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Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th October 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th October 2017

English & French Jerusalem Artichokes are very good this time of year, they’re very versatile, though most people just puree or roast them. The Political elections and the horrendous rain in Kenya is having both a supply and quality problem on Fine Beans, Sugar Snaps & Mange-Toute and we expect prices to rise. Next week will be the last week for Dutch Peppers & Aubergines as we switch to Spanish. We have started on buying Spanish Lettuces now as the English comes to an end and again expect prices to initially rise, especially the Cos Lettuce. We’re still buying English Lollo & Oakleaf  though, but that could change at any time soon. Cherry Tomatoes-on-Vine remain dear but regular Cherry Tomatoes have eased. Fresh Chinese Chestnuts are now plentiful and peeled Vac-Pac Chestnuts are available too.  All Wild Mushrooms seem plentiful and quality is good. English Broccoli & Cauliflowers are still very good quality and prices are very reasonable.

The switch to Southern Hemisphere Grapes has seen a big jump in the price of grapes, there is still some good Italian Black Grape available but that is getting less by the day. Dutch Rhubarb is very expensive, so best avoided. There’s plenty of large good quality Kaki/Sharon fruit and Pomegranates available. English Spartan, Royal Gala & Braeburn Apples are all very good, so too is the English Conference Pears. The supply of Pineapples seem to have tightened up but prices still remain about the same. The Plum of choice at the moment is the Italian Angeleno which is a very dark skinned, crisp plum but still sweet and tasty. All Berries remain pricey and Strawberries are creeping up daily. Oranges remain dear and Limes are getting shorter and prices have jumped up. Easy Peeling Okitsu Satsumas are getting better now as the sweetness and price is improving as time goes on.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 20th October 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 13th October 2017

 

Not a very eventful week on the market…… Kenyan French Beans are very reasonable this week and the Top & Tail are really good. Romanesque Cauliflowers have been plentiful so prices are realistic and worth buying. As we change over from Dutch produce to Spanish there are a few overstocks, so some prices should ease. So we expect Aubergines & Courgettes to be lower next week, Red & Yellow Peppers too are a little easier. English Black Cabbage (Cavalo Nero) is very good quality. English Broccoli is still going good but will end soon and prices are reasonable. Red Chillies are expensive at the moment but Green Chillies are OK. We’ve moved over to French Celeriac as they are much bigger and quality is goo. The selection of Wild Mushrooms are good at the moment. Obviously there’s plenty of good Pumpkins & Squashes available. Cherry Tomatoes & Cherry Tomatoes on Vine are still expensive, but French Airloom Tomatoes are reasonable.

English Braeburn Apples & Conference Pears are now flowing onto the market. English Cox’s & Russet Apples are available too. Spanish Satsumas are a little greener in skin colour this year due to the warm weather earlier in the year but the taste is not affected and they eat just as well. Seasonal fruit such as Pomegranate’s, Fresh  Cranberries & Chestnuts are all plentiful. Still no easing in the price of Kiwi & Grapes have jumped in price as we are now sourcing them from South American countries. Lemons & Medium Oranges remain dear and Large Oranges are really dear! None of the Berries are particularly cheap and the Blackberries are actually quite expensive and rumour has it that Strawberries are going to be quite short for the coming month? Most Melons are all coming from Brazil right now so they’re not the cheapest. There are some lovely Black Figs from France but they are a little on the small side and are dearer than the Turkish.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 13th October 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 13th October 2017

Pumkins & Squashes Galore…….. There is a great selection of Pumpkins & Squashes: Onion, Turban, Iron Bark, Kabocha, Acorn, to name but a few that are around right now and are a must for your menu. English Cauliflowers, Broccoli & Leeks are all reasonable this week. Brussels, Brussel Tops and Brussels on the stalk are all selling well. English Purple Sprouting Broccoli is good quality although although more expensive than regular Broccoli. Green Courgettes are still a little pricey but Yellow Courgettes are twice the price. There seems to be plenty of Asparagus about but prices don’t reflect this? Mange-Toute & Sugar Snaps in in short supply so they’re up in price this week. The washed Cornish Mid Potatoes are very good at the moment and we’ll stick with them for now.

Tomatoes in general are quite expensive at the moment but Cherry, Chery Vine & Plum Tomatoes are really short and prices are quite high. We’re expecting the English Cos & Iceberg Lettuce to end soon and Lollo & Oakleaf soon afterwards. Fennel & Orange Peppers have eased from the recent high prices.

We’re buying ‘Okitsu’ Satsumas at present for our easy peeler, its not ideal as they are a little tart but the few other varieties available all seem to have waste in them. Italian William Pears are still about the best pear around until we can get a consistent English one. Only Dutch Indoor Rhubarb is available and it is a bit pricey. There are some Chilean Cherries around but they’re not good enough. Apricots are not available either. All the Soft Berries are a little on the dear side and Strawberries are up and down on a daily basis. Kiwi prices still hasn’t eased as we’d have hoped? Turkish Figs are still good, but coming to an end.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 29th September 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 29th September 2017

Brussels Sprouts are not just for Christmas as they can be shredded and used raw as this way you benefit from the high levels of vitamin C and vitamin K. Brussels sprouts, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical under basic research for its potential anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of sulforaphane, steaming and stir frying do not result in significant loss. There is a great selection of Pumpkins & Squashes available and as usual this year we have Toffee Apples & Chocolate Apples available. Fresh Cranberries have now started. Aubergines are becoming more plentiful so we expect prices to ease next week.  Green Courgettes remain expensive and Yellow Courgettes are extortionate. Tomatoes on the Vine are still short so no easing on the price there. Sugar Snaps & Mange-Toute have had a little hike in prices this week so too has Cauliflower & Broccoli. Still plenty of good value English Corn-on-Cob available and Parsnips are very reasonable too.

Turkish Figs are over their annual glut and prices are creeping up each week. Good Black & White Grapes are hard to find and anything good is at a steep premium. Nectarines & Peaches are but finished, so too are Apricots. The Satsumas we tried were a bit too early and quite ‘tart’ so we’re back on the Nardicots and they’re not bad at the moment, we’ll come back to the Satsumas a little later. The English Royal Gala Apples are great at the moment, soon we’ll have English Spartan & Braeburn Apples too. English Comice are nice but were a bit on the large size so we’ve asked for smaller ones next week, English Conference Pears will be more plentiful next week too. Strawberries have started to ease in price now.

Dairy costs have continued to rise during 2017; cream in particular has risen sharply over recent months leaving the dairy market extremely volatile. Low availability of supply and high demands for fats has resulted in further price increases to dairy related products. Price increases are never welcomed and we have worked hard throughout our business to ensure we keep them to a minimum.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 22nd September 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 22nd September 2017

Today is the Autumn Equinox, otherwise known as the first day of autumn in the earth’s northern hemisphere. The transition marks the time when the sun will be shining directly on the Earth’s equator, bringing equal amounts of daylight and darkness. There’s not many things more autumnal than Chestnuts and there are some lovely french ones available but they’re not very cheap. Unfortunately the UK doesn’t really grow Chestnuts commercially and its not until we receive the Chestnuts from China that the prices become reasonable. If you have a good budget then Autumn Black Truffles are available. Peruvian Asparagus continues to be dear, so too are Aubergines. Courgettes have risen this week as supplies ease up and quality is not as good. Italian Fennel is another short product and that is pricier too. English Cauliflower, Corn-on-Cob, Carrots & Parsnips are all good value this week but Broccoli will be dearer come next week. Large Dutch Celeriac is a better price than the French so we’ve moved over to them. Tomatoes are another dearer item and Plum Tomatoes-on-the-Vine are ridiculously expensive. Trompette Wild Mushrooms have been the only problem sourcing this week, otherwise there’s a good selection available.

Turkish Figs are very reasonable now but probably only for another week. Strawberries are almost non existent and very expensive at the moment, English Blueberries are still reasonable but the rest of the berries are on the dear side. USA Washington Cherries are available but as their flown in, they are expensive. English Conference Pears are still only trickling onto the market so the Italian Williams is the favoured choice at present. We are moving onto English Spartan Apples next week to replace the Royal Gala, apples in general continue to be quite tight at the moment. There are some Spanish Satsumas available and we’re going to give them a try next week as opposed to the Nardicotts. Italian Kiwi is still only arriving in low volumes hence the price hasn’t fallen back to normal yet.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 15th September 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 15th September 2017

There’s a definite Autumnal feeling now that the weather is cooler and the days are getting shorter. So now is the time for more comforting food so Pumpkins & Squashes are a great start. There are are so many to choose from now such as little Munchkin Pumpkins, Acorn Squash. Onion Squash, Turban Squash & Iron Bark Pumpkins to name but a few. Celeriac is great eaten raw but now is the time to eat it cooked. Turnips have grown in popularity and varieties such as Bunched Tokyo Turnips are tender, slightly spicy and taste like a cross between a radish and a turnip. English Variegated Kale continues to be very popular, green & purple are plentiful too. As reported before Mixed colour Chantenay Carrots and Baby Piccolo Parsnips are very good. Aubergines continue to be very expensive so too are Courgettes, so Marrows are still reasonable and worth considering. Asparagus is another product in short supply so it too remains expensive. Now that English Tenderstem Broccoli has come to an end the prices have jumped up, but English Broccoli & Cauliflowers are very reasonable, in fact the cauli’s we have at the moment from C.J.Bean & Son in Kent are massive! We’re on English Red Onions and they’re great quality. The Mix Wild Mushroom selection is still very good but Morels have been a problem. On the salad front all Tomatoes have jumped up in price, Peppers remain the same and it looks like English Lettuces are still going strong.

As we switch from European to South American Melons then prices get dearer and availability becomes more of an issue, Spanish Water Melons are still OK though, for this week anyway. Turkish Figs are in abundance so prices have come down. Italian William Pears are now available so we’ve switched to them and Red Forelle Pears are available too. The European Apple Season is under way but as there was a problem with the crop this year due to late frosts, they are 20% down in volume so prices will be dearer than previous years. English Blueberries & Raspberries are still lovely but Strawberries & Blackberries have become short and prices have taken a hike. Kiwi has eased in price now that Italian fruit is available. Oranges & Lemons remain on the pricey side and they are saying  Mexican Limes are expected to go up soon due to the earthquake in Mexico. English Cobnuts are all but finished now.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 8th September 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 8th September 2017

Asparagus & Aubergines are both in short supply and therefore quite expensive at the moment. Jerusalem Artichokes are a bit on the small side and prices remain dear. Brussels Sprouts are beginning their annual return and is a stark reminder that Christmas is not that far away! English Cauliflower, Broccoli & Leeks are all reasonable. Purple, Green & Variegated Curly Kale looks good and vibrant. Baby ‘Piccolo’ Parsnips are back so too are are the mixed Baby Heritage Chantenay Carrots. The Wild Mushroom selection is very good and the Cèpes looked exceptional. The Savoy Cabbage from ‘Wards Farm’ is a good size with good dark green colouring.

The season for European Peaches & Nectarines is at an end now, whilst they still look good, the flesh is quite ‘pappy’ and they will only get worse, we may take them off sale altogether soon. Cherries are available but as their now airfreight Canadian, they are very expensive. Apricots are still OK for the time being and the Portuguese ‘Laetitia’ Red Plums are good too. Turkish Black Figs are a good size and have a very good sugar content so they are delicious. Spanish Pomegranates are very good and reasonably priced, they are very popular at the moment and since they’ve been growing them since the 18th Century, they ought to be good! Now that the English Blackberry season is over the price of Dutch Blackberries has rocketed, so best avoided. Raspberries & Blueberries however are still reasonable. Easy Peelers are a problem in both quality and price, we’re buying Nardicotts ate the moment as the Mineolas are not the easiest to peel. Pineapples are more plentiful and prices have eased. All the Melons are creeping up in price now as the European season comes to an end.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 25th August 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  25th August 2017

Firstly a quick reminder that we are closed on Bank Holiday Monday 28th August.

There are some lovely English Apples called ‘Scrumptious’ available for a short period. It is not a new apple as it created in the 1980s by an English apple enthusiast called Hugh Ermen who also raised several other popular modern apple tree varieties such as Red Devil and Hertfordshire Russet. The medium-sized apples are a very appealing shade of red which is over most of the surface of the apple. The sunnier the position the redder the apples turn. The skin is thinner than average making eating them easy for all ages and has more depth of flavour than other early varieties. They will store for a relatively short time when picked, one or two weeks at most. English Conference Pears are also appearing on the market now and are still relatively firm to eat. If your looking for something different then there is a fruit  called a ‘Pluot’ or ‘Plumcot’, as the name suggests they are a Hybrid cross of Plums and Apricots has a relatively short window of availability, about three weeks on average, and each variety has its own unique appearance and flavor attributes. English Cherries are now finished and we’ve moved onto USA fruit, Apricots too are coming to an end. English Cob-Nuts are available and tend to improve the more they mature. Melons are starting to creep up in price particularly Canteloups & Galia. South African Packham Pears are coming to an end too.

There is some lovely produce arriving from Italy, Yellow Beans, White Flat Beans and Round Aubergines are just a few to mention. Water Melon Radish is available and are a good size. English Cauliflower & Broccoli are very reasonably priced, English Corn-on-Cob are too. Yellow Courgettes are still at least twice the price of its Green cousins so should be avoided. English Red Onions are coming much better now. Many varieties of Pumpkins and Squashes are now available and will be for some time so you can adjust your Autumnal Menus accordingly. The cooler weather has made the selection of Wild Mushrooms much better but not particularly cheaper!

 

 

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 11th August 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  11th August 2017

Discovery Apples are still our recommended apple of the week and we’re expecting the Early Windsors & Worcesters to start shortly.

But we do have Bramley Apples started and these are the king of all cooking apples. In fact ALL Bramley Apples to this day originate from the pips that Mary Ann Brailsford planted as a young girl in 1809 at her Nottinghamshire home. In 1846 Matthew Bramley bought the home and in 1856 and a local Nurseryman named Henry Merryweather asked to take cuttings from the tree and named them ‘Bramley seedlings’. This is because a true fruit can only be taken from a parent tree and not from the seeds as when pollinated the seeds can be a cross from another variety. The first recorded sale of the variety is in Henry Merryweather’s book of accounts on 31 October 1862. He sold “three Bramley apples for 2/- to Mr Geo Cooper of Upton Hall”. The original Bramley Apple tree continues to bear fruit to this day. Those few pips planted 200 years ago are responsible for what is today a £37 million industry, with commercial growers across Kent, East Anglia and the West Midlands.

Next week will probably be the last of the English Cherries. There are English Greengages, Victoria Plums and we expect Marjorie Seedling Plums to start soon. English Strawberries are a little scruffy, probably due to the weather so we’re moving onto Belgium for now. Spanish Water Melons are still good value and French Charentais  Melons are our preferred choice of orange flesh at present.

French Globe Artichokes have eased this week but the Jerusalem Artichokes are still very dear. Yellow Courgettes have jumped in price this week but Green Courgettes remain the same. There’s some lovely English Rainbow Chard from Kent and a selection of Baby Veg from Colchester on the market.  Tender Stem Brocccoli from Worcester is very good at the moment and reasonably priced. Cauliflowers are very dear and its due to late planting earlier in the year due to weather but should be OK within two weeks. Peruvian Asparagus is finally easing in price and we expect this trend to follow next week too. English Peas & Broad Beans have been in short supply as they will be coming to an end soon, Runner Beans are still plentiful though. Corn-on-Cob is at its best now and is very good value.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 4th August 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  4th August 2017

The English Apple Season has kicked off and as usual ‘Discovery‘ is the first of the earlies. This is a lovely crisp apple but only if eaten fresh, this apple does not keep very well once picked and left out. So for the next few weeks we recommend this apple. Damsons have also started, they are a plum like small fruit with vibrant dark blue skin and a strong, sour flavour, although similar to plums they are actually a member of the rose family.  Damsons are more suitable for cooking than eating raw and are especially good for jams and jellies. For anyone that likes foraging then Elderberries are now available. If you didn’t rob your favourite Elder Tree of all its flowers earlier in the season to make your cordial then there will be some lovely berries available now, alternatively you can purchase them from us. Other English fruits available are lovely large Black Cherries, Victoria Plums, Blackberries, Raspberries, Currants (all colours) & Strawberries. English Rhubarb has now finished though. Turkish Black Figs are becoming plentiful and prices are very reasonable but I’d expect the price to drop even further soon. Lemons & Limes are easing but Oranges are still a problem on both quality & price. French Charentais Melons are wonderful and are our choice of orange flesh melon this week. Lychees are now available.

All English Potatoes are new season now and very good, from Maris Peer New Potatoes, Agria for Chips and Roasting and various varieties for Jackets Potatoes. There is some limited availability knockout English Aubergines (Purple & Striped) from a farm not too far away in Ripley, Surrey. Also some beauteous English Round & Yellow Courgettes from Maldon in Essex. English Green Courgettes in general are not being graded that well at the moment are either too big or too small so we’re buying from European growers. Globe Artichokes are expensive at the moment and Sugar Snaps are up in price too. The rain has affected the quality of English Lettuces and we having to be selective as to which grower we buy from at the moment. We’re getting some stunning Tender Stem Broccoli & Corn on the Cob from Barfoots Farm in West Sussex and prices are reasonable too.