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You Didn't Really Eat Yams Today

Ashley Narvaiz - Thursday, November 23, 2017

Families will gather around the table today, ready to create memories and enjoy delicious food. One Thanksgiving classic you're bound to see is a dish of Candied Yams, topped with brown sugar and golden marshmallows! 


We're going to let you in on a secret... 

If you took a big scoop of those candied yams, they weren't actually yams!


                                   


Capital Public Radio shared an article on the myth behind the American Yam - and that myth is that what we enjoy as our candied yams, are actually sweet potatoes! Most Americans have never tasted a real yam - typically grown in Africa and far more starchy and watery. You've likely never seen a real yam in your life!


  

           Sweet Potato        Yam              Potato


So why do all of the shippers and grocery stores label sweet potatoes as yams - when they really aren't yams?


JJ Harbster explained when the sweet potatoes were first brought over to America, "They recognized that root, or the tuber, that looked very much like the yams they knew in Africa and they called them yams, and so the marketers, they just ran with it."


....It's really just from marketing!


This video we found explains the phenomenon too: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCDeMbgX7vk


In recent years, many sweet potato growers and shippers are trying to squash this mis-marketing and have started labeling sweet potatoes as sweet potatoes. The shift in grocery stores for consumers likely isn't coming soon. Kathy Means with the Produce Marketing Association based in Delaware says it may be a tough sell, especially this time of year, when family traditions come into play, regardless of how botanically incorrect the term yam may be.


“I think when you pull great-grandma’s recipe out of the recipe box for her candied yams or her marshmallow sweet potatoes, folks have a sense of what it is that they’re eating, in terms of family traditions and holidays and things like that,” says Means.


We're thinking it will take some time for Americans to stop asking for the candied yams to be passed along the table each Thanksgiving - but the shift is starting with growers and shippers. The future might look different for grandma's Candied Yams.

Recipe: Bloody Mary Pickled Asparagus

Ashley Narvaiz - Wednesday, June 07, 2017

We are always looking for delicious ways to prepare our homegrown produce. With the fresh asparagus season being so quick, what better way to enjoy our Ida-Spears than to can and preserve them for months of enjoyment! We tried this recipe for Bloody Mary Pickled Asparagus and couldn't wait to share it with you!



Ingredients:


2 1/2 cups cider vinegar

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

8 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon canning and pickling salt

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons celery seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon pepper

2 pounds thick asparagus, trimmed to measure 6 inches long

2 (1/4 inch thick) round lemon slices



Directions:


1. Bring vinegar, water, tomato juice, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, horseradish, celery seeds, pepper flakes, and pepper to boil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Carefully add asparagus to vinegar mixture with tips facing same direction. Return to brief boil, then immediately remove from heat. 


2. Meanwhile, place two 1-quart jars in bowl and place under hot running water until heated through.  1 to 2 minutes; shake dry. 


3. Using tongs, carefully pack asparagus into hot jars, tips facing up. Using funnel and ladle, pour hot brine over asparagus to cover, and gently press lemon slice into each jar until just submerged. 



4. Let jars cool to room temperature, cover with lids, and refrigerate for at least 5 days before serving. (Asparagus can be refrigerated for up to 1 month; flavor will continue to mature over time.)


**From our friends at Foolproof Preserving. There are some awesome #onion and #mint recipes in their book too! Check it out: http://foolproofpreserving.com/



US (OR): Unusually early start green asparagus season

Shay Myers - Friday, April 10, 2015
“Our asparagus season is off to the earliest start in 25 years,” said Robin Froerer with Owyhee Produce. “We’ve experienced unseasonably warm weather and already started picking in March,” Froerer added. In an average season, picking starts between April 15 and April 20. “Although we’ve been picking for a few weeks, volumes are still light. This is mainly caused by last week’s cold spell when we lost some of our production to frost.” As the weather warms up again, volumes will become heavier. 



High prices
“Prices are fantastic for the growers,” commented Froerer. At the moment, they are about $50 - $56 for a 28 lb. box. The same time last year, prices were not bad, but came out quite a bit lower with $46 - $48 per 28 lb. box. “Once more volume comes on, prices will start to come down. We are in the same production window as Washington State and as soon as they come into full production, we will notice a drop in prices,” said Froerer. Asparagus is a labour-intensive crop and getting it picked is an issue. “It is a 12-20 year crop and because of its labor intensity many growers throughout the US are not replacing it and have taken it out in recent years.“



Owyhee Produce ships its asparagus all over the United States to mainstream retailers like Albertson’s, Winco’s and Walmart. Additionally, the company also is a supplier to the foodservice industry.

For more information:
Robin Froerer
Owyhee Produce
Tel: (+1) 541-610-0410

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