Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 21st January 2020
Poor weather in Spain has hampered supplies and subsequently some lines have jumped in price. Aubergines, Courgettes and Cucumbers have been hit the hardest and supplies are in really short supply at the moment. Peppers have crept up a little, so too has Broccoli. The Spanish Tender Stem Broccoli is very good and reasonably priced. As Tomatoes are coming from Morocco too, prices are reasonable and Cherry Tomatoes are plentiful. English January King, Savoy & Primo Cabbages are great value, Hispi Cabbage from Portugal is very good too.
French Sandy Carrots also known as ‘Carotte de Sables’ are available and grown all along the beautiful coast of La Manche in a tiny coastal area in Normandy and have a lovely flavour. Onion & Crown Prince Squashes are two of the best tasting and still available, a great addition to any wintry menu. Dutch Leeks & English Carrots are good value and can offset some of the dearer produce around. It is good to see English growers stepping up their game as we have some superb quality Banana Shallots from Parrish Farm in Shefford, Bedfordshire.
All Wild Mushrooms are up in price but Girolles are very pricey and not the best quality either. Tarragon supplies are very tight too.
Peaches & Nectarines are still not very good, but the dark South African Plums called ‘Sapphire’ are scrumptious and eat very well. There is still a few Apricots available but their coming to an end now. Forced Rhubarb from the infamous 9 mile West Yorkshire Triangle is as good as you would expect and in full swing.
It good to see that Spanish Growers are doing their bit for the environment as the latest delivery of fresh Raspberries are packed in 100% recyclable/compostable boxes.
Spanish Strawberries are quite plentiful, so too are Litchis. Honeydew & Water Melons are in short Supply but Galia & Canteloupe seem OK. Blood Oranges are still good but ending now. There are some sporadic supplies of Cherries around but they are pricey.
Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 26th November 2019
If your looking for something to brighten up a plate then you can’t go wrong with Rainbow Chard at this time of year. Rainbow chard is an earthy nutritional powerhouse — an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of iron,magnesium, potassium and dietary fibre. Another good vegetables from the same family is Kalettes, its a branded hybrid and is a cross between Kale and Brussels Sprouts, again its very nutritious and has a lovely nutty flavour. If your pushed for time we are now stocking Prepped Sprouts, but if you are needing Prepped Produce this time of year you will need to order in advance because we cannot guarantee next day because of the sheer volume at the moment.
Broccoli & Cauliflower are very expensive at the moment and due to the recent floods, Cabbage & Spring Greens will be short too. This has had a knock on effect to Tender Stem Broccoli which is also more expensive. Although Yellow Courgettes have come down in price, they are still roughly three times the price of regular Green Courgettes. The Dutch Leeks are very good and reasonable at the moment. The French Lollo Rosso & Oakleaf growers are struggling to keep up with demand at present so their price has jumped up. The volumes of Coriander & Dill coming through are very tight at the moment, but I don’t see it becoming not available. All Tomatoes in general are reasonably priced and plentiful.
Strawberries have eased from the ludicrously high prices of late but Blackberries are quite dear. Although Brazilian Figs are now available, they are expensive. South African Peaches & Nectarines are available but not recommended yet as they are very small and very hard. We’re mainly buying Clementines rather than Satsumas at the moment because they eat far better and worth the extra pennies. The English Braeburn & Cox Apples are still very good and reasonable. The firmer Italian ‘Angeleno’ Plums are about the only ones worth buying at the moment. Still no Apricots at the moment but we are expecting the South African to start very soon.
Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 5th November 2019
Now the weather is much colder and damper our tastes turn to heartier foods, so now is the time to take advantage of buying Root Vegetables as they are the best value this time of year. As well as the regular Carrots, Turnips & Swede, there are Heritage varieties to spruce up the menu. There’s also the Baby Chantenay Carrots & Piccolo Baby Parsnips. English Jersusalem Artichokes with their nutty taste are a very good to addition to many a dish.
French Roscoff Onions are available, these were the original onion farmers that gave rise to the classic British stereotype of Frenchmen in berets carrying strings of onions on bicycles, as much of their business was in the UK. They gained AOC status in 2009 for their unique flavour, sweetness and being high in vitamin C.
English Savoy Cabbage from Boston, Lincolnshire is another great winter vegetable, so too is the Tenderstem Broccoli from Barfoots Farm, Botley. Frissee, Iceberg & Cos Lettuce that is now from the continent is quite expensive. Yellow Courgettes remain expensive and no sign of them coming down yet. The selection of Pumpkins & Squashes that are available is getting tighter, but there’s still good varieties available.
Dutch Indoor Rhubarb is still expensive. Figs are almost non existent and the ones that are around are very expensive, best avoided. Strawberries have been very expensive but have eased in price for now, South African Oranges, Mexican/Colombian Limes & Kumquats are pricey too. Spanish Okistsu Satsumas are the choice of easy peeler at the moment and their reasonably priced, there are some good Clementines available but they are dearer. Even though there a few Peaches & Nectarines available they are poor quality and do not eat very well and are not recommended. All the Melons are mainly coming from Brazil at the moment and prices are reasonable.
Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 8th October 2019
The Autumn brings a pleasant change to your menu, the Game season is now underway bringing a welcome change so we have all the seasonal delights to accompany them. French Fresh Chestnuts, Cranberries & Redcurrants. The Pumpkin & Squash season is now upon us too from Onion, Turban, Iron Bark, Kabocha, Acorn to Baby Pumpkins & your regular Halloween Pumpkin. Brussels Sprouts & Tops are now readily available, so too is the selection of Brassicas: English Green, Variegated & Purple Curly Kale, Black Cabbage & Purple Sprouting Broccoli and they’re all good quality. English Cauliflowers are getting easier in price and English Broccoli is reasonable too. Plum Vine & Yellow Cherry Tomatoes are very expensive at the moment. English Lollo Rosso & Oakleaf is coming to an end and when we switch to continental Lettuces they will get dearer. English Runner Beans are also all but finished but there is string less Flat Beans available.
Easy Peelers are to change from Nardorcotts to Clemantines and Leafy Clementines are available too. European Peaches & Nectarines are past they’re best and very hit and miss now in quality. The Turkish Figs that have been reasonably priced of late are now about to get dearer as supplies dry up. English Russet, Gala, Early Windsor & Gala Apples are very good. English Raspberries are still available but the bulk of the Strawberries are now Dutch/Belgium. The supplies of European Melons coming through now are also much tighter now that the season is ending and prices are rising daily. Dutch Indoor Rhubarb has started but it is very thin and not worth the higher price tag yet. Limes are reasonable but Lemons have jumped in price and are likely to get dearer.