We are in the middle of the coldest winter for many a year and this has had a huge effect on the prices of many products. The farmers are having problems picking the produce and delivering it has been equally difficult. To make matters worse the dramatic fall in the value of the pound against most currencies especially the Euro has made the high prices that we saw in January continue in February.
Aubergines, courgettes and many salads have been high in price. Spinach has been really expensive and not the best quality (why not use frozen instead). We have seen the biggest rise of all in the price of cucumbers. We expect the prices to remain high for most of February easing though as we approach march.
When looking for value, we need to look closer to home and all our locally grown root vegetables remain great buys. Parsnips, swedes, beetroot, carrots, turnips, celeriac and jerusalem artichokes make for a nice selection. Savoy cabbages, sprouts and sprout tops are still the best for greens. From further afield mange tout, beans and sugar snap peas represent good value.
On the fruit side our friend from last year Maria has once again sent us those wonderful blood oranges she grows on the slopes of Mount Etna. They truly are a delight at this time of year and not to be missed out on. Plums , nectarines and peaches are not too bad having come such a long way. Grapes too have been superb with Italian kiwi being best for price. Berry prices have remained stable. Apples are still decent and remember the forced rhubarb that we have in stock at the moment.
Don’t forget your loved ones on Valentines (14th), your lemons on Pancake day (24th) and that lent starts on the 25th!