Wholesale Summer Produce: A Chef’s Guide to In-Season Fruits and Vegetables
Table of contents
Table of contents
Every season brings with it a bounty of different fresh fruits and vegetables to add to your restaurant menu. But there is one season in particular that gets chefs around the globe excited – summer.
Summer produce ranges from stone fruits, berries, melons, and a range of tropical fruits like pineapple and kiwi to farm-fresh vegetables like asparagus, avocadoes, tomatoes, green beans, and zucchini. As the weather changes across the globe so does the fresh produce that is available. Summer’s bounty of succulent, flavorful, fresh produce is a great time to start experimenting and trying new recipes or reworking those old ones to incorporate more seasonal fruits and vegetables into your menu
Here is our chef’s guide to incorporating fresh summer produce into your menus and how to make the most of what summer brings to the plate.
The Advantages of Choosing In-Season Wholesale Produce
Modern-day restaurants are used to having almost every fruit and vegetable available year-round, and although this is convenient, not buying produce in season means that you will sacrifice taste and quality. In-season produce is fresher and tastes better and is often times cheaper than purchasing them out of season.
When wholesale fruits and vegetables are transported, they must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t spoil during transportation. More often than not this produce will then need to be heated and ripen artificially in hot houses before they are delivered. This process greatly reduces the quality, texture and flavor of out-of-season produce. If you have ever received limp greens, floury tomatoes or fibery tasteless mangoes you will know exactly how much this process can destroy the quality of fresh produce.
Furthermore, when farmers are harvesting a large abundance of produce due to the crops being in season, the cost of the produce will go down. When the produce is locally sourced because it’s in season in your area, then travelling expenses and storage are not required therefore reducing the production costs that are passed on to wholesale buyers.
Wholesale summer fruits and vegetables that is purchased in season is more likely to be fresher, consumed closer to harvesting and higher in nutritional value, some anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenes will rapidly decline when stored for periods of time. Locally in-season sourced fruits and vegetables will also appear brighter and more vibrant.
Wholesale Summer Fruits: Exploring Flavorful Possibilities
Yes, you and your restaurant have your favorite tried and tested recipes and dishes that are a hit, but in order to maximize on every season available fresh produce, consider tweaking your popular menu items to include fresh produce that’s in season.
No other fruit exudes summer in every bite quite like a watermelon. The subtly fruity, earthy flavor of watermelon pairs extremely well with soft pungent cheeses like goats’ cheese, herbs like mint, chili and ginger, as well as shrimp and fish. If you are looking to add a splash of summer to your menu, consider a shrimp and watermelon ceviche or put a summery twist on classic fish tacos with a watermelon salsa.
Papaya is another vibrant summer fruit that will add a dash of instant sunshine to your dishes. Although papayas are harvested year-round, they are at their prime from early summer through beginning fall. The sweet and creamy flavor of papayas are ideal to add to summer inspired desserts, like papaya cheesecake or a light and creamy papaya mousse.
No summer menu will be complete without the addition of stone fruits. Wholesale peaches, apricots, plums and cherries all lend themselves well to various menu applications. A grilled peach salad with burrata and prosciutto exudes summer in every bite. Apricots are excellent with savory meaty dishes like pork or chicken and what is better than cherries and chocolate combined into a scrumptious chocolate cherry tart.
Other summer fruits to consider adding to your menu in new dishes or incorporating into your classics include, kiwi, mango, melons, pineapple and guava.
If you are asking yourself How would seasonal products influence your recipes? Simply put, Seasonal foods are fresher, which translates to better taste that your guests will notice and perfectly complements the weather of each season.
Wholesale Summer Vegetables: Vibrant Creations Await
Summer is a season bursting with farm fresh vibrant vegetables. Think Zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, avocados and asparagus to name but a few.
The hotter months see most customers preferring lighter healthier meals, as opposed to the hearty warming dishes of fall and winter. So, summer is the ideal time to add more wholesale vegetables to your menu.
Avocados are always a crowd pleaser, and with avocados in season during the summer and prices at their lowest, now is the time to start experimenting with new ways to add creamy nutritious avocados to your menus. Get creative and try a deep-fried avocado salad or a creamy and cooling avocado and cucumber gazpacho.
Cucumbers are cooling and crisp on a hot summer day, and are not just great in salads, but also in drinks. Like a cooling cucumber mojito or even a vibrant and unique cucumber and mint sorbet.
Ditch the boring grilled Zucchi recipes and take advantage of the abundance of these summer squash by creating zucchini noodle dishes as a healthier lighter pasta option or create a show stopping fried stuffed zucchini flower appetizer.
The crunchy, slightly earthy bitter taste of fresh raw asparagus is ideal paired in a salad with strawberries and goat cheese or even turned into a n upgraded version of a artichoke dip by using asparagus instead or even a chilled asparagus gazpacho.
While global farming has now made summer vegetables accessible year-round, nothing tastes as satisfying as in-season produce. And your customers will taste the difference too.
Seasonal Pairings: Harmonizing Flavors for Culinary Excellence
Summer fruits and vegetables perfectly complement each other in various menu applications. The sweetness of mangos pairs extremely well with sweet crunchy summer corn to create a flavorful summer salad or even as a summer inspired salsa combination with jalapenos and cilantro.
The crunchy earthy flavor and texture of asparagus is excellent paired with the juicy sweet soft texture of watermelon in salads and cucumber is one of those light and mild vegetables that pair well with almost any summer fruit. Think of a papaya and cucumber salad, avocado and cumber sushi or even a pineapple and cumber mojito.
But it is not just the sweet flavors of summer produce that make your meals memorable, its also the vibrant colors and visual appeal of the bounty of summer produce that will make all of your dishes memorable and Instagram worthy.
Sourcing Wholesale Summer Produce from Riviera Produce
Summer is no time to play it safe when it comes to new fruit and vegetables creations and additions to your menus. And with the full bounty of farm fresh wholesale summer produce available from Riviera Produce, it is easier than ever to add a touch of summer to your menus.
Riviera Produce sources wholesale produce responsibly, giving you the best quality fresh produce when you need it. Riviera Produce delivers to NYC’S five boroughs, Connecticut and New Jersey. Riviera Produce has partnered with local and sustainable farms to ensure you receive the freshest, locally-grown, wholesale organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables.
Riviera Produce is a family-owned and operated produce and specialty restaurant food distributor located in New Jersey that has been one of the most trusted wholesale food suppliers for restaurants for nearly 30 years.
Sourcing their high-quality fresh produce and products from organic and non-organic local, national, and international farms, customer satisfaction has always been and continues to be, their top priority.
Always going above industry standards to ensure that all their products are safe, fresh, and delivered on time, you will be hard pressed to find a better or more reliable partner to help you execute the perfect summer menu. And with same day delivery for orders placed until 12 noon, you can rely on the expertise and quality of Riviera produce to get you wat you want when you want it.
With hundreds of products to choose from, start your online produce order today and shop from the same place where the Michelin-Starred Restaurants do.