Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 23rd February 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 23rd February 2018

Spring is only around the corner but you’d be excused from not believing this when you consider the cold weather now and over the next week. Needless to say we’ve already been told that as it affects Europe too there will be casualties. We’ve already been told that they expect Broccoli & Cauliflower to go up already as it was already getting tighter. Closer to home we have some good Cabbages that are good value and great quality, January King is getting a bit light on the ground, but Savoy, Primo & Spring Greens are plentiful. If your a fan then Brussels & Brussels Tops are still available. Leeks are another one on the way up but quality is good. Spanish Courgettes are having a few quality issues but by having Moroccan available, prices have managed to remain the same. Belgium Aubergines have started and hopefully this will keep the price stable.

Peppers are a little above the seasonal norm and Cucumbers are a bit pricey at the moment too. Tomatoes in general are reasonable but Yellow Cherry Tomatoes are a bit tight and this is reflected in their price. The varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes just goes on and on, this week we had some lovely Blue Beauty Beefsteak Tomatoes, they were a bit pricey but were a lovely colour and tasted marvellous. Monks Beard is available still and now there is Young Nettles & Wild Garlic Leaf from the Continent has just started so initial prices are dear to start with but will come down over the next few weeks.

Plums are quite expensive at the moment and there is some Yellow plums available too. Strawberries are easing in price, but the rest of the Berries are about the same as before. Redcurrants are not so extortionate now either. Water Melons as stated before remain very expensive. English Forced Rhubarb still available and English Cox’s Apples are still popular. No Apricots available. Conference Pears are the Pear of choice at the moment as the Packhams/Williams are still rock solid, there is some Red Forelle Pears starting to arrive so we’re be looking at them too.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 13th February 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 13th February 2018

Mmm… Pancake day. Personally I quite like pancakes and needless to say so does our Super Salesman Matt, who said he likes this tradition and will probably have a few later, but he wasn’t quite so polite when asked what he was giving up for Lent!

Not a lot of change from last week, English Jerusalem Artichokes still very good, Mexican Asparagus has eased a little this week. Aubergines are still creeping up in price. We’re buying English & Belgian Leeks, depending on whats best value on the day. All the Root Vegetables are still good value. ‘Kallettes’ is a relatively new cross between Brussels Sprouts and Baby Kale and is a popular fashionable product at the moment and with its sweet nutty flavour it is well worth a try. There is also some lovely Purple Kale and Purple Kohl Rabi on the market. Cucumbers remain pricey but all the Lettuces and Tomatoes are steady and much the same. Kenyan Fine Beans, Sugar Snaps & Mange Toute are all reasonable and quality is good.

The Forced Rhubarb from the Yorkshire Triangle is a great as ever and has come down in price a little, this never gets as cheap as outdoor Rhubarb as its a far superior product. Blood Oranges still available but the Seville (marmalade) Oranges seem to have finished. Redcurrants are at they’re usual seasonally high price as expected for this time of year. Raspberries have been very expensive too as production is down by up to 50% in Spain due to the cold weather, this has had an impact on Strawberries too. There’s not much choice in Plums at the moment, we’re buying ‘Lady Red’ South African Plums, they are a good firm plum but are a bit pricey. Nardacotts are the choice of easy peeler at the moment as Clementines are all but finished. English Braeburn Apples are very good  and there is still English Cox’s & Gala Apples available. Bananas remain in short supply and will do for a few more weeks yet. Galia Melon is probably the best value Melon and Water Melons remain expensive.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 2nd February 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 2nd February 2018

Just like the novelty song “Yes, we have no bananas” from 1923, we too are suffering from a shortage of Bananas, this has led to a jump in price. Currently it is a culmination of a few factors – less being shipped during the holidays, productivity problems in Honduras & Guatemala and shortages in Columbia. There is a bigger possible problem looming known as the ‘Panama Disease’ that is a threat to nearly all Bananas grown, as most commercially grown Bananas are all the same variety known as ‘Cavendish’.

Water Melons are in very short supply and prices have jumped dramatically. Galia & Canteloupe are the best value in Melons as Honeydew are creeping up too.  Kiwi prices remain dear and so too are Pineapples. Apricots are available but are a bit on the small side. Italian Comice Pears and English/Dutch Comice pears are both good. Apples continue to be a problem as there was a much smaller crop harvested across Europe this year due to cold weather problems earlier last year. Small Apples are a particular problem and will only tighter. Blackberries, Raspberries and Redcurrants are all dearer this week, Strawberries are reasonable but there is quality issues and many are coming in with excessive white on the caps/shoulder of the fruit. Blood Oranges are very good and should be on your menu as they’re only available for a short period.

Aubergines have eased from the recent hikes in price. Peppers prices are all over the place but Green remain the cheapest. Monks Beard, a favourite with many chefs is available from Italy now and will be around for about a month. Brussels Sprouts are ‘not just for Christmas’ and are still around. Parsley & Chervil Root is available but not within everyone’s budget. Broccoli is slowly creeping up in price and Cauliflowers are up in price already and getting dearer. Wild Mushrooms are more expensive, Chanterelles are almost non-existent, but the French Morels look very good (if you can afford them!).