Industry Leaders Reveal Their Favorite Produce Item Part 2
- by Melissa De Leon
NORTH AMERICA - Food brings us together, defines us, and sometimes makes us draw a line in the sand. But so long as you can eat it all up in the end, it’s a debate worth having. And seeing as the experts in our industry see it all, we thought it might be best to go to them for which fruits and vegetables of our labor would be their personal staple.
Sit back and enjoy Part 2 of our rendition of: If you had to, what is one fresh produce item that you could eat every day for the rest of your life and why?
Mike Venton, GM of FRESHCO Formats and Fresh Food, Nationally, Sobeys
Local corn, just picked. It’s one vegetable where the taste is so superior just after picking, you can eat it raw and it’s fabulous!
Mary Zink, Produce Category Merchant, Wegmans Fine Foods
I’d have to say, a nice firm, flavorful blueberry…not only are they delicious, but they are the King of Antioxidants and so good for you, too!
Michael Deusebio, Senior Director, West Coast Produce Operations, C&S Wholesale
The thought of doing anything over and over every day for the rest of my life is not appealing, but if I was forced to pick just one item I think that call is pretty simple for me: watermelon!
Here again, if you have to pick just one, it better be versatile. Watermelon has so many uses and applications, it’s really hard to get bored with it.
Besides being a great source of hydration after a long bike ride and the endless health benefits (loaded with nutrients that help everything from reducing inflammation to aiding digestion), try making a margarita with watermelons; you can’t do just one. How about watermelon as a salad with feta cheese and mint? I’ve made a cold gazpacho soup with watermelon before, it’s killer!
But my favorite way is cold right out of the fridge with some coarse salt…addicting! It has to be sweet, and not mushy or overripe, which is not always a given. I’ve been in the industry for…well let’s just say a few years, and I still haven’t found a sure-fire way of selecting the perfect melon. Tapping, thumping, sugar spot...it’s all nonsense. The only true way is to just cut it open!
James Saldutti, Director of Produce, Earth Fare
Nectarines, organic preferably. Aromatic, juicy, and sweet, it’s a taste of summer all year long and loaded with health benefits, too!
Stephanie Hilton, Marketing & Business Development, Seven Seas
Well, of course, it would have to be fresh strawberries. They are not only amazingly healthy for you, but the number of ways in which they can be used is endless; from breakfast to dinner and all the way to dessert.
Lori Taylor, Founder & CEO, The Produce Moms
I would pick Guava. Guava takes me back to a special stage of my life when I was completing my Spanish studies at the University of Guanajuato and the University of Habana. Food is certainly about the flavor and the nutritional properties, but, most importantly, food is culture. This stage of my life, my early 20s during my immersion studies, was when I really gained my independence, became bilingual, and started to see the world with a bigger lens. I loved what I learned about myself during my time in Mexico and Cuba. Guava was part of each and every day in these countries–usually paired with coffee! Every time I see, smell, or taste Guava I’m reminded of my time in Guanajuato and Havana… ¡Salud!
Richard Leibowitz, President, Culinary Specialty Produce
While all the fruits and veggies mentioned above are wonderful, I cook regularly and I do not know how I would survive without onions. It is the produce I use more than anything. Actually, the whole Allium category. That’s my story and I am sticking with it.
Wondering how this began? Check out Part 1 here.
When it comes to finding joy in what you do, there is no industry like the produce industry. If this made you think about what fruit or vegetable you would choose as your everyday staple, let us know at [email protected].