May is always a good month with lots of UK & European produce coming into season. Unfortunately they all start at a premium until volumes increase.
However some Spanish Fruits like Blueberries & Blackberries are reasonable, plus Peaches & Nectarines have come down and there are some lovely Flat Peaches available too. Also from Spain are some good sized Apricots that eat well too. We buy English Strawberries where possible but they are still a bit hit and miss so Belgium have to fill the gap sometimes. Redcurrants remain very expensive.Italian Cantaloupe Melons eat well and the Spanish Watermelons are better now. The choice of Pears is limited so we’re going to give the Argentinian Packham Pears a go as there is quality issues in the Conference Pear. There’s an assortment of European Cherries available but price reflects quality. Peruvian Satsumas are the Easy Peeler choice at present.
Onions are in VERY short supply and there is no cheap alternative. We’re having to buy Chilean Onions that are expensive but are very good. Leeks too are very expensive. As we approach the end of English Main Crop Carrots we move onto Continental Carrots, quality improves but prices will rise. English Asparagus is now in full swing and our ‘Portwood’ marque is very good. There is also English White & Purple Asparagus available too. Hispi, Tenderstem Broccoli & Savoy Cabbage is all Portuguese at the moment as quality is better. All Lettuces with the exception of Curly Endive are English now. Italian Broad Beans & Peas in the Pod are very good, English will start soon. Mange-Toute & Sugar Snap are dearer this week.