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Tamales are a clas­sic and iconic Mex­i­can dish. Warm and com­fort­ing, they are ter­rific year-​round, but par­tic­u­larly appre­ci­ated dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son.

Undoubt­edly one of the most authen­tic and tra­di­tional dishes in both Mex­i­can and Mexican-​American cook­ing, we’re ready for tamales.

They’ve become wildly pop­u­lar with those in Amer­ica who seek out a per­fect, savory out-​of-​hand food. With so many recipes and vari­a­tions out there, there is a tamale fill­ing for every­one.

A pretty basic prepa­ra­tion, tamales are made with a corn based dough mix­ture that is filled with var­i­ous meats, beans, chili pep­pers and cheese. Wrapped and cooked in corn husks or banana leaves, the husks are removed before eat­ing the tasty cooked tamale.

Good on the their own, when served with pico de gallo and a side of gua­camole and rice, it trans­forms them to being a proper meal.

Mak­ing tamales has begun a group event as assem­bly is done by hand. Many work­ing hands makes for faster pro­duc­tion and con­vivi­al­ity.

This year’s dis­tanc­ing may change up how tamales are made in large numbers.

Read more: Tamaladas →

Unless veg­e­tar­i­ans and veg­ans out­num­ber the table at Thanks­giv­ing, turkey is usu­ally the star of the show.

This being a pan­demic year, nearly all bets are off for serv­ing a tra­di­tional hol­i­day meal.

As fam­ily and friends are lim­ited by national health guide­lines, there are no lim­its to veg­etable and fruit counts.

Veg­eta­bles are promi­nently fea­tured on the side of a typ­i­cal Thanks­giv­ing menu. In this sea­son of sur­prises and altered activ­ity, take a walk on the wild side of sides.

Uncon­ven­tional recipes step up the feast by using spices, fresh herbs, maple syrup, harissa, yogurt, cheeses and other less “pil­grimy” ingre­di­ents.

Prepa­ra­tions still ring true for roast­ing, pan fry­ing, bak­ing and mash­ing. It’s the miso, orange, pome­gran­ate, nut or honey treat­ments that liven things up.

Tried and true fam­ily favorites get bold makeovers with a sim­ple twist here and a lit­tle tweak there. Apple cider vinai­grette and pome­gran­ate molasses ele­vate Brus­sels sprouts, but­ter­nut squash and green beans.

Read more: Way Outside →

Sort­ing out the pantry leads to assess­ing which kitchen appli­ances are still rel­e­vant.

A few of these “well worn” helpers could use some love and atten­tion. Per­haps give them a deep clean­ing, or replace a dull blade or bro­ken knob.

Oth­ers are parked on a shelf in the way, way back of a cab­i­net or cup­board drawer. Neglected for some time, a dona­tion to a wor­thy recip­i­ent might be in order.

How many cof­fee (spice) grinders does one house­hold really need? When is that expen­sive fresh juicer, and all the gear that goes with, going to see some action again? Be hon­est in eval­u­at­ing future use.

The Sous Vide immer­sion gad­get sees action when that Christ­mas prime rib din­ner is on deck. It mostly remains idle through­out the year.

Stor­ing a sous vide is less cum­ber­some than say a crock pot, elec­tric skil­let, meat grinder, food proces­sor, or cap­puc­cino maker.

At least the Ital­ian cof­fee mak­ers have some char­ac­ter and per­son­al­ity. Bright color choices, post-​modern shapes and inter­est­ing styles allow for coun­ter­top place­ment. Other small wares don’t have this advan­tage. Off the shelf for use and replaced once pan­cakes are fin­ished.

New “must have” elec­tri­cal gad­gets and small appli­ances become all the rage with every hol­i­day sea­son. Air pop­pers seem to be trend­ing for the 2020 wish list.

Insta Pots held the top spot the last few years. At least they have mul­ti­ple use rec­om­men­da­tions that almost jus­tify their existence.

Read more: Crowded House →

Amidst the chal­lenges of the pan­demic, we are rethink­ing not just the way we eat, but what we eat and when. Cer­tain foods are no longer rel­e­gated to spe­cific time slot assign­ments.

Under daily pres­sure, hall­marks of the COVID food cloud are resource­ful­ness and flex­i­bil­ity. Tak­ing con­trol and let­ting go teeter-​totter back-​and-​forth. Par­ents, kids and sin­gles give per­mis­sion to eat a bowl of Chee­rios for din­ner.

Strik­ing a bal­ance between health and well­ness over indul­gence, con­ve­nience and com­fort is ever present.

Opti­mum health is always the long range goal. Short­term, we’re bom­barded by daily restric­tions, lim­i­ta­tions and now food fatigue. Wait­ing in line to shop or for menu pickup takes a toll. Meal prep, time and money erode the very thing that makes us whole. Stress-​free activ­i­ties are worth pur­suit.

Wear the mask. Keep your dis­tance. Stay alert to some­one with a cough or too close con­tact. Anx­i­ety increases the desire to blur the lines. Throw­ing in the towel on meal plan­ning doesn’t mean a bowl of ice cream for break­fast.

Mac­a­roni and cheese makes more sense as a cham­pi­oned morn­ing choice. This pop­u­lar com­fort food is not shy on calo­ries. Tak­ing lib­erty with stan­dard morn­ing fare means we have time to enjoy the heat of those calo­ries through­out the day.

Read more: Blur­ring the Lines →

Novem­ber vot­ing goes well beyond polit­i­cal bal­lots. Our thoughts begin to move toward hol­i­day plan­ning.

The Thanks­giv­ing count­down is start­ing to look dif­fer­ent, like most other things in 2020.

This year, tra­di­tions might be dialed back with smaller gath­er­ings forced upon us. Even so, deli­cious pies will be part of the grand finale to what­ever meal is served.

A slice of pie makes us happy. Sure, hap­pi­ness could come from a wide slice of pizza pie, a savory pie or even chicken pot pie. In this moment, we’re talk­ing about those seri­ous Thanks­giv­ing dessert pies.

Vot­ing on just one is super dif­fi­cult. Pie brings back fond mem­o­ries shared with loved ones. Those fam­ily mem­bers or friends we like to share the hol­i­day meal. With. Maybe an aun­tie or grand­mother made our spe­cial hol­i­day pies.

There are at least twenty favorite fall pies from which to choose. Sweet potato, apple, pecan and pump­kin are in the top five.

When it comes to apple, there are so many vari­a­tions on the theme that it may make take at least eight spots on the pie charts. Dutch apple, bour­bon apple, old-​fashioned apple and caramel apple lead the hit parade.

Read more: Ready, Set, VOTE! →

Let’s talk pome­gran­ates. Most kids don’t mind get­ting messy while break­ing in to them. Stained crim­son hands and shirts don’t faze an eager ten or twelve year old.

That’s not what most cooks and chefs care to expe­ri­ence as they work the jew­eled arils in to their pome­gran­ate recipes.

Over the years and over the inter­net, many experts have given us var­i­ous meth­ods of extract­ing the seeds with­out dif­fi­culty.

The under­wa­ter method seems like a lot of work for the reward. Sure, we stay cleaner but work­ing the fruit is tax­ing. Scor­ing the fruit in sec­tions is a solu­tion. We must still work each sec­tion to loosen the seeds.

Scor­ing and invert­ing the fruit is also advised. This yields loose seeds through the sheer force of dis­lodg­ing them from their pithy mem­branes. Mus­cle and patience.

Read more: Whack Job →

We are lucky enough this month to have a chance to expe­ri­ence a rare Hal­loween Blue Hunter’s Moon.

This uncom­mon occur­rence is a for sure a rar­ity. Mark the cal­en­dar to wit­ness this sec­ond full moon of the month on a hol­i­day ideal for it’s spec­tac­u­lar show­ing.

All Hallow’s Eve con­jures up images of were­wolves, gob­lins, zom­bies, and other scary crea­tures. They con­verge on Hal­loween to bring out play­ful and spooky enter­tain­ment.

When­ever two full Moons appear in a sin­gle month (on aver­age every two and half to three years) the sec­ond full moon is chris­tened a Blue Moon.

When we look at the full moon on Hal­loween night, it won’t actu­ally appear blue in color. Even so, it will be pretty unique. A full moon on Hal­loween occurs roughly only every 19 years, and in only some parts of the world.

Typ­i­cally, a Hal­loween full moon is seen only once every 38 years. The last Hal­loween full moon in all United States time zones was way back in 194476 years ago.

Read more: Blue Moon →

Enjoy­ing newly har­vested apples presents a wide range of deli­cious options. Pick­ing the right one depends on how we want to enjoy them.

Four excit­ing eat­ing apples are Wash­ing­ton grown Swee­T­ango, Cos­mic Crisp, Lady Alice and Lucy.

Swee­T­ango is crisp and sweet, with a lively touch of cit­rus, honey and spice. The tex­ture is amaz­ing, too— per­fectly crunchy and sat­is­fy­ingly juicy.

Swee­T­ango eats great on own, but also stands out in recipes, and pairs per­fectly with a vari­ety of wines, cheeses and more.

Cos­mic Crisp® apples are a cross between the Enter­prise and Hon­ey­crisp vari­eties. This large, juicy apple has a remark­ably firm and crisp tex­ture. The fla­vor pro­file is sur­pris­ingly sweet, mak­ing it an excel­lent eat­ing apple.

Cul­ti­vated with nat­u­rally higher lev­els of acid­ity and sugar, the Cos­mic Crisp® fla­vor packs such a sweet punch that in bak­ing recipes, added sugar can be reduced. In addi­tion to being sweet and crisp, it is nat­u­rally slow to brown when cut and main­tains its tex­ture and fla­vor when stored in the refrig­er­a­tor at home.

Lady Alice® apples have a dis­tinct pink stripe over a creamy-​yellow back­ground. This highly attrac­tive vari­ety dis­tin­guishes itself in other ways, also. The back­ground color deep­ens to an orange-​yellow after har­vest.

The actual parent­age of this apple is a mys­tery. It’s pre­sumed to have some golden deli­cious her­itage given the yel­low body undertones.

Read more: Picker’s Choice →

Fall menus dic­tate a change of gears. Espe­cially when it comes to choos­ing fresh ingre­di­ents.

Crav­ings begin for com­fort­ing soups, stews, casseroles and heartier dishes. New recipes get put into the week­night rota­tion.

Web searches surge for slow cooker and Instapot ideas. The last of sum­mer pro­duce and new fall har­vest items pair well with legumes, rice, noo­dles, and grains.

Triple digit tem­per­a­tures still linger in some parts of the coun­try. Once those finally fade away, we’ll jump right into col­or­ful autumn cook­ing. Soul sooth­ing foods are a tem­po­rary relief from the daily stress encoun­tered dur­ing these trou­bled times.

The phys­i­cal engage­ment of increased peel­ing, chop­ping and shred­ding takes the edge off a day of work or life stress. Fol­low­ing a recipe or try­ing a new cook­ing tech­nique puts focus on some­thing other than our­selves. A tri­umphant new dish con­tributes to nour­ish­ing body and soul.

Sweet pota­toes, kohlrabi, cab­bages, pome­gran­ates and per­sim­mons brighten up the fall pantry. Intro­duc­ing new greens and adapt­ing recipes to feed the fam­ily rein­vig­o­rates our enthu­si­asm. We can all use a boost to shake up the rote work of meal­time prepa­ra­tions.

There have been a parade of new cook­books released this year. Many of them are plant-​centric and breathe life in to the ordi­nary way we approach widely avail­able veg­eta­bles.

Red, green and orange bell pep­pers, chile pep­pers, corn, avo­ca­dos and cel­ery are all year round ingre­di­ents. How we bring them together for a sea­sonal riff is nuanced in roast­ing or pureeing.

Read more: Switch­ing Gears →

We all read the updates on weekly mar­ket con­di­tions. Weak, strong, up, down, esca­lated, Acts of God, legs, no legs. All pro­duce lingo to inform end users on the state of let­tuce, berries and veg­eta­bles.

It all sounds fine in an update on paper. Real­ity sets in when we as con­sumers shop and take our fruits and veg­eta­bles home for meals pre­pared in our own kitchens.

For the past sev­eral weeks, exces­sive and pro­longed heat (triple digit tem­per­a­tures) in our prime grow­ing areas is news­wor­thy. Next came the head­lines of mul­ti­ple fires through­out Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon and Wash­ing­ton. Smoke and ash con­tinue to push air qual­ity in to unhealthy ranges.

Warn­ings of short sup­plies, higher prices and tight mar­kets are a direct result of those late sum­mer events. Har­vest dis­rup­tions due to lack of labor or min­i­mum time avail­able to pick, sort and pack have worked against grow­ers.

Prod­uct alerts tell retail­ers and chefs to order tight or “truck to shelf or truck to plate”. Valen­cia oranges have suf­fered from heat stress. Romaine, ice­berg and leafy let­tuces are now show­ing the affects of insect dam­age and high tem­per­a­tures.

Grow­ers do their best to mit­i­gate all qual­ity con­cerns in every crop. It makes good sense for the farmer to want to make the most of their sales. Still, unavoid­able cir­cum­stances have pre­vailed this sum­mer to give grow­ers more headaches than usual.

Since most meals are now being made or con­sumed at home under COVID restric­tions, pro­duc­tion dis­rup­tions hit close to home on food waste and the wal­let. Fewer store trips for mar­ket­ing mean the per­ish­ables need to last and go farther.

Read more: Esca­lated & Weak →

Late sum­mer to early fall is a per­fect time to pick and high­light bell pep­pers. They tend to thrive in the hot Cal­i­for­nia sun, so the recent heat wave was not a deter­rent to these col­or­ful beau­ties.

The 2020 Wash­ing­ton state apple har­vest is just under­way. This season’s crop looks to be stel­lar and close to last year’s size in vol­ume.

Apple farm­ers keep grow­ing larger crop sizes and more vari­eties to please the world­wide con­sumer demand of this favorite fruit.

For the sec­ond straight year, Gala apples will be the high­est vol­ume vari­ety pro­duced at 23 per­cent. Red Deli­cious is pro­jected at 17 per­cent, fol­lowed by Fuji apples at 14 per­cent. Granny Smith and Hon­ey­crisp are at 13 per­cent each of total pro­duc­tion.

This year, new­com­ers Cos­mic Crisp is fore­casted to come in at 1.2 per­cent of the total crop and Cripps Pink at 5 per­cent. Pretty good for the new­bies.

Organic apple pro­duc­tion is on track to be about 16 per­cent of the total, or 21 mil­lion boxes. This is up from 15 mil­lion boxes in the 2019 apple crop. By the way, not all organic pro­duc­tion is ulti­mately packed, sold and mar­keted as organ­i­cally grown.

Read more: “A“mazing →

Late sum­mer to early fall is a per­fect time to pick and high­light bell pep­pers. They tend to thrive in the hot Cal­i­for­nia sun, so the recent heat wave was not a deter­rent to these col­or­ful beau­ties.

Orig­i­nat­ing in South and Cen­tral Amer­ica, Colum­bus brought them back to Europe in the 15th cen­tury. They soon became culi­nary stars across the globe.

Bell pep­pers are part of the chile fam­ily. Unlike their spicier coun­ter­parts (ser­ra­nos, jalapeños and habaneros), they do not con­tain cap­saicin, the com­pound that gives chile pep­pers their heat.

At their peak in late sum­mer and early fall, bell pep­pers are avail­able in a rain­bow of col­ors. Their mild fla­vor and sat­is­fy­ing crunch make serv­ing them raw a pop­u­lar choice. Sal­ads and fresh veg­gie plates are dressed up with bright bell pep­per rings or juli­enned strips.

Roast­ing, grilling, bak­ing, or stir-​frying them brings out a deeper, sweeter taste. Their hol­low cav­ity and sturdy walls makes them ideal for stuff­ing. This menu appli­ca­tion seems to fit right in with the tran­si­tion of sum­mer to fall.

There are two major fac­tors that deter­mine a bell pepper’s color. One. The time of har­vest­ing and the degree of ripeness at har­vest time. Two. The pep­per vari­etal.

All bell pep­pers start out green and change color as they mature. If it’s not picked, a green pep­per may become yel­low, orange, or red, depend­ing on its vari­etal. The longer the fruit stays on the vine, the sweeter it becomes. Addi­tional time on the plant also means that more nutri­tional value is gained.

Since they were less ripe when picked, green bell pep­pers have a longer shelf life, but are less nutrient-​dense than bell pep­pers that have matured to other colors.

Read more: Pep­per Picks →

Labor Day 2020 comes in the midst of a global pan­demic and an era of essen­tial work­ers.

Since early March, front-​line work­ers, across mul­ti­ple indus­tries, have faced unprece­dented con­di­tions to per­form our most cru­cial ser­vices.

Typ­i­cally, Labor Day marks the offi­cial “end of sum­mer” fes­tiv­i­ties, vaca­tions and leisure pas­times. Kids go back to school and fam­i­lies set­tle in with more struc­tured rou­tines.

Sport­ing events, con­certs and back­yard bar­be­cues are Amer­i­can high­lights from Labor Days past. Not this year. Card­board cutouts will suf­fice to enter­tain base­ball fans and online vir­tual con­certs intend to ser­e­nade lis­ten­ers.

Back­yard grilling will be served to a restricted num­ber of peo­ple. No crowds or large par­ties allowed this year. Gath­er­ings will be lim­ited. Amaz­ingly, those respon­si­ble for feed­ing Amer­i­cans have shown remark­able resilience.

Farm­ers in Cal­i­for­nia have bat­tled destruc­tive fires through­out major grow­ing regions this sea­son. Still, they con­tinue to har­vest, pack and ship.

On the table, and with­out much inter­rup­tion, we con­tinue to eat our fresh pro­duce. Mel­ons, toma­toes, sweet corn, cook­ing veg­eta­bles and salad ingre­di­ents mag­i­cally find there way to the gro­cers and restaurants.

Read more: Essen­tial Labor →

It’s not always easy to get inspired to cook. Even with a myr­iad of inter­net tuto­ri­als on grilling, sum­mer sautéing, and roast­ing, it’s some­times dif­fi­cult to muster any real cook­ing enthu­si­asm.

More meals are now being pre­pared at home dur­ing our stay in and stay safe pro­to­cols. There is no time like the present to dust off the stacks and piles of gifted or pur­chased cook books col­lected over the years.

Most have a trusted “go to” copy of Joy of Cook­ing or The Sil­ver Palate. Tat­tered, stained and gen­er­ally worn with pages lit­er­ally falling from the bind­ing, our most used ones are not in mint con­di­tion. How about the rest of the group? They are pris­tine, hardly cracked and wait­ing patiently for some kitchen love.

Now is the time to intro­duce your­self to the quiet of kitchen ther­apy. Recon­nect to fam­ily roots. Chan­nel the grand­mother or aun­tie in those more dif­fi­cult recipes we’ve always wanted to tackle.

Explore new places through the smells, plates and tastes of Africa, China, India, Mex­ico, Spain and Morocco. Go any­where in the world while con­fined to the com­forts of home.

There is also the mat­ter of mas­ter­ing cer­tain cook­ing tech­niques. Rolling, pinch­ing, knead­ing and brais­ing sur­prise us with pie, dumplings, bread or spicy veg­etable entrees and sides.

Read more: Cook the Books →

Food is cul­ture. Every­thing hav­ing to do with food — from cul­ti­va­tion and prepa­ra­tion to con­sump­tion, reflect cer­tain aspects of dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

Indian cui­sine con­sists of a vari­ety of regional and tra­di­tional dishes native to India. Given the diver­sity in soil, cli­mate, cus­toms, eth­nic groups, and occu­pa­tions, these cuisines vary sub­stan­tially.

A climb­ing food trend is the pop­u­lar­ity of Indian restau­rants. Depend­ing on the influ­ences of regional dif­fer­ences, spe­cific spices, herbs, veg­eta­bles, and fruits are used. These are based on what may have been avail­able in the home­land regions.

Indian food is heav­ily influ­enced by reli­gion, in par­tic­u­lar Hin­duism. The cui­sine is also shaped by cen­turies of Islamic rule, par­tic­u­larly the Mughal rule. Samosas and pilafs are exam­ples.

Exotic ingre­di­ents and a full range of fla­vors– spicy, sweet, sour and hot, make it a desir­able and excit­ing food explo­ration.

Famil­iar spices that are com­mon to many Indian dishes — cumin, corian­der, turmeric, and gin­ger, pro­vide numer­ous ways of using them and com­bin­ing them. There are at least thirty other spices behind those four.

Read more: Curry Curry →

Going “back to school” amid COVID con­di­tions is any­thing but nor­mal. As health offi­cials, par­ents and school lead­ers decide on what safe learn­ing looks like, there is the loom­ing ques­tion of “what’s for lunch”?

Through­out the past sev­eral months, many school dis­tricts have been able to pro­vide grab and go lunches and some­times break­fast to appre­cia­tive fam­i­lies.

In many cases, these meals are the only or most sub­stan­tial nutri­tion a child might expect that day.

The USDA funds sev­eral meal and nutri­tion pro­grams. These pro­grams oper­ate in pub­lic and non­profit pri­vate schools and res­i­den­tial child care insti­tu­tions. Most pro­vide nutri­tion­ally bal­anced, low-​cost or free meals to chil­dren each and every school day. The orig­i­nal pro­gram was estab­lished under the National School Lunch Act, signed by Pres­i­dent Harry Tru­man in 1946.

Sev­enty four years later, food inse­cu­rity for school aged kids is even greater. Roughly, 30 mil­lion stu­dents eat school lunch every day and 22 mil­lion of these chil­dren rely on free or reduced-​price school lunch.

School lunch and break­fast are free for house­holds under 130% of the fed­eral poverty level and reduced cost for house­holds under 185% of poverty. The Fed­eral Poverty Line is $26,200 for a fam­ily of four in 2020.

Read more: Lunch Box Relief →

The Viet­namese noo­dle soup that fea­tures a rich, aro­matic broth and rice noo­dles is a light, sat­is­fy­ing meal fit for sum­mer.

Pho (sounds like “fuh) is tra­di­tion­ally made using whole spices, beef bones, and fish sauce. It’s easy enough to elim­i­nate the meat or fish com­po­nents and zero in on the fresh herb and veg­etable ele­ments.

This suit­able for sum­mer vegan broth derives its depth and char­ac­ter from whole spices, aro­matic veg­eta­bles, chile pep­pers, and mush­rooms. Shi­take mush­rooms are first in line. Oys­ter or cri­m­ini are excel­lent sec­ond and third place drafts.

Gar­nished with cilantro or basil, bean sprouts and a squeeze of lime, the essence of this sim­mer­ing bowl is fully present.

Home cooks are find­ing ways to cre­ate their own ver­sions of this sooth­ing broth when take out or deliv­ery is unavail­able. Com­fort is a byprod­uct of in-​home prepa­ra­tion and as well as the slurp­ing.

Build base fla­vors begin­ning with star anise, whole cloves, whole pep­per­corns, and cin­na­mon sticks. Fresh gin­ger root, gar­lic and onions get the soup pot going. Char the onions, gin­ger and gar­lic to max­i­mize their potency.

Tamari, soy sauce and water sub­sti­tute the fish sauce. Steep the ingre­di­ents over low heat to release the aromatics.

Read more: “PHO“nomenenal →

Click to Down­load the Lat­est Recall PDF
Ever since the start of the global pan­demic, cit­rus demand and vol­ume have been tremen­dous. Navel oranges, in par­tic­u­lar, have been in high demand.

Con­sumers have got­ten the mes­sage that vit­a­min C is a good immu­nity boost. Given any chance to fight COVID-​19 through health­ier food choices, cit­rus makes log­i­cal sense.

Typ­i­cally, veg­etable choices make their way to the gro­cery shop­ping list. We tend to build meals around veg­eta­bles or at min­i­mum, lay a foun­da­tion of fla­vor. Fresh fruits suf­fer the fate of being more of an “impulse” buy over must have items.

Onions, cel­ery, gar­lic, car­rots, mush­rooms and bell pep­pers fre­quent any tasty sauce, stir fry or sum­mer grilling dish. It’s dif­fi­cult to imag­ine cook­ing with­out them. These pantry sta­ples are hardly out of stock.

Spe­cialty or eth­nic menu sug­ges­tions call for egg­plants, cab­bages, green onions, leeks, pota­toes and squashes. Turn­ing them in to a sump­tu­ous meal is only a recipe away.

Most fresh prod­ucts are being sold by super­mar­kets. In the United States and many other coun­tries, restau­rants are still closed or lim­ited on how much and what food is being served.

Less demand on cer­tain fresh pro­duce items and more demand on oth­ers makes it a very unpre­dictable sup­ply chain. Afford­able fruits and veg­eta­bles with a good shelf life com­mand shop­per atten­tion. In nor­mal mar­kets, fruits gen­er­ally get trac­tion from sea­sonal pro­mo­tions. Today’s empha­sis is geared towards stay­ing healthy.

Read more: Fruit Impulse →

On Fri­day, Octo­ber 11, 2019, our res­i­dent GP “Chefs” made 14 deli­cious dishes using any vari­ety of win­ter squash. Some devel­oped their own recipes while oth­ers cooked or adapted clas­sic recipes found in cook­books or inno­v­a­tive recipes found on food blogs. Win­ners won Tar­get gift cards of $25, $15 or $10.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the win­ners & thank you to all of the par­tic­i­pants. We enjoyed a very tasty Fri­day and have a new appre­ci­a­tion for win­ter squash thanks to you!
Check out the dishes and click on the titles in green to see the recipes:

Cran­berry Chip Squash Bread
Romana Har­ris
First Place

Kuri Curry
Coconut Soup
Gina Back­ovich
Sec­ond Place

But­ter­nut Squash
Galette
San­dra Sanchez
Third Place

But­ter­nut Squash, Sausage
and Tortellini Soup
Traci Ennis

But­ter­nut & Red Kuri
Squash Soup
Rochelle Grover

Parme­san Acorn
Squash
Leah Haz­zard

Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Can­nelli Beans
& Spinach Salad

Linda Luka

Kabocha Squash
Donut Muffins
Linda Luka


Spicy Squash Salad
with Lentils and
Goat Cheese

Jeff Sac­chini

African Lamb Kabocha Tagine
Gina Back­ovich

Lemon Grass But­ter­nut Squash
Patty Chan

Sauteed Del­i­cata
Squash
Nancy Spinella

Green business Bureau article about GP
Green Busi­ness Bureau
By Amanda John­son Sep­tem­ber 11, 2018 Blog, Mem­ber News

From food­ser­vice to retail, export to whole­sale, the fresh pro­duce dis­tri­b­u­tion busi­ness can cover a wide-​rage of busi­ness seg­ments that come together to ser­vice every­thing from gro­cery stores to restau­rants and casi­nos to schools. One busi­ness that suc­cess­fully cov­ers all of these seg­ments is Green Busi­ness Bureau mem­ber, Gen­eral Pro­duce Com­pany, a com­pany tack­ling the fresh pro­duce mar­ket in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

Founded in 1933 by Chan Tai Oy, his three sons and nephew, Gen­eral Pro­duce Co. is a third gen­er­a­tion owned and oper­ated fam­ily busi­ness that dis­trib­utes and exports fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles that are local, organic, sus­tain­able, and region­ally and glob­ally sourced. As a PRO*ACT mem­ber, Gen­eral Pro­duce is focused on energy con­ser­va­tion and reduc­tion, recy­cling and par­tic­i­pat­ing in pro­grams like Greener Fields Together, a local farm ini­tia­tive. Gen­eral Pro­duce works to inte­grate sus­tain­abil­ity – social, envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic – into their daily busi­ness prac­tices and long range plan­ning.

While Gen­eral Pro­duce is chal­lenged with facil­i­ties that are dated in terms of struc­tures, energy sys­tems, fleet demand for ser­vice and CA leg­is­la­tion, they have worked hard to be cre­ative in address­ing the demands of state man­dates, as well as facil­ity lay­out. From light­ing to cool­ing and refrig­er­a­tion, the company’s oper­a­tions and facil­ity team con­tin­u­ously work toward mak­ing improve­ments. They also look for ways to min­i­mize the company’s envi­ron­men­tal impacts in the areas of water, waste, energy and air, and reduce their car­bon foot­print by installing cost sav­ing mea­sures.

“Our approach to busi­ness is guided by our com­mit­ment to the prin­ci­ples of integrity, hon­esty, per­sonal rela­tion­ships, diverse exper­tise, stew­ard­ship and inno­va­tion,” said Linda Luka, Direc­tor of Mar­ket­ing & Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. “We are ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing qual­ity ser­vice and prod­ucts. To do so, our aim is to ensure that our work­force and com­mu­ni­ties ben­e­fit from the small scale of our daily oper­a­tions to the large scale of our sup­ply chain.”

Read the orig­i­nal arti­cle here.

Seek­ing to infuse your culi­nary or bev­er­age cre­ations with the ulti­mate fresh fruit fla­vor? No need to peel, dice, purée, and sim­mer for those ideal results.
Per­fect Purée is the solution!

Per­fect Purée is the pre­mium purée prod­uct on the mar­ket. The suc­cu­lent, single-​note fla­vors of Per­fect Purée inspire every­thing you can think of: cock­tails, mari­nades, cakes, cook­ies, sor­bets and smooth­ies. At the back of the house or front of the house, chefs, cookes, baris­tas, bar­tenders, pas­try chefs, and brew mas­ters love this prod­uct line!

For a per­fect sum­mer, try out our favorite warm weather fla­vors: El Cora­zon, Pink Guava & Pas­sion Fruit.

Call us today to order your sam­ple kit. Can’t wait? Go online to http://​bit​.ly/​g​p​p​u​r​e​e.

Dan Chan (Pres­i­dent) and Tom Chan (CEO) with Sacra­mento Food Bank & Fam­ily Service’s Kelly Siefkin (far left) and Blake Young (sec­ond from right)
Last week, Farm-​to-​Fork and Food Tank hosted the inau­gural food sum­mit called Farm Tank in Sacra­mento. Look­ing to fur­ther offer indus­try mem­bers oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn about the unique per­spec­tive of Cal­i­for­nia food and agri­cul­ture, Gen­eral Pro­duce par­tic­i­pated in Farm Tank in many ways. We really wanted to pro­vide an exhil­a­rat­ing expe­ri­ence that will advance con­ver­sa­tion around access to healthy food. All of the thought­ful con­ver­sa­tion and edu­ca­tion that tran­spired those few days could poten­tially improve our local food system.

Read more: Farm Tank Sum­mit & On the Plate 2016


Learn about California’s rich agri­cul­tural industry.


CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS RYAN BLANCAS!

The United Fresh Retail Pro­duce Man­ager Awards Pro­gram pays spe­cial recog­ni­tion to pro­duce man­agers on the front lines in super­mar­kets work­ing every day to increase sales and con­sump­tion of fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles. Gen­eral Pro­duce is hon­ored to have nom­i­nated yet another win­ner, Ryan Blan­cas of Beale AFB Commissary.

In June, Ryan, along with Gen­eral Pro­duce team mem­bers, will attend the United Fresh Pro­duce Inno­va­tion Con­fer­ence in Chicago. United Fresh will honor 25 of the industry’s top retail pro­duce man­agers for their com­mit­ment to fresh pro­duce, inno­v­a­tive mer­chan­dis­ing, com­mu­nity ser­vice and cus­tomer satisfaction.

Left to right:
Mar­lon Walker, Store Direc­tor, Beale AFB Com­mis­sary
Alan Edi­ger, VP Busi­ness Devel­op­ment, Dole Fresh Veg­eta­bles
Ryan Blan­cas, Pro­duce Man­ager, Beale AFB Com­mis­sary, 2016 Retail Pro­duce Man­ager Award Win­ner
Jeff Ober­man, VP Trade Rela­tions, United Fresh Pro­duce Association
Just a lit­tle less than 2 hours away in Pleasan­ton, the Expo It is a great oppor­tu­nity for us to see what’s new out there. It is easy for us to take our cus­tomers with us to con­nect with grow­ers, ship­pers, and retail­ers. The Expo exhibitors pro­vide updates on their lat­est crops and prod­ucts while we get to talk to them about how and why they do what they do.

GP Team Mem­bers David John III, Jen­nifer Ho, Ray Hoell­warth, and Linda Unden attended the FPFC Nor­Cal Expo this year. They all enjoyed it and are look­ing for­ward to more FPFC events.

Read more about the event:

By Kath­leen Weaver

Most con­sumers believe pro­duce comes shrouded in plas­tic; per­fectly selected apples pre­sented in a pris­tine pack­age ready to enjoy. And while any­one eat­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles excites me for all the obvi­ous rea­sons; health and com­merce related, there is one sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence between the eater of today and that of the past. Eighty years ago most folks knew how an apple was grown, which is no longer the case.

Eighty years ago a sub­stan­tial chunk of the work­force was employed in agri­cul­ture; 22% of work­ers rep­re­sent­ing roughly 27 of 123 mil­lion peo­ple who called the US home at the time. They farmed on small farms in all regions of the US pro­duc­ing mostly for their own sub­sis­tence. How­ever, trends began to shift with elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, mech­a­niza­tion, and infra­struc­ture and trans­port improve­ments, allow­ing peo­ple to seek off-​farm work. This is where we see the most sub­stan­tial change in our food sys­tem that until recently remained unchallenged.

Read more: Break­ing Down Bar­ri­ers for Local Food →

Dan, Brian and Tom (in absen­tia) received the Seven Seals Award rec­og­niz­ing Gen­eral Pro­duce as a Patri­otic Employer for its sup­port of the Guard and Reserve. At a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion in front of the Sacra­mento Board of Super­vi­sors , Gen­eral Pro­duce, along with other Sacra­mento area employ­ers, were hon­ored and recognized.

For the past 12 years, GP has been able to accom­mo­date our National Guards­man, Todd Pratt, as he has been called for train­ing and deployed dur­ing his mil­i­tary ser­vice. We are proud of him and proud to be able to con­tribute to sup­port­ing our mil­i­tary troops abroad.

Read more here:

http://​www​.esgr​.mil/​N​e​w​s​-​E​v​e​n​t​s​/​E​S​G​R​-​I​n​-​T​h​e​-​N​e​w​s​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​T​y​p​e​/​A​r​t​i​c​l​e​V​i​e​w​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​I​d​/​5194​/​G​e​n​e​r​a​l​-​P​r​o​d​u​c​e​-​C​o​m​p​a​n​y​-​s​u​p​e​r​v​i​s​o​r​-​h​o​n​o​r​e​d​-​b​y​-​D​e​p​a​r​t​m​e​n​t​-​o​f​-​D​e​f​e​n​s​e​-​f​o​r​-​p​a​t​r​i​o​t​i​c​-​s​u​p​p​o​r​t​.​a​s​p​x

Gen­eral Produce’s vision of cre­at­ing a dis­tinc­tive, col­lab­o­ra­tive cel­e­bra­tion to high­light the best Cal­i­for­nia grown foods in the midst of the 2015 Sacra­mento Farm-​to-​Fork Fes­ti­val came to fruition and exceeded all expectations.

Gen­eral Pro­duce, a third-​generation, locally owned, family-​run dis­tri­b­u­tion com­pany part­nered with long­time cus­tomer, Fat’s Fam­ily Restau­rant Group, to host “On the Plate” dur­ing this year’s Farm-​to-​Fork Fes­ti­val on Sep­tem­ber 26th.

The large mar­quee booth (a 50′ x 60′ tent and out­side dis­play space) attracted folks with a vin­tage Gen­eral Pro­duce deliv­ery truck, draped in fresh flo­ral, fruits and veg­eta­bles. The col­or­ful fall hard­scape pro­vided the per­fect back­drop for snap­shots. This dis­play was the most phot­graphed of the day for press and fes­ti­val atten­dees, post­ing to Insta­gram, Twit­ter and Facebook.

Read more: “On the Plate” Draws Impres­sive Crowd at 2015 Farm-​to-​Fork Festival →