Winter is finally here and the cool down has started for us in California. It was one hot fall, which was painful for farmers during the drought as they struggled to keep crops from drying up. Despite the less than ideal weather conditions, prices did not skyrocket as much as expected, as just this past October average retail prices for fresh fruit was only up by 3% and vegetables by 1%, according to federal data
This highlights the tough reality of the produce business, as it is difficult for growers and packers to boost prices due to a fragmented sector, which gives retailers and other wholesale buyers many options.
While U.S. farmers cut output, increased imports from Mexico, Chile and elsewhere have helped fill the gap. California farmers are also shifting from growing more water-intensive crops like grain to fruits and vegetables instead, contributing to steady fruit and vegetable costs for consumers.
Now lets talk about roots, as root vegetable season is here. I’m not talking about a brown sack of potatoes, but the many colorful, tasty varieties of rainbow carrots, candy striped beets, huckle berry potatoes, and Jerusalem artichokes, to name a few. Chefs will find an abundant variety of fruits this season, such as citrus, pears, pomegranates, quinces and persimmons. Many home chefs will find themselves braising and stewing away the cold, using the many hearty roots and greens available this season and maybe even becoming iron chefs with their newly acquired cast iron cookware gift sets.
Take a look at our seasonal eats page for a list of this seasons offerings.
Happy holidays & happy eating- Savory Hospitality