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Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 15th January 2019

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 15th January 2019

It may be cold here but nowhere near as cold as parts of the continent. Italy had some heavy snow and this impacted on the price of Italian produce, Fennell, Spinach,Bunched Rocket & Flat Parsley jumped in price but some are starting to ease now. There’s plenty of Brassicas to choose from that are reasonably priced: Savoy, January King & Primo Cabbage, Portuguese Hispi, Brussells Sprout and Curly Kale. On the subject of Kale, we have some lovely Kale Flower Sprouts (Kallettes) that just need a little sauteing off a charming accompaniment to many a dish. English Jerusalem ‘Chokes’ are still great.

UK Onions, like Potatoes continue to be a problem from last years hot summer, Large onions remain dear and trying to find a good quality Red Onion remain challenging and you have to pay a hefty premium to get good ones. Good English Mid Potatoes are hard to find hence the increase in price. Spanish Broccoli is dearer but Aubergines & Courgettes remain VERY expensive and that’s not going to change in the short term.  Dill, Mint & Coriander are all tighter in supply but we’re confident of continuous supply.  Parsnips have come back down in price but Cauliflower may go up later in the week as supplies tighten.

All the Lettuces are on the higher end of prices, Tomatoes & Cucumbers are all on the increase too. Cherry Tomatoes remain reasonable. Unusually, we have some great English Celeriac form ‘Bucks Farm’ in Spalding, Lincs. This versatile product is an underrated vegetable/Salad  and should be used more.

This is the time of year for Seville ‘Marmalade’ Oranges so start jarring yours up now! Also Blood Oranges are available but only  for a month or so. Another seasonal fruit for January is English Forced Rhubarb from the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ in West Yorkshire. They Grow it in the dark in warm conditions and the result is long pink tender stems that are less tart than their outdoor cousins. Apricots, Peaches & Nectarines from South Africa still available but not that cheap. Pineapple are reasonable but all Melons are quite dear as they are all coming from the Southern Hemisphere. Clementines are the choice for easy peelers as the Nardicots are a lot dearer. Moroccan Strawberries are ending and we may see a jump in price as we move over to Spanish.

 

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 9th November 2018

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 7th December 2018

Unusually we can’t blame Brexit on any price hikes yet, apart from maybe the exchange rate? So as usual, weather is the blame for most produce hikes in prices. Consequently, the dry summer this year has left us with a shortage of good sized quality Potatoes for the next eight months so factor that in your menu costings. The quality of English Primo & Savoy Cabbage from Lincolnshire is very good, the Cauliflowers are a good size too but are creeping up in price. Portuguese Hispi Cabbages are also good. Brussels Sprouts are available in purple as well as green and the Prepped Brussels are now available too. Parsnips in 10kg nets are good value but not as good quality as the 5kg boxed ones. Aubergines are very expensive at the moment. Spinach is extortionate and in very short supply so avoid or buy Frozen. With their lovely nutty flavour, English Jerusalem Artichokes like the ones we have from D & J Hayward in Wiltshire are underrated as they are a bit fiddly to prepare but are a wonderful product most of the year round. Baby leeks, whether in punnets or loose are a big problem with availability at present. If you are requiring any Prepped Produce you need to get your order in EARLY or you may not get it as demand is off the scale this time of year.

All the Salad Lettuces from the continent are reasonably priced and no shortages in sight. Tomatoes are on the increase with Beef Tomatoes & Cherry Plum Vine Tomatoes quite dear and no sign of getting cheaper. Peppers are at about their seasonally normal price but the next few weeks can always be unpredictable.

Satsumas would normally be our Easy Peeler of choice this time of year but there is quality issues with them so we’re buying the Spanish Clemantines, they’re reasonably priced and eat well, The ones that come ‘on the leaf’ are an even better quality but come at a premium. Good Mangoes are a problem and the only ones worth buying are the Air freighted ones but they are quite expensive. Cantaloupe Melons are quite dear but are a good size. Persian Limes are good and have a deep green colour. Fresh Jumbo Cranberries in 200g punnets or regular size in 340g bags are available. Vac-Pac French Peeled Chestnuts or Chinese Chestnuts in their shell are also available. The Black Peruvian Figs look and eat great but are a bit pricey.

 

 

 

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.