Ask a Question forum: looking for unique produce

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Palo Alto Ca,
rjpcook
Aug 9, 2017 11:46 AM CST
Good morning, my name is Robert Perez I am a Chef manager with Bon Appetit management company and I have a question for you. I am looking for a vegetable or fruit to feature as a main ingredient for my café in September. I am looking for something unusual for Northern California. Something that is not normally grown in this region of the country. For example if someone was growing Pineapples or Dragon fruit. Have you seen anything like this or have heard of a local farm growing unusual items here in Northern California?
Thank you for your time.

Robert Perez|Chef Manager
Bon Appetit @ SAP
Direct: 650-849-4093 |
www.bamco.com | www.cafebonappetit.com | "food services for a sustainable future" ®
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Aug 9, 2017 12:28 PM CST

Moderator

Have you checked the local farmers markets near you? I would think that would be the best place to start with finding these types of smaller vendors, you can get to know them and find out what you may be interested in and what they may carry throughout the season.
http://www.cafarmersmkts.com/f...
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Palo Alto Ca,
rjpcook
Aug 9, 2017 12:30 PM CST
yes I have
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 9, 2017 12:32 PM CST
Are you wanting to learn how to grow these unusual plants?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Palo Alto Ca,
rjpcook
Aug 9, 2017 12:38 PM CST
no, I am looking to purchase for my café. For over a decade we have been doing farm to fork dishes for our customers and I wanted to take it a step further by serving unique and unusual FTF items. So I was reaching out to see if there was anything available in our area. I will also be reaching out to our produce company.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Roses Irises Clematis
Garden Photography Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies Houseplants
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Calif_Sue
Aug 9, 2017 1:26 PM CST

Moderator

This is a nationwide gardening community with not many Calif members that grow things beyond the generic veggies for their own use so most likely, beyond your local resources, you probably wouldn't get more responses here.
Best wishes in your endeavors!
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Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Aug 9, 2017 2:53 PM CST
Calif_Sue said:This is a nationwide gardening community with not many Calif members that grow things beyond the generic veggies for their own use so most likely, beyond your local resources, you probably wouldn't get more responses here.
Best wishes in your endeavors!

As a mere home cook, I hesitate to suggest anything a pro chef (but obviously I am going to).

Kohlrabi and beet slaw? Purple broccoli and purple cauliflower (I am growing). Heirloom tomatoes (chill them and I'll beat you with a baseball bat). Fresh carrots are different than most people expect. Bicolor corn hybrids have the best of both worlds.

But if I could suggest anything to seek out - Romano beans. Big ones (the small ones have less flavor). I would order those anywhere and a little roasted pepper and garlic tossed in butter... OMG!



Palo Alto Ca,
rjpcook
Aug 9, 2017 3:03 PM CST
thank you
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Aug 9, 2017 5:54 PM CST
Yardman, Got a good source for Romano seed? My favorites, but all I have found this past year is bush types, and they aren't that nice.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 10, 2017 12:58 PM CST
Mr. Chef ! Howdy 😁 !!!
Purple Tomatillos, make purple salsa ? Purple kohrabi. Chinese long beans. Four color chard ! green, red, orange, and yellow. Chayote squash.
There's much, other colored veges.
Order, some seed catalogs. You'll see !😮!
Happy cooking !😁😁😁!
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Aug 10, 2017 1:47 PM CST
@rjpcook - three things come to mind.

1. Welcome to garden.org.
2. I want to come to your restaurant.
3. Take a look at the website for Victory Seeds. They have an amazing selection of vegetable (and other) seeds. They even have one list of endangered seeds. And one for heirloom seeds. (Some lists overlap.) When you go their site you don't need to create an account to just look around but rather you can be 'a guest'.
Palo Alto Ca,
rjpcook
Aug 10, 2017 2:02 PM CST
thank you all , for the great suggestions.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Aug 10, 2017 8:33 PM CST
@Yardenman and @ctcarol — I know beans about beans. So I don't know if these are what you're wanting but have a click and take a look. http://www.victoryseeds.com/be...
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Aug 10, 2017 10:41 PM CST
Hello rjpcook, I saw this website, they sell exotic fruits. http://www.buyexoticfruits.com.... I have not used this website, but I do find their exotic listing quite interesting.

Looking at their lists, some of the fruits are not readily available here in NorCal, unless you chance upon them in Asian supermarkets. From their list, I really like rambutan, chico (which is somehow misspelled there as chikoo), custard apple and mangosteen. Hope you can try out those yummy fruits. Smiling

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