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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.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th March 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 27th March 2018

So British Summertime has started….really!

This time last year we were talking about English Asparagus, English Lettuces, English Heritage Tomatoes, no such luck this year yet. OK, there is a very small amount that has been picked just to be the first but commercially, no chance. But, what we do have is some lovely English Purple Sprouting Broccoli  from Wye Valley.  English Cauliflowers are getting bigger so we’ll switch back soon and the price should ease off then as well. If you buy any of the Coloured Cauliflower varieties like purple or Yellow then be prepared for the price as they’re very expensive. Broccoli is reasonable, so too are Peppers, Courgettes are less plentiful so there is a little price rise there. English Cucumbers should start next week (we started a lot sooner last year!), Onions have spiked up in price and the English Main crop Potatoes are on the increase as we see current levels of last years crop diminish, this will affect the price of premium varieties like Agria and Jacket Potatoes the most. Most Wild Mushrooms are available but quality is poor and they’re very wet. Spanish Globe Artichokes are a good size and reasonably priced against the French. There is very little if any Baby Ukon Rainbow Carrots, there are limited amount of French ones too. Wild Garlic Leaf & Young Nettles are available again.

All Apples are going to be a bug bear this Summer. Prices are really starting to increase dramatically due to such limited available produce this year. There is no really good Easy Peeler fruit around at the moment, even the best Nardicots are showing a little waste. Strawberries are dearer this week and we’ll switch over to the Dutch very shortly as the quality of the Spanish is diminishing. All Berries are dear this week and the Redcurrants are best avoided as they’re extortionate. No Peaches, Nectarines or Apricots at present. We keep being told the Bananas are going to ease soon but I think they will after Easter. The Air Freight Mangoes are streets ahead of the others, so despite the dearer prices, we believe they’re worth it.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 9th March 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 9th March 2018

I do love a Jersey Royal Potatoes and they’re available now. The earthiness and texture is just divine. Jersey Royals have been grown on Jersey for 140 years. Today there are approximately 20 island farmers who grow Jersey Royals. The Jersey soil is light and well drained and many farmers still use seaweed harvested from Jersey beaches as a natural fertilizer (it is known locally as Vraic). They’re not cheap, but I’m sure you can add them somewhere to a dish?

Cauliflowers remain expensive, but all the other Brassica’s are easing from the recent high prices due to the weather. Leeks continue to increase in price and we’ve seen a slight change upwards on the Onions too. If you’ve ordered any Baby Bunch Veg this week then it’s been changed to Yukon as the word ‘baby’ would be out of the question, more like ‘Micro’ as they have been picked far too early to meet demand. The Wild Mushroom selection is very poor and Girolles are almost non existent. Wild Garlic Leaf has been very hard to source this week, hopefully it will improve this week.

Water Melons remain expensive. We’re expecting the Banana price to start easing next week as more containers arrive. Pineapples are reasonable, so too are Spanish Strawberries and they’re not coming through as large as they was. Red Currants are ludicrously expensive, so best avoided. Plums are more plentiful, but this hasn’t impacted on the price yet and they’re still a bit pricey but they are good quality. Apples are quite expensive this year especially the Granny Smiths due to a much smaller European crop. Nardicotts are good but getting dearer.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 2nd March 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 2nd March 2018

Needless to say the weather is affecting almost everything. Even if the Farmer manages to pick the crop he may not be able to get the transport to him to collect it. A good example is Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, its grown in sheds inside and is not really affected by the weather but supplies have been very tight as they cannot get it collected during this snowy weather! As this is a European weather problem we cannot simply switch to mainland Europe to fill the gaps in our own shortages as their in the same boat and we rely heavily on Europe this time of year. Young Nettles & Wild Garlic are in short supply due to the weather.

So far Cauliflowers have been badly affected and are very expensive this week. All the English Cabbages are up in price and some have a quality issue too. Root crops, as in Carrots & Parsnips are currently coming from storage so are not directly impacted yet. There is big problems in Italy, so Continental Parsley, Fennel, Cavolo Nero and many other leafy crops are frozen in the ground. In the coming weeks we may see Potatoes start to creep up in price for the better ones, the larger crop last year has up until now keep prices lower than average.

Bananas remain expensive whilst supplies are tight. Spanish Strawberries are still reasonable and we’re expecting more Dutch fruit to arrive soon too. Good Apples of all sizes are proving very hard to source and will remain expensive for some time to come. English Braeburn have more or less finished but there are still some English Royal Gala Apples around. Water Melons are very expensive and we’ve switched over to some better larger Honeydew Melons that work out better value. There are a few Yellow Plums available.

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!).