Our Roots Are In The Local Produce Business.
“My great grandfather, J.P. Rouse, founded the City Produce Company in 1923, bringing fruits and vegetables from local, independent farms to the rest of the state and eventually stores around the country. 90 years later, my family is more committed than ever to supporting our farmer neighbors. We work directly with each farming family to bring you the first and freshest of every crop.”
—Donny Rouse, CEO, 3rd Generation
At Season’s Peak
Satsumas – a type of mandarin citrus – are grown all over the Gulf Coast. They’re sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel. We buy Louisiana satsumas from father and son farming team Ben Becnel, Sr. and Ben Becnel, Jr., in Plaquemines Parish, and their neighbor, Matt Ranatza. Both farms also grow Louisiana sweets, navel oranges, grapefruits, and Meyer lemons. Alabama satsumas come in a bit later in the season. Ours are from third-generation farmer Jeremy Sessions of Sessions Produce in Grand Bay.
Late fall and early winter apples are crisp. Most are out of hand apples, meaning they’re perfect eaten raw. Look for Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Fuji, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Gala, Jazz and Granny Smith right now in our Produce Department.
Storage: Keep inside the crisper drawer covered with a slightly damp paper towel. Apples emit ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process, so keep them away from ethylene-sensitive fruits and vegetables.
Easy as Apple Pie: Pink Lady, Granny Smith and Honeycrisp are three of our favorites for apple pie. Cut apples into quarters or eights and use a paring knife to remove the core. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Beets come in a variety of colors, but typically, when we think beets, we think beet red, which is actually more of dark or vibrant fuchsia. Beets are a root vegetable. You can eat the root (the bulb) and the stalk — use it in a salad, or cook the way you would mustard or turnip greens.
Storage: It’s best to store the roots and stalks separately in your vegetable drawer. The stalks will keep longer if you place them in a perforated plastic bag.
Brussels sprouts are part of the same family as cabbages.
Storage: Store Brussels sprouts in a produce bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator and eat them earlier rather than later, especially if you don’t like strong flavors. Brussels sprouts will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator, but their flavor will intensify the longer you wait to cook them.
Louisiana sweets, navel oranges, grapefruits and Meyer lemons can be stored for 3 to 5 days at room temperature, but the ideal spot is in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, where they will keep for about two weeks. Keep citrus loose or in a mesh bag (not in a plastic bag – that will make them moldy). If you’re juicing, bring fruit to room temperature first, and follow Chef Emeril Lagasse’s advice and stab it with a fork and move it around while squeezing. You’ll get the most juice that way.
Leeks look like huge green onions, with large white bulbs, long, thick white stalks, and fan-shaped green leaves. They’re a member of the onion family, which includes onions, shallots, garlic, chives and, of course, green onions, but are sweeter and have a milder flavor. Leeks take to bacon like red beans to rice, and they’re especially good roasted with root vegetables or Brussels sprouts.
Storage: You can keep fresh, unwashed, untrimmed leeks in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator for one week.
You can store whole mirlitons in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to one month. Cut mirlitons can be stored in the refrigerator tightly wrapped in plastic, or in a covered container, for 3 to 5 days.
Parsnips may pale in color compared to carrots, but not in flavor. And while they look like carrots, the two are not actually related. Parsnips have a creamy-yellow skin and flesh, and a nutty, spicy flavor. They’re less sugary than carrots, but still slightly sweet. Parsnips are great roasted, added to soups, or mashed like potatoes.
Storage: Store parsnips in a plastic bag in the vegetables drawer of your refrigerator for up to 1 week. (Carrots should be stored the same way.)
Sweet, crisp Bosc pears are great eating pears, and with their brown skin and slender necks, look great on a holiday table. Bartletts have a thin, delicate skin, and a sweet juicy flesh. Use them for baking. Short squat Anjou pears have a smooth skin and juicy, firm flesh. Eat them raw.
Storage: Ripe pears will have a sweet fragrance and gentle yield. To ripen pears quickly, store at room temperature in a brown paper bag (turn occasionally to keep from browning). Ripe pears can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Early fall is peak season for pomegranates.
Storage: Whole fruit can be stored for a month in a cool, dry area or refrigerated up to two months. Fresh seeds and the sweet, tart pomegranate juice will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Most sweet potatoes harvested in Louisiana are cured or kiln drive, which helps convert the potatoes starch into sugar, and gives them their distinct, sweet flavor. Louisiana sweet potatoes, which are sometimes referred to as yams, have a bright orange flesh.
Storage: Don’t store sweet potatoes in the fridge, or their centers will harden; instead, keep them in a cool, dry basket or container. They’ll last that way for up to two weeks.
Chef’s Tip: After slicing, rinse with cold water to keep the flesh from browning.
Turnips & Rutabagas
Purple top white glove turnip roots and rutabagas look strikingly similar. Turnips are sweeter and squatter than rutabagas, which tend to be longer and leaner. Both are great mashed and roasted.
Storage: Turnip roots and rutabagas can be stored, unwashed, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer for up to 2 weeks.
Winter squash tend to be sweeter, heavier, and have a firmer texture than their summer cousins. Acorn squash has a mild, nutty flavor – add brown sugar or cinnamon for a sweet side. Spaghetti squash makes a great substitute for pasta; scrape the sides with a fork to make strands. Bell-shaped butternut squash have a yellow rind and bright orange-yellow flesh. Cut the neck from the body before carving.
Storage: Whole winter squash will keep for a month or more if stored in a cool, dark, ventilated area. Cut, wrapped squash should be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated. It will last that way for up to a week.
Produce That Tastes As Good As It Looks
We stock more than 300 types of fruits and vegetables and over 100 organic selections grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers every day. Our produce buyers travel to Washington to pick our apples, Idaho for our potatoes, and across the Gulf Coast to meet with local farmers.
- Fresh Cut Fruits & Vegetables
- Fresh Smoothies
- Housemade Guacamole & Pico de Gallo
- Infused Waters