Supplies of kohlrabi from California are proving plentiful right now.
Matt Hiltner of Santa Maria, CA-based Babé Farms, Inc.--which has nicknamed the unusually shaped veg “Alien veg” because of how it looks--has both green and red kohlrabi volumes in baby and medium sizing (bunched) and bulk sizing (no tops). “Thanks to the unseasonably warm weather we’ve experienced the last couple weeks, supply is even better than at this point last year,” says Hiltner.
Supplies for Babé Farms come out of Santa Maria year-round. “It does, however, love the warm weather which is why we’ve seen an uptick in supply in recent days,” says Hiltner.
Meal kit options too
As for demand, Hiltner says it’s coming from throughout the U.S. and Canada. “We’ve seen a nice mix of both foodservice and retail demand as well as new interest from home delivery meal kit companies,” he says. “Kohlrabi is a good fit for these types of programs due to its versatility and long shelf life.”
Babé Farms anticipates consistent supplies along with steady movement on the market in the next few weeks as the holiday push ramps up. Hiltner notes that swapping kohlrabi for potatoes is an option for consumers looking to limit carbohydrates in their diet. “With the keto diet on trend, we’ve seen dishes like kohlrabi mashes, gratin, fries, fritters and more,” he says, noting it can also be prepared raw for salads, slaws and pickle plates. “Fresh-cut processors love kohlrabi as it can be sliced, diced, and even noodled for use in bagged salads or healthy meal kits. I have seen so many creative applications for kohlrabi on social media as it gradually gains popularity in the mainstream U.S.,” adds Hiltner.