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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.