Peter's Weekly Walkthrough
January 24, 2024
Smitten apples (25247-80/88ct) brings back a memory of several years ago. It was towards the end of summer and suddenly, we had this new apple that I was unfamiliar with- the Smitten Apple. Kind of a cool name, I wondered what it was like. I had to try it. After taking a couple of bites, I was struck with the thought: this was a darn good apple. Good sweet- tart balance, with subtle fruity, floral, cider, and wine-like nuances, it finished with a slight warm spice note. “Man, This is a great APPLE! This is my favorite apple!” Yes that is where I went. The Smitten Apple is a modern variety that was developed in New Zealand and is now cultivated in Washington State. It was heavily marketed with bold graphics and big ad campaign to create press in a tight apple market. The apple became known for the slogan, “Once Bitten, Forever Smitten” with Smitten spelt with two pink “x’s” instead of the t’s to symbolize two kisses. In New Zealand and Australia they are promoted on St Valentine’s Day continuing the marketing theme of love. You will need to order them soon if you want to be ‘Smitten” as we only have 84 cases left.
It was the contrast in colors: dark green and stark white, that caught my eye about the Baby Green Bok Choy (20342-30 lb, 20341-3 lb). Baby Green Bok Choy is so versatile as a vegetable and good for raw, steaming, boiling, sauteing, braising and grilling. In Singapore, where farmland is limited, and population density is at maximum capacity, vertical farming is becoming the benchmark for sustainable, efficient commercial vegetable cultivation and food security. Bok choy is Singapore's vertical farming vegetable of choice where it is stacked and grown in automated towers reaching over nine meters in height. Nearly a half a ton of Bok choy is harvested from the towers annually and is consumed locally through restaurants and fresh markets for home consumption.
It is a point of pride that 365 days a year we have local produce and support local farms. Take the Savoy Cabbage (20414-35lb case, 25467-3 each) as a good example. This head of Savoy Cabbage was grown by Hilltop Produce. Hilltop Produce Farms started in 1892 in Troutdale Oregon and the fourth generation focusing on some of the vegetables least likely to be on the cover of Bon Appetite Magazine: cabbages and root vegetables. I guess someone needs to plant and take care of them so we they are there for our menus. Savoy Cabbage is Green Cabbage’s sweeter cousin. Thinking that the head should be cut into wedges then brush with EVOO and season with S&P. If you have a wood fired pizza oven, lets throw it in there to char the outside. If you are short a wood fired oven- lets go to the grill and give them that char. Once the char is looking good, put them in an oven proof dish. Coat with cream, some sliced shallots, and fresh thyme. I am liking the idea of adding a splash of white wine in there too. This needs a good, nutty cheese along the lines of a Gruyere or Dry Gouda. Fire this in an oven until it is bubbly and brown on top.