Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 9th November 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 9th November 2018

Some say ‘There is only two times of the year: Autumn and waiting for Autumn’. Its the time of year where comfort food starts coming into its own, and none better than some lovely Squashes that are around to cook in all different manners, so too are  Fresh Chestnuts, Cranberries and good ol’ Brussels Sprouts & Sprout Tops, to name but a few. Lincolnshire Cauliflower is a good size at the moment, English Savoy, Primo & Hispi Cabbages are all at they’re best. The English Globe Artichokes from Maldon in Essex are exquisite. Green Courgettes are expensive at present and the Yellow Courgettes are extortionate so to is Red Chicory, so best avoided. Dutch Celeriac is a good size and better value than the French for now. English Broccoli is coming to an end shortly and we’ll move onto the Spanish. English Leeks are good but a bit pricey right now.

All the English Salads are ending or have ended, we’re on Spanish Rocket, Pousse & Mixed Baby Leaf and the English Lollo Rosso & Oakleaf will end this week and swop to Spanish. Tomatoes, Cucumber & Peppers are all reasonable for the time of year.

Crosnes are available now, also known as Chinese Artichokes or Chorogi, they look like micro-mini Michelin men. Named because it was first cultivated in France near Crosne, the home town of Monsieur Pailleux of Crosnes, the individual credited for being the first to take the vegetable to Europe. Crosnes have a crunchy texture and earthy flavour, similar to a Jerusalem artichokes in taste.

New Season Spanish Lemons are very good and a bit easier in price, Limes a getting dearer though. No Apricots around but there is some Southern Hemisphere Peaches & Nectarines but too hard at this early stage to buy. The Strawberry price see-saws from week to week and this week their pretty expensive, Blackberries are too.  Black Figs are good but are quite expensive. Spanish leafy Clementines are very good, for some thing cheaper, we have the Spanish ‘Okitsu’ Satsumas that are a bit paler in colour but they eat very well. The choice of Pears is still limited and Conference Pears are about the best. Pineapples look to ease in price as there’s plenty around.

 

 

 

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 6th October 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 6th October 2018

October 1st was the start of the Pheasant Shooting season, the last of all the game birds to start so we have all the seasonal delights to accompany them. Fresh Chestnuts, Cranberries &  Redcurrants to name but a few. As expected for this time of year there is a good selection of Wild MushroomsThere is a great selection of Pumpkins & Squashes: Onion, Turban, Iron Bark, Kabocha, Acorn, Baby Pumpkins etc. are around right now and are a must for your menu. Brussells Sprouts, Tops & Brussell Stalks are all available. English Green & Purple Curly Kale, Black Cabbage & Purple Sprouting Broccoli are great quality right now. English Broccoli & Cauliflowers are still on the pricier side. Green Courgettes are starting to creep up now but the Yellow Courgettes are twice the price of their green cousins. We’re still on English Salads & Lettuces but they will be ending around the middle of the month when we will then swap over to Spanish. Tomato Prices are starting to ease but prices are still quite high.

Nadorcotts are finishing and we’ll be moving over to Satsumas shortly.  The best Chestnuts available are the French but are twice the price of the usual Chinese ones that are readily available this time of year. Dutch Indoor Rhubarb is now available but is very expensive. The English Strawberries have all but finished now and we’re now on the Dutch Strawberries so hopefully prices will ease. English Conference Pears have also started, so too have English Russet, Cox, Gala & Windsor Apples. Flat Peaches & Apricots have ended and although available, we don’t recommend the regular Peaches & Nectarines as the quality is sub standard. Cantaloupe Melons are in short supply so prices are quite high and Water Melons are getting tight too.

 

 

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 6th September 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 6th September 2018

Needless to say the hot weather has affected a broad spectrum of produce. The latest casualty is Mushrooms, Button, Cup, Oyster & Chestnut are all very, very short. The hot weather overheated many mushroom beds to over 40 degrees and killed all the mushroom spores so there’s another week to go before normal quantities resume.

Good size Cauliflowers remain expensive, Leeks are too. Courgettes, Broccoli and Spanish Parsnips have eased slightly. New varieties of Squashes & Pumpkins are arriving daily. The arrival of Brussels Sprouts means the festive season is never far away. Corn-on-Cob is still a good buy. Carrots look like they’re going to be dear all season and with a much smaller yield in the Potato crop this year, prices will be much dearer than last. Most salads are quite expensive and no sign of easing just yet. The Cucumbers have eased in price but are still relatively dear. Peppers are very expensive and Yellow Peppers are all but non existent, so the arrival of the Spanish pepper season couldn’t happen soon enough. All Tomatoes remain expensive. As we’re still on English Lettuces the prices are still fair. English Purple Sprouting is good but not cheap. Tri-Colour Chantenay Carrots & Piccolo Parsnips are available again and look and taste great.

Wet Walnuts & English Cobnuts are available. Figs are a good price while there’s a brief glut of Turkish available. Strawberries have been very expensive of late but are looking to ease in price. Belgium Conference Pears are about the best eating Pear at the moment, Apples are still expensive but as we await the start of the new season hopefully prices will ease soon. There are some new season English Apples started like ‘Discovery’ & ‘Early Windsor’ but not in any great quantity. Good Easy Peelers are a problem and the only one we’re happy with is a Nadorcott but its not the cheapest. We are on English Plums at the moment and the variety is ‘Marjorie’ and they eat well. Victoria Plums are available but they do have a short shelf life. Lemons are dear but Mexican Limes are very reasonable and are a good colour.

 

 

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 20th July 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 20th July 2018

Its been a good year for Cherries and although their up in price this week the quality is still excellent. English Strawberries & Blackberries are very good and a little easier in price, Spanish Peaches, Nectarines & Apricots are at their best right now and are reasonably priced. Apples are no easier still and command high prices for good fruit. Medium Oranges are very expensive and Lemons remain dear. The Portuguese Plums ‘Red Hiromi’ are very tasty and recommended. French Cobnuts have just started so the English will follow in a few weeks time. Italian Canteloupe Melons have a good sugar level so are really good in flavour and value right now. Seedless Spanish Water Melons are also selling well this week as the quality and price is very good.

Italian Rocket arriving is not the best and we’ve had to return it on a couple of occasions so we’ve been buying more English to cover this. We had some great English Fine Beans from Wye Valley in this week and hopefully they will continue to grow these. Dutch Celeriac has been poor quality of late so we’ve moved onto buying the large French heads instead. Avocado’s are a little easier this week and the price of Salad Leaves & Lettuces has levelled off. French New Season Turnips are good, firm and sweet. Jersey Royals have all but finished but there are some very good English Mids around. We’re scraping the barrel with the Old Crop Potatoes now but until the New Season Potatoes form a skin we are still using them for Jacket Potatoes. The young English Runner Beans are very good, so too are the Broad Beans & Peas too. Peruvian Asparagus remains expensive but Broccoli & Cauliflower has eased over the last week.

 

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 6th July 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 6th July 2018

We may be loving this hot weather but farmers are not, the prolonged dry spell is now starting to affect not only cereal crops but salad crops too. Mainstream lines like Celery, Iceberg & Cos Lettuce are in great demand but lack of water is affecting growth. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Savoy Cabbages are getting very tight too. We’re having to import Tenderstem Broccoli from Kenya as its almost non existent. English Loose Corn-on-Cob is great value, far cheaper than the pre-packed. Avocado’s are getting cheaper as there seems to be plenty around. English Jerusalem Artichokes are finished so we’re onto the French, also Globe Artichokes are quite expensive at the moment. Now that the English Asparagus has finished, its now arriving from Peru and its quite pricey at the moment.  English Runner Beans from Worcestershire have started and are very good, along with Fresh Peas in Pod & Broad Beans. English New Season Carrots are still a bit small so we’re buying French for now. English ‘Cheltenham’ Beetroot which is the elongated variety is now available, but the Golden Beetroot has jumped in price.

English Cherries, especially the ones from J. G. Piper in Kent are AMAZING! I haven’t tasted a better cherry in a long time and totally recommend them. All the Berries are in full swing, albeit that some are expensive at the moment. The English Red & Green Gooseberries from Herefordshire are very good so too are the English Blueberries. Spanish Peaches & Nectarines are eating really well and very juicy, the flat varieties are also available. Pineapples seem plentiful so we expect prices too ease. The same for Melons, the Water Melons have already come down and the rest should follow, the Italian Cantaloupe Melon is very good and highly recommended. Plums are very tight and prices are high. The ongoing shortage of Apples is a big problem, we’re using Pink Lady Apples as the our Red Apple as unusually they’re the best value but are slightly smaller. Apricots & Satsumas are eating very well.

Finally…..Come on England we’re rooting for you!

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 15th June 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 15th June 2018

All good things come to an end and English Asparagus is no different. Although it started later it is still finishing around the same time as per usual. Only smaller quantities are coming through now and there will be a cut off point in about a week because the farmer has to let the spears mature so as to feed the plants roots for next year. But there is other great English produce to compensate for example, English Broad Beans & English Peas in Pod. New Season English Carrots are available but they’re still on the small side. Jersey Royal Potatoes are much more affordable now and very good quality, so too are Cornish New Crop Potatoes. English Broccoli has started but volumes are low so we’re still having to top up with Spanish for a couple of days. French Leeks are expensive as they’re the only ones worth buying, the others are woody. Parsnips are dearer as we’ve moved over to Spanish for a couple of months. Cauliflowers have rocketed in price as the winter crop came to an abrupt end and Summer Cauliflower is a little late, they also come up smaller. Baby Bunch Artichokes are dear at the moment. Tomatoes are reasonable and all the English Lettuces are excellent. Tenderstem Broccoli & Fine Beans are both expensive at the moment.

English Strawberries both taste and look excellent at the moment, English Raspberries & Gooseberries are good too. Cherries are a bit of a problem, there is plenty around but the quality is poor. We’re now on South African Forelle Pears as they’re only slightly less hard than the Packhams! Nectarines & Peaches are very good and all are eating well especially the Flat Varieties. Elder Flower has all but come to an end now. Italian Canteloupe Melons have arrived and they eat much better than their South American cousins and are better priced. Water Melons are starting to become more plentiful so hopefully prices will start to ease. Needless to say Apples remain dear until we get the new crop starting.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 18th May 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 18th May 2018

Well if its good enough for the Royal Wedding them its good enough for your customers, Our Norfolk English Asparagus grower ‘Portwood Farm’ is supplying the Asparagus for the big day so nothing more needs to be said about his quality. The price now is more or less the price for the next few weeks so make sure you make the most of it on your menu. The Jersey Royal Potatoes harvest is now in full swing and we should see a significant drop in prices next week. The English Salad leaf crops are well under way now so Iceberg, Little Gem, Pousse, Rocket, Cos are great right now. They have started to cut the Lollo Rosso and Oakleaf but not not in great volumes for another week. Spanish Broccoli, Aubergines & Courgettes are reasonable. The English Cauliflower are good value as their so large they can only fit ten to a box and English Leeks are very reasonable too. Quality Potatoes such as Jacket Potatoes are on the increase so too are Agria Potatoes. Young Nettles are still available but Wild Garlic is coming to an end, still on foraged products, Elderberry Flowers have just started in limited quantities. Cucumbers are still relatively expensive so too are all the Dutch Peppers. English Baby vegetables have started and the quality is excellent.

 

The supply of English Strawberries arriving is improving so as soon as they become more affordable we can switch over to them, hopefully within a week or so. Redcurrants are extortionate at present so best avoided, Blueberries are getting more reasonable now too. Spanish Lemons & Mexican Limes are very expensive at the moment, Pineapples have also risen price this week. French Peaches & Nectarines have started but as its so early they don’t have the sugar content in them so I would hold off for now. Apricots are available and are quite tasty. Melons continue to be very expensive across the board. Plums & Apples remain expensive too.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th April 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th April 2018

English Asparagus is now in full swing and our Norfolk grower ‘Portwood Farm’ has said the quality is excellent. English Asparagus on has a short season so make sure there’s room on your menu for some. Somewhat more expensive and harder to source is Wild Asparagus, it’s barley type look is quite different and it’s just come into season and sporadic supplies are coming through. Another great UK grower is Nutbourne Nursery, their Heirloom Tomatoes are second to none! They are more expensive than most other English growers but their flavour and quality is well worth it, they’re now packing in loose 3kg boxes (Please request NUTBOURNE when ordering). Jersey Royal Potatoes are expected to go down sometime next week as they move  over to the main outdoor crop.  English Cauliflowers, Spanish Courgettes & Belgium Leeks remain reasonable but Broccoli has jumped in price and is expected to get much dearer in the next couple of weeks as supplies tighten.

Portuguese Savoy Cabbage is in short supply and up in price. Mange-toute & Sugar Snaps look to go up in price as rain is affecting the crop. English Onions are still dear and has quality issues. Spanish & Chilean Onions are available but nearly double the price. Tomatoes are much the same with the exception of Beef Tomatoes that are dearer this week.  Much later than usual but we should be starting on some English Lettuces next week, first will be the Little Gem & Pousse Baby spinach with the other lettuces coming soon after. The lateness of the English crop has had an impact on the price of Iceberg Lettuce and due to short supply issues, it is much more expensive at present.

English Outdoor Rhubarb is much better now and great value for money. Dutch Strawberries have eased after the spike in prices last week. Apples remain expensive and continue to go up in price. All Melons are dear but Water MelonsCantaloupe especially so.  Nardicotts are coming to an end and have quality issues too so we should be moving to Ortaniques next week, only problem is that they can be more of a hard Peeler as opposed to an easy peeler! We’re still stuck with just Conference Pears as the main stream pear of choice, hopefully some Comice will arrive soon. Lemons are creeping up in price and Limes are dearer as we switch from Brazil to Mexican. No Cherries or Apricots available at present.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 17th April 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 17th April 2018

There is some fine English produce starting to trickle through to us now as the weather warms up. The English Asparagus in Green & Purple is lovely but still fetching high prices. English Cauliflowers are a good size now and much better value for money. Italian/Spanish Peas & Broad Beans are very good, as are the French Jerusalem Chokes. Belgium Leeks remain a good buy so too is the Spanish Broccoli. The taste of the Sicilian Cherry Tomatoes on Vine this week are fantastic, they are so sweet but remain firm, I just can’t stop eating them. Aubergines are creeping back up in price and English Carrots look likely to go the same way as we near the end of the crop. Good English Main Crop Potatoes like AGRIA are just going to go up in price week by week as we head towards the end of the crop. Good English Onions remain dear and it’s a challenge to find a good one. Padron Peppers are very reasonable this week.

We’re now on Dutch Strawberries and the quality is so much better and not a great deal more expensive neither. Indoor & Outdoor Rhubarb available, big difference in price and grading though. For some reason Paw Paws are expensive at the moment. Pineapples remain reasonable but Lemons & Limes are looking to go up in the next week or so. The South African Red Plums ‘Ruby Star’ eat very well and are very juicy. The choice of Pears is still very limited but we’re hoping for some Comice to start this week. Bananas have eased in price a little but they are still above the seasonal norm. Not much change in the price of Melons, Water Melons are still expensive. There are some Chilean Peaches & Nectarines available but we don’t recommend them at all.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 10th April 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 10th April 2018

Still a lack of English Produce coming through, it is reported that the ourdoor Jersey Royal Potato Crop is three weeks late this year due to the wet cold weather and all the salads are late already. Cucumbers are plentiful so prices are reasonable. Plum Tomatoes & Rocket are a little easier too. Avocado’s remain expensive but the Peppers look to ease in price.

Wye Valley White Sprouting Broccoli looks lovely and is very seasonal, Purple is available too. Cauliflowers are coming down this week and the size is getting bigger too. Broccoli & Leeks are also very reasonable this week. English Asparagus has started but prices are dear. Our preferred Grower, Portwood Farm believes prices will stay quite high until May as volumes are very low at present. YUKON Baby Leeks have been hard to get and they are very pale when we do get them, so best avoided. Most Wild Mushrooms are available but some are poorer quality especially the Girolles. Wild Garlic Leaf (Ransoms) is still available, but not in flower yet. The best Sweet Potatoes are from the USA at the moment but they are a little dearer.

We’ve moved over to Belgium/Dutch Strawberries as the quality/shelf life of the Spanish was very poor. Redcurrants remain expensive and the rest of the Berries are not particularly cheap. Still no Apricots but there are a few pockets of Cherries starting. Pineapples prices are fair and Bananas are slowly coming back down in price. Easy Peelers are very difficult as Nardicotts are still showing some waste and there is no better alternative.