Ask the Produce Expert: Color, Taste & Nutrition
Today’s Expert: Salad Savoy Corporation
Welcome to the 7th edition of our featured series, titled “Ask the Produce Expert.” In this series, we feature one of our partner growers, suppliers or commodity boards, and ask them farming industry-related questions that will help us, as consumers, become more educated on the food that we purchase and eat on a daily basis. If you have a question that you want answered by an industry expert – it’s as easy as tweeting at me or posting it on my Facebook page! I am eager to work your questions into this series!
Salad Savoy Corporation is a grower of visually stunning produce in Salinas, California. The company was founded in 1984 by current Owner and President, John Moore. Salad Savoy’s lineup of branded products includes the original vegetable, Salad Savoy® (the namesake of the company), Bright Lights Swiss Chard®, Steamin’ Greens®, Lollipops®, Carnival® Multi-Color Cauliflower, Green Emerald Swiss Chard®, Tasty Tuscany™, and Red Ruby Swiss Chard™.
These vegetables contribute to the company’s “triad of success,” which consists of color, taste, and nutrition. Today, Salad Savoy’s high quality, delicious vegetables are found not only at your local grocery store, but are also distributed to all sorts of QSR restaurants, fine dining establishments, country clubs, and even cruise lines. However, their favorite place to spot their product is inside your refrigerator!
In this edition of Ask the Produce Expert, John Moore will be our featured expert. John will share his knowledge and expertise framed around his company’s triad of success: Color, Taste & Nutrition, and answer several recurring industry-related questions about colorful, nutritious vegetable growing.
John Moore is the Founder, and current Owner and President of Salad Savoy. He developed his passion for colorful veggies during a trip to a vegetable garden in Europe in the early 1980s. Shortly after, he developed a new vegetable of his own, named Salad Savoy, and the business took off from there. John is a pioneer for the vegetable farming industry, bringing new products to market, and effectively marketing the natural beauty found in vegetables.
Here’s a short video of my amazing visit to the gorgeous Salad Savoy farms!
Now let’s dive in to the questions:
How did you develop your passion for colorful vegetables?
Well, I’d been involved in the produce industry from a very young age, and had worked with some of the bigger names in this industry for quite some time, working international deals. It was on one of these trips to Europe when I had visited a garden in Sweden and was inspired to create a revolutionary new vegetable, which I called “Salad Savoy Leafy Vegetable,” and from there, our company soon followed.
Explain the meaning behind Salad Savoy’s “triad of success:” Color, Taste & Nutrition
We had always known that our initial flagship item, Salad Savoy, was a nutritional powerhouse, simply based on the proprietary genetic blend, a result of natural breeding. And from the get-go, chefs and wholesalers alike latched onto the gorgeous violet and white colors which made for an eye-popping presentation. But to us, taste is truly the defining characteristic – if it doesn’t taste great, no one’s going to eat it. When salad savoy was finally established as a tried and true winner, we started to ask ourselves, “What’s next?” and started to integrate other items that fit that same motto as well, starting with our Bright Lights chard, and onto Carnival Cauliflower. That same forward-thinking mentality has spurred us onto our current leading edge item, Lollipops kale sprouts!
Do different colors of the same vegetable offer different nutrients?
For sure – so much work has been done in the last twenty years on colors in fruits and vegetables, as seen in certain campaigns (i.e. 5-9 servings a day, the color way), with a lot of credence given to the presence of phytonutrients that are present in those colors. For instance, we’ve all known that carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene, but you’ll see elevated levels of beta carotene in orange cauliflower as well. The purple cauliflower as well contains certain flavonoids called anthocyanins that help regulate blood sugar. All the colors of the rainbow have their little additions to already nutritious veggies we grow.
What causes the change in color?
Color is everywhere in our fruits and veggies right now. Uniqueness of some colors has been enhanced through natural cross pollination.
Is there a variation in taste between different colors of the same veggie?
That’s honestly a question best left to the end user, although we certainly have anecdotal evidence from our customers that they like one color or the other better. The best way to discover the answer is to taste test them all yourself! But for sure, there are differences in flavor, some would say that one color might be more creamy for example, in our cauliflower, while another color might have a slightly peppery taste, while yet another would be milder than the other two. But for our salad savoy, the flavor difference (to us) is imperceptible between the violet and white. On our bright lights chard, same story. Great colors and great consistent flavor!
Do uniquely colored vegetables cost more than the traditional colors?
There is a slight premium to be paid on certain seed, but the real cost we incur to bring our veggies to market is the care we take to insure that every item is handled with the utmost care with regard to quality, selection and food safety. Our product is hand-picked and hand-packed and we have several levels of quality inspection by the time product even makes it to our cooling facility.
Which Salad Savoy product is the most aesthetically pleasing to your own eye?
Are you kidding? That’s like asking which of my kids is my favorite! And our items are like my own children in terms of the love I put into our entire operation, from top to bottom. Although, I have to admit, there is a certain pride that surrounds our original Salad Savoy as that originated from my own idea, and that really provided the springboard for all that the Salad Savoy Corporation is today.
Well, that concludes the 7th edition of our Ask the Produce Expert series! A big thank you to John Moore for sharing his expertise on the wonderful world of colorful vegetable farming!
Since this is the 7th edition, there must be six others, right?! Well, here they are! Check ’em out 🙂
“Organic vs. Natural “Picking & Packaging “California Drought”
vs. Healthy” by: Viva Field Fresh Lettuce” by: Josie’s Organics
Tierra Organic by: Tanimura & Antle
“Core Insight Into “The Art of Growing “Fruit Farming and
the Apple Industry” Apples, Pears & Cherries” Family Heritage”
by: U.S. Apple Association by: Sage Fruit by: Chelan Fresh
I learned so much… I cannot wait for our next Ask the Produce Expert blog!
#FreshProduce rules – thank you for serving fruits & veggies to your family!!!
xoxo The Produce Mom
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