I find out in this new cocktail recipe inspired by local Absinthe
This cocktail is inspired by one of my favorite teas and a bottle of locally made (Marin County) absinthe I was gifted on a recent writing assignment for Edible Marin & Wine Country Magazine. (The Crespo Organic Kitchen creates its magic from my Ger-Nis Culinary kitchen in Bolinas, California.)
Round Mango Market Difficulties Ahead
Weeks 8-12 are the problem. Last Friday there was an early morning surge of mango chatter amongst industry folks. A handful of the bigger conventional players released a series of statements —more like warnings, in the form of internal and external emails, the subject being massive shortages of round mangoes as the Peruvian season winds down and transitions into Mexican and Central American fruit.
& The Perfect Amount of QQ
Bubble Tea is a Taiwanese invention said to have originated in the 80’s at a well-known tea stand. Randomly some flavor was shaken into tea, the bubbles that formed with the shake essentially named the drink. Milk tea was already quite common, so adding sweet flavors become new way to enjoy it. Tapioca pearls came next, which had just been introduced to Taiwan and were heavily used in desserts and sweet delicacies. It was only a matter of time before they made their way into the sweet, dessert-like milk tea concoction.
Mexico revs up mango engines with Ataulfos to start the season
Most packing sheds are currently opened, opening or will be opening in the next few weeks in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Ataulfos are on track to start first – some growers have started picking and others will start picking next week and, in the weeks, to follow. Ideally growers should be particular in the pack out as its been reported by several growers – we included- that because of heavy rains during December when fruit formation was taking place, much of the onset fruit may not be of the highest quality (on the outside). Some growers, like us, are opting to have more patience as the fruit behind the onset fruit is showing much better quality. Being particular in terms of pack out vs, the pack everything methodology that often occurs with the opening of the season, has proven to be more successful for our rather large Ataulfo program that lasts through August, typically.
A new, cleverly named, pack house springs up to help
Update 2/25: We are a little behind schedule about a week and the packing house is now set to open around the 8th of March, get inspected start packing Crespo mangoes by the 15-20th! Check out the new updated photos of the packing shed at the very bottom of this post!
Our direct trade model of doing business has enabled us to re-invest in our farm, business and operations despite the dwindling margins seen in mangoes. The elimination of extra hands allows for a little room to aspire to succeed and we take this penny-pinching process seriously, In the last few years we have honed in on some important needs as our system grows. Improvements to our pack house Empaque Don Jorge (EDJI) , in Sinaloa was one of them. Increasing volume capacity in the southern early regions was another, which is this season big undertaking; a new mango pack house for El Grupo Crespo, Empaque Don Jorge II.
Mutually beneficial results from a direct trade model
In 2015 El Grupo Crespo and I, together, took a big risk and eliminated the middle man; we laid the groundwork to sell Crespo Organic Mangoes using a direct trade approach. This began with revamping the (original) Crespo family mango brand. We notified the bevy of wholesale and retail customers who had been buying our mangoes from well-known intermediaries – explaining how this would benefit them in the short- and long run – and asked them to please support us. Three years into this adventure, it has proven to be a fruitful approach for our customers, consumers and the long-term viability of our farm and business.
A Christmas Eve Ode to Martha Stewart
I have, like so many, have admired her and been inspired by her since I was young. (That’s before the internet.) Her magazines came first, they were the first of their kind and then the TV shows, again the first, she was and is a pioneer and she’s an exceptional recipe writer and cook. Her recipes, tips and advice are accessible to all skills levels and unlike so many internet recipes today, they actually work and don’t make you feel like you messed up.
Stove-top winter smoking for fruity folks like me
It’s winter so most of us, even here in coastal California, have put away our BBQ’s, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t smoking anything, it is after all California. Learning the art of indoor, stove-top smoking, offers great reward in terms of adding depth, flavor and deep character to dishes where a little smoke essence goes a long way.