Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 28th July 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  28th July 2017

You know when you go to the cafe and your Bacon Sandwich or your full English Breakfast arrives and you go for the Tomato ketchup and its in a plastic bottle, you just know its not going to be Heinz Tomato Ketchup, its going to be some cheap alternative? And you ask yourself, why don’t they just pay a little more and and get the good stuff? Well, the same can be said for Fruit & Vegetables and at County Supplies we know it makes sense. So for example we would rather buy Cauliflowers that are a good size from a grower like P Bones & Sons rather than smaller ones from whoever as pound for pound its better value, not everything can be read on a price list.

The market is quiet as expected but were pleased to see the arrival of English Corn-on-Cob, the first arrivals from Essex are very plump and recommended. English Broccoli, Cauliflower & Leeks are all reasonable. Don’t forget English Runner Beans, Broad Beans & Peas are readily available. There is a bigger selection of Continental Squashes becoming available. Avocado’s remain dear both Feurte & Hass. The English Lettuces are still good value and Quality. Dutch Aubergines are in short supply and prices have jumped steeply over the last week and the price of Peppers seems to be all over the place from one day to another. The Asparagus price is easing but is still relatively dear.

Apples, in particular Granny Smiths are in very short supply as usual for this time of year and the price will be high for a little while. The South African Packham Pears are coming in much better now and you won’t break any teeth on them now! Melons are more plentiful and prices continue to drop. The English rainy weather is affecting the picking of Strawberries and some days there is very limited supply. Not much change in the Citrus price so across the board, prices remain dear still. English Victoria Plums are very good and Greengages are available too. English Cherries on the whole have been very good, in fact the dark cherries we had earlier in the week were the best, the biggest and the tastiest I’ve had for a long time. Spanish Peaches & Nectarines are still eating very well, so too are the Apricots.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 21st July 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  21st July 2017

Things are beginning to quieten down now as the holiday season approaches and there should be a few bargains to be had over the coming weeks. This week Mid Potatoes are still a good buy, English Leeks, Carrots, Cauliflower & New Season Carrots are all very reasonable. English Purple Sprouting Broccoli is in full swing and very good. There is also some English Romanesco, medium sized Petit Pan & Rainbow Chard if you want something a little different. Also different are the French Yellow & Purple Cauliflowers but they are pricey and some Purple Beans are available too. Asparagus is still very expensive as mentioned last week as there is limited supplies coming through at present. French Cob-Nuts have started and I imagine the English will only be a couple of weeks away. Avocado’s are dear at the moment and the Green Fuerte type are as expensive as the Hass at the moment. We’re now onto the New Crop Agria Potatoes that are a relief to many as its good to get a good chipping potato again. All the English Lettuces continue to be good value and excellent quality.

Strawberries are still commanding a decent price and prices haven’t eased as much as expected. The South African Clementines that arrived are very juicy so too are the Italian Apricots. If your looking for an orange flesh melon then the Italian Cantaline Melon is very good and Water Melons remain plentiful are so are still reasonable at the moment so too are Pineapples. The English Cherries continue to eat very well but won’t be around for much longer. English Victoria Plums have just started and will be around for a couple of weeks, they eat very well but don’t don’t keep. French Greengages are now available, the English will be available soon. There’s still plenty of Peaches & Nectarines around but the cheaper ones are looking a bit scruffy & bruised. Fresh French Green Almonds (see picture) are available and although you can eat the outer green flesh it is a bit bitter. The young Almond inside however has a more delicate taste and a bit gelatinous, they are after all – unripe Almonds that if left on the tree will turn brown and have an inedible hard shell protecting the Almond inside.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 14th July 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  14th July 2017

So… its Saturday, I’m voracious as I’ve been out with the missus all day being the dutiful husband going from one furniture shop to another as my wife says she values my opinion (knowing full well my opinion is worth jack…..) anyway I’m now waiting for my ‘Homemade Burger with all the trimmings‘ when this tower arrives sooo big that Scooby Doo would have a problem consuming it and without the fancy bamboo stick holding it together, it would be all over the table! So I try to stretch my jaw like some crazed starving Python trying to eat a baby Gazelle all at once when the ‘homemade pickled cucumber’ shoots out onto the plate,  I  pick it up and it WOW it was delicious, this led me to think that we don’t pickle enough foods. Later that day, a quick google showed me you could pickle almost anything, from Water Melon Rind to Brussels Sprouts, so get why don’t you take the leap and get into PICKLING, I’m sure there’s room on your menu for it.

You should also make room the English Fine Beans as they’re wonderful at the moment. All the English vegetables, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Savoy & Primo Cabbage and Courgettes are exceptional and a good price. Yellow Courgettes on the other hand are not, they’ve jumped up in price this week. The Kale & Cavolo Nero (Black Cabbage) from J.Holland & Sons in Lancashire is fabulous and worthy on any dinner plate. Fresh Garlic is available and is less pungent that its dried out cousins and gives a much more subtle flavour. If you looking for a Small Mid Potato, then we have some Maris Peer from Norfolk that are lovely little beauties and taste divine. Asparagus is in very short supply and very expensive at the moment and is best avoided.

Citrus is so expensive at the moment and there’s no sign of it letting up just yet, so Lemons, Limes & Oranges remain dear, Easy peelers too are still a bit pricey and although these Peruvian Satsumas we have at present eat well, we are starting to get quality issues with them, there are some Clementines arriving so we’ll see how they are. There’s not a great deal of choice in Plums on the market, we’ve opted for an Italian variety called ‘Fortune’, it is crisp with juicy yellow flesh and a blush red skin and they’re a good size too. French Garigette Strawberries are all but finished now, Strawberries in general are still quite short and remain quite pricey for this time of year. White, Red & Blackcurrants are available and there’s more English Blackberries around too. Pears are another problem at present, the Red Florelle Pears look nice but don’t eat very good at all and the South African Packhams Pears are green and hard? Water Melons are a good buy at the moment and in general all melons are good.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 7th July 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  7th July 2017

The good weather has culminated in a great year for English Blackcurrants, growers have reported a sweeter than usual crop this year due to vintage growing conditions. Crops are predicted to be around 12,000 tonnes and started 2 weeks earlier than usual. Blackcurrants are not usually favoured much by chefs hence 95% of the crop goes to RIBENA! So maybe its time to bring them back on the menu. Strawberries have been very short over the last week (UK & on the Continent) due to the break between the early crop and the late crop made worse by the searing temperatures recently, the good news is prices are now coming down and fruit is becoming more plentiful. English Red & Green Gooseberries are also now available and very good. Lastly, the English Cherries & Outdoor Rhubarb remain very good too. French Greengages have started, the English will be at least another two weeks away. Limes are even dearer this week ans all citrus remain dear. Water Melons are very good and prices have dropped again this week. There’s plenty of Peaches & Nectarines around and prices are all over the place, depending on quality.

We’ve had to move onto French Globe Chokes as the English is simply just not big enough. As expected, Brocolli is in short supply so prices are high. Trying to buy Rainbow Kale has also been hit and miss this week as there’s not much around. The Chantenay Carrots have been Israeli recently but are now all New Season English. There are also some great large bunches of Heritage/Rainbow Carrots available. English Swede is also New Season now hence the increase in price. There are some lovely Continental Squashes started to arrive on the market, give us a call for what is available. English Marrows and Courgettes are quite plentiful and a good buy this week. The Wild Mushroom selection remains poor. We may switch to English Leeks next week as prices are coming down.