
    Ways to enjoy
    Raw, steamed, pastas, stir-fries, salads.
     
    History
    Created by Sakata Seed Company of Japan in Salinas, California in the early 90s. Originally called "Aspabroc". In the late 90s, Sakata partnered with Mann Packing Company and registered its trademark name. (Starts with a B, ends with ini.)
     
  • Produce Facts: Green Tomatoes

    Sep 28, 2016

    Green Tomatoes
    Availability/Origin
    Summer and fall. No one knows the true origin, yet they were published in an 1877 Chicago paper as part of recipe. 

    Appearance/Flavor
    Yellowish-green to bright green with a very firm, dense skin. Sharp, tart flavor. (Saliva gland overload.)

    Storage
    In a box, one-layer high, cool, dry place. Do not let them touch. (Don’t ask, but when they touch they ripen red, aww tomatoes in love.) They can last up to 10 days.

    Ways to enjoy
    Fried, in sauces and baked. Can actually be used in place of green apples in apple based desserts (gives a whole new meaning to mom’s apple pie.)

    History
    Their jump in mainstream popularity came in 1991 with the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.”
     
  • Produce Facts: Cipollini Onions

    Sep 22, 2016

    cipollini onions



    Availability/Origin
    Year-round from the United States and around the globe.

    Appearance/Flavor (If it doesn’t look good, it’s not Snoboy!)
    Small, flat, thin-skinned onion. Depending on variety, colors range from white, pale yellow to brownish red. They are one of the sweetest onions, right behind shallots. 

    Storage
    Cool and dry with good air flow. Can store up to two weeks. Once cut, must be tightly wrapped in plastic, refrigerated and should last up to four days.

    Ways to enjoy (Have gum handy afterward - no one likes onion breath)
    Roasting is the Cipollini's claim to fame, due to its high sugar content which assists in browning and carmelization. They are also great on the barbeque as well as in soups, salads, stews and casseroles.

    History (Yep. History is here at the bottom, because well, it is history you know.)
    Developed in Italy and came to the U.S. via Italian immigrants. (If someone tells you something different, fuggedaboutit.)

    Watch this video for tips on preparing and peeling the Cipollini Onion.
  • Produce Facts: Heirloom Tomatoes

    Sep 15, 2016

    heirloom tomato slices












    Availability/Origin
    Depending on variety, heirlooms can be a year-round item coming from North America and/or Mexico.

    Appearance/Flavor
    Due to their genetics, heirlooms are actually sweeter than other tomatoes. You will notice that they do not have the typical red color associated with tomatoes. In fact, they have a wide variety of colors from brown to multi-color (green, red and yellow).

    Varieties

    • Commercial - Varieties before 1940 or that have been around more than 50 years.
    • Family - As the name ‘heirloom’ indicates they are passed down from generation to generation.
    • Created - Occur from crossing an heirloom with another tomato variety or another heirloom. They are crossed and bred until the desired characteristics are achieved, and this can be a decade long process.
    • Mystery - Byproduct of different heirlooms varieties that naturally cross-pollinate one another.
    Storage
    • Room temperature, never refrigerate or store in bags. Keep out of direct sunlight. They can be frozen after dicing.
    Ways to enjoy
    • Pastas, sandwiches, salads, sauces and soups. Remember to wash and core prior to use.
    History
    It is actually hard to determine - refer to the four types of heirlooms above to gain a better understanding.
  • Yellow Onions are the Most Popular Onion Variety in the U.S.

    Sep 08, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    Yellow onions are full of flavor and are the most widely grown onion variety in the United States; they comprise 87% of the U.S. onion crop according to the National Onion Association.

    Yellow onions range in size from a golf ball to a softball and have light yellow flesh and golden, papery skin. They are available year-round, and can last several weeks in a cool dry location. Note that their taste is sweetest in summer and early fall, when they haven't been in storage long.

    They are ideal for long-cooking in soups, stews and braises, and they are delicious when caramelized. 

    More onion facts:

     

    Storage Facts

    • Look for firm, unbruised onions that are heavy for their size.

    • Cut or peeled onions can be stored and wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for only a few days before they go mushy.

    • Whole dry bulb onions should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air movement.

    • Do not store onions in plastic, because lack of ventilation will reduce their storage life.
  • Produce Facts: Lettuce

    Sep 01, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    We're wrapping up "lettuce month" with this week's spotlight on general lettuce facts.

    Did you know that two thirds of restaurant consumers are eager to try new and unique varieties of salad greens? That's according to the Technomic survey, "The Lettuce Revolution."

    Here are some other facts from that same survey:

    - 66% of consumers perceive salad greens with a darker color as more upscale.

    - Seven in ten consumers agree that curly/robust/leafy salad greens enhance the visual appeal of salad.

    - 77% of respondents say that the nutritional value of salad greens is important or extremely important to them whenever they order a salad at a restaurant.

    More lettuce facts:

    • Lettuce is categorized into two types: head, which is iceberg; and leaf, which includes romaine, butterhead and other leaf types.
    • California produces more than 70% of the nation's head lettuce.
    • Iceberg lettuce presumably got its name from after California growers started shipping it covered with heaps of crushed ice in the 1920s. It had previously been called crisp head lettuce.
    • Iceberg lettuce takes about 85 days from sowing to maturity. Leaf lettuces average 45 to 50 days from sowing to maturity.
    • Lettuce started out as a weed around the Mediterranean basin. Served in dishes for more than 4500 years.
       
    • Lettuce is a good source of vitamin K, and darker green lettuce leaves are more nutritious than lighter green leaves. Get more nutritional facts from the USDA.


    Storage Facts

    • Lettuce should be stored at 32-35 F with 90-98% relative humidity.
    • Translucent outer leaves are an indication of freeze damage.
    • Keep lettuce away from drafts to prevent dehydration. Store away from ethylene-producing fruits. Lettuce may wilt if it is exposed to drafts or stored at warm temps. It may exhibit russet (brown) spotting if exposed to ethylene gas.

    • Heads should be springy-firm and give slightly to gentle pressure. 
    • Some browning of the core end is natural and occurs from oxidation after harvested and trimmed. 

  • Produce Facts: Radicchio

    Aug 25, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    radicchioRadicchio looks like red cabbage, but it’s actually a chicory family member. It has white-veined leaves, is lightly crisp with a slightly bitter taste, and its tightly packed heads range in size from a baseball to a softball. 

    It was first cultivated in Italy during the 15th century and was first grown commercially in the United States in 1981 in California.

    Treviso radicchio is a milder variety of radicchio and has long, magenta leaves, creamy white veins and a delicate crinkled texture. Treviso radicchio is harvested in the morning to ensure its unique character, form and flavor is retained.

    Fresh radicchio is an excellent source of vitamin K. Get more nutritional information from the USDA.


    Important Facts


    • Radicchio should be stored at 32 F with a relative humidity of 90-95%.

    • Good-quality radicchio will have deep-red to purple leaves with bright-white veins.

    • The edges of the leaves will be fairly thick and crisp.

    • Avoid product that looks wilted or has leaves that are brown on the edges.
  • Snoboy is Sold at Retail Locations

    Aug 22, 2016

    The Snoboy brand has been a trusted symbol of quality and freshness recognized by grocers and consumers since 1925. 

    Our fresh produce brand is still going strong today and was spotted by a shopper at a WinCo store in Glendale, Ariz.  Juanita told us she had a craving for Olathe sweet corn and sent us this photo. Juanita, we know how you feel. 

    snoboy olathe sweet corn in glendale arizona

     




























  • Finger Limes - Fruit That Looks Like Caviar

    Aug 22, 2016

    Finger limes are citrus native to Australia. The exterior looks like a cross between a small dill pickle and a lime, and the interior pulp looks like caviar which is the color of champagne or lime green.

    snoboy and finger limes

    finger limes cut
    To release the pulp, cut the finger lime in half and squeeze the ends of each half to push out its tiny vesicles (pulp).

    pulp of the finger lime

    Once in your mouth, the fruit engages your senses; the taste results from a combination of the fresh citrus scent, the texture of small beads bursting, and the sour flavor you expect from a lime.

     

    Application ideas:

    Call today to place your order with your Amerifresh produce specialist.

  • Produce Facts: Raspberries

    Aug 18, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    fresh raspberries Raspberries are a type of fruit known as an aggregate fruit and have individual druplets that are held together by very fine, nearly invisible hairs. Raspberries have a hollow core and are small, roughly oval, plump and vary in flavor from sweet-tart to low acid depending on growing region and coloring.  

    One way to distinguish black raspberries from blackberries is that when you pick a raspberry, a hollow core remains, whereas when you pick a blackberry, the core is still intact.

    Raspberries have been crossed with other berries to form new species - there are over 200 different known species of raspberries:The loganberry is a cross between raspberries and blackberries; the boysenberry is a cross between red raspberries, blackberries and loganberries; the nessberry is a cross between a dewberry, raspberry, and blackberry; and other crosses include laxtonberries, veitchberries, and mahdiberries.

    Raspberries are a wonderful source of vitamin C, containing 40% of a person’s daily needs. Get more nutritional data here.

    July 31st is National Raspberry Cake Day.
     

    Important Facts

    • Unlike many fruits, unripe raspberries do not ripen after they have been picked.

    • Choose dry, plump, firm raspberries.

    • Avoid wet or moldy berries.

    • Do no wash berries until ready to eat.

    • Refrigerate for use within 1-2 days. 
  • Produce Facts: Walla Walla Sweet Onions

    Aug 11, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    sweet onion

    The Walla Walla sweet onion story began over a century ago when Peter Peiri brought sweet onion seed from Corsica, Italy to the moderate climate of Walla Walla, Washington in the late 1800s.

    Walla Walla sweet onions have been produced as a specialty vegetable crop since 1900, developed over generations through the process of carefully hand selecting onions from each year’s crop, ensuring exceptional sweetness, jumbo size, and round shape. The onions are available mid-June through early September. 

    Even though they’re sweet, Walla Walla sweet onions are fat free and low in calories. One medium raw onion contains only 60 calories. Onions are a good source of vitamin C, are sodium free and contain no cholesterol.

    The Walla Walla sweet onion was designated as the official state vegetable for Washington in 2007. 

    “Walla Walla” is a Native American word meaning “many waters.”

    Get more onion facts from the National Onion Association
      

    Important Facts

    • Store at 45-50 F with a relative humidity of 65-70%.

    • Approximately 20 growers cultivate Walla Walla sweet onions on about 800 acres in the fertile soils of the Walla Walla Valley in southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon.

    • Because they have a higher water content than most onions, Walla Walla sweet onions have a shorter shelf life. If kept separate in a cool, ventilated location, these sweets can be stored for three to six weeks.
    MORE FRESH PRODUCE FACTS -->
  • Arcadian Harvest Blend

    Aug 04, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    The Arcadian Harvest blend packed under the Snoboy brand by Mann's Packing is plate ready, washed and ready to eat. 

    It contains fully mature (grown 60+ days), petite whole leaves that are more robust than baby lettuces. It includes unique European lettuce species, bred from various combinations of green leaf, red leaf, tangos, lolla rosa, batavia, and oaks. Consumers will taste a flavor profile of European varieties.

    Arcadian Harvest is ranked #1 for visual appeal in the "Lettuce Revolution" study by Technomic.

    A 1 oz. serving of Arcadian Harvest equals 1.5 oz. of Spring Mix in plate coverage. It works well with dressings and on your buffet. It stands up to heat better than other salad blends, so pile it high on your favorite burger.



    To see a side by side comparison of Arcadian Harvest and Spring Mix watch this video from our produce experts.

    Important Facts

    • Store at 32-35°F with 90-98% humidity. 

    • Good quality lettuce will have deep color leaves. The edges of the leaves will 
      be fairly thick and crisp.

    • Avoid product that looks wilted or has leaves that are brown on the edges.

    • Lettuce may wilt if it is exposed to drafts or stored at warm temperatures.
       
  • Produce Facts: Watermelons

    Jul 27, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    Watermelons are grown on a vine-like flowering plant and have a smooth hard rind, usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots. Their interior flesh is juicy and sweet and usually deep red to pink, but it is sometimes orange, yellow, or white.

    Watermelons are harvested at full maturity, since they don't typically develop further in internal color nor increase in sugars after being removed from the vine. The ground spot changes from pale white to a creamy yellow at proper harvest maturity.

    Many watermelons are still shipped without pre-cooling or refrigeration during transit. Fruit must be utilized for prompt market sales as quality declines rapidly under these conditions.

    • Watermelons are 92% water.
    • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
    • The heaviest watermelon weighs 350.5 lb. and was grown by Chris Kent of Sevierville, Tennessee, October 4, 2013. See the record-breaking melon.
    • In 1939 seedless watermelons were developed by treating the un-pollinated flowers of watermelons with a specific acid, which resulted in the seedless watermelon.
    Important Facts

    • Storage life is typically 14 days at 59°F with up to 21 days attainable at 45-50°F. 

    • Watermelons should be symmetrical and uniform in appearance. The surface should be waxy and bright in appearance.

    • There should be an absence of scars, sunburn, transit abrasions or other surface defects or dirt. No evidence of bruising. 

    • Appears heavy for its size.
       
  • Kohlrabi - Root Vegetable or Cabbage?

    Jul 21, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    Kohlrabi, also known as turnip cabbage, is a form of cabbage and a member of the mustard family. It is not a root vegetable, but rather a fleshy bulbous stem just above the ground.

    There are both green and purple skinned types, and both have creamy white flesh. It may look like a turnip, but its taste is very different; it has a sweet, peppery, broccoli or cucumber flavor and a crisp texture.

    Kohlrabi is excellent eaten raw by itself or in salads, and it may also be steamed, stir fried, braised or stuffed. The leaves are edible too, and when cooked have a flavor similar to collard greens.

    Kohlrabi is high in fiber, an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of potassium. It contains about 40 calories per cup. Get detailed nutritional information about kohlrabi from the USDA. 
     

    Important Facts

    • Kohlrabi should be stored at 32-35°F, with a relative humidity of 85-90%. 

    • Good-quality kohlrabi will be very firm, smooth-skinned, and heavy for its size.

    • Kohlrabi leaves are edible and can be used interchangeably with collard greens and kale.


      Kohlabi and sweet potato fries recipe -->

       

    MORE FRESH PRODUCE FACTS -->

  • Produce Facts: Tomatoes

    Jul 13, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes. Among the largest varieties are beefsteak and beef master tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are medium in size, and cherry and grape tomatoes are small.

    Tomatoes used for processing are harvested ripe and red, but fresh market tomatoes are picked green.

    Florida and California accounted for 70% of the U.S. fresh tomato production. California accounted for 95% of processed tomato production. China is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world, producing over 16% of all tomatoes. 
     
    In terms of consumption, the tomato is the United States' fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions. 
     

    Important Facts

    • Ripe tomatoes should be stored at 55-60°F with a relative humidity of 85-95%.
    • Tomatoes can be ripened at 58-68°F, out of direct sunlight. Because they produce ethylene gas, ripening can be accelerated by stacking boxes together on a pallet.
    • Do not refrigerate.

     

    MORE FRESH PRODUCE FACTS -->

  • Produce Facts: Watermelon Radish

    Jul 07, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    watermelon radish

    The watermelon radish, also known as a rose heart, Asian red meat daikon, or a beauty heart radish, is an heirloom Chinese daikon radish. It is a member of the Brassica (mustard) family along with arugula, broccoli and turnips.

    The watermelon radish is a delightful Chinese cultivar (a cultivar is a strain of a plant that has been developed through cultivation) which mirrors in color a full-size seedless watermelon when cut open.

    The flesh is tender, crisp, succulent and firm. Its flavor is mild, only slightly peppery with some sweet notes. Depending on when harvested, watermelon radishes can range in size from a golf ball to a softball.

    Watermelon radishes are most commonly available during spring and late fall (peak), preferring soil temperatures below 68°F. Overly warm soil temperatures affect the radish’s flavor, turning a mild pepper flavor into a bitter sting.

    Important Facts

    • Watermelon radishes should be stored at 32-35°F with a relative humidity of 85-90%. 

    • Look for watermelon radishes with smooth skin free of deep cracks and for an exceptionally pink interior, look for radishes with pink taproots.

    • Select cherries with plump, glossy skins and green stems. 

    • Avoid product that is soft, spongy, blemished with brown spots, cut or lightweight for its size.
  • Produce Facts: Cherries

    Jun 29, 2016

    Trivia to Impress Your Friends

    cherries fresh produce


    Cherries belong to the stone fruit family along with apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and loquats. The peak season for cherries in the United States is from May to August, and in the U.S. most sweet cherries are grown in Washington, California, Oregon, Wisconsin and Michigan.

    Scientific studies show cherries have anti-inflammatory properties and may offer potential health benefits against gout, arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition) and sports injuries. 

    Cherry trees have beautiful small white or pink flowers that bloom around September. White flowers generally occur on commercial cherry trees, while pink flowered trees bear no fruit and are used as ornamental trees. Cherry trees will begin producing marketable crops after six to eight years and continue producing edible fruit for up to 100 years.

    Due to cultivation for many centuries, the origin of various varieties is often impossible to trace, but the sweet cherry and the sour cherry are said to be of ancient origin. The word cherry originates from the Turkish town of Cerasus. 

    Important Facts

    • Cherries should be stored at 32°F with a relative humidity of 90-95%. 

    • Keep cherries unwashed and stems attached in either a paper bag, a loosely-covered container or a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

    • Select cherries with plump, glossy skins and green stems. 

    • Color depends on the variety.

    • Avoid soft, dull or bruised fruit. 

    • Small hard cherries lack flavor and juice.

    • Cherries don’t ripen after harvest.
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