“A produce show? Really mom?” My 16 year old just couldn’t believe how excited I was to be attending the NY Produce show, a vibrant event located on Pier 94 which tantalized my taste buds and stimulated my culinary brain. I was fortunate enough to attend the media luncheon sponsored by Frieda’s, the produce company that first introduced the kiwi to America. Did you know that the kiwi fruit used to be called the Chinese Gooseberry? Neither did I! Apparently, Frieda Caplan the founder of Frieda’s changed it’s name and brought kiwi to the fresh produce section of US grocery stores. And so began their interest in expanding the culinary vegetable horizon with veggies like spaghetti squash, purple potatoes and even sunchokes, which are gaining in popularity. I also got to listen to James Beard award winner Maricel E. Presilla, author of Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America discuss the Latin vegetables she’d like to see in mainstream US supermarkets. (She said it took her two decades to write and test each and every recipe!) And then Florence Fabricant, NY Times writer and author, closed the luncheon with a homage to fresh produce as it takes center stage in the culinary world. She praises the innovation chefs have in creating dishes made with fresh produce and notes that you’ll see these non protein meals take first place on menus at fine restaurants. She also points out that chef’s are no longer proud to feature vegetables such as asparagus in the off season but to offer what’s only fresh in the on season.