The run up to Xmas is looking good for most fruit: melons are difficult as the hot weather is testing the supply chain here. Berries are always difficult in Xmas week, but they are not bad this week and blueberries are well supplied. Papaya is still inexpensive, as are bananas. Mango season is running late, however we have beautiful tableland stock in store, but the big hit on these as with cherries will be around the end of year and the first week in Jan. Trays of mangoes are still well supplied and cheap. This fruit is the best eating of the lot, but wont keep all that well.
Best value in stone fruit is to be found with yellow peaches. They are large, full of flavour and inexpensive. Likewise in nectarines it is the yellow fleshed varieties that are the best eating and best value. Lychees are also running a bit late, with the best of these coming this weekend and next week. Don’t forget with lychees the best eating and best value fruit are those varieties with smaller seeds, always dearer than the traditional supermarket lines but the difference in flavor and the increased edible content makes paying more for this fruit by far the best option!
Finally grapes. There are more varieties available than we used to have, but again you get what you pay for; black grapes, especially some of the new varieties - though dearer - are just sensational to eat. All grapes are fairly good this week and again I expect prices to ease as demand falls after Xmas. Plums and figs are available but the really good ones are still a few weeks away.
It's tough out there with vegetables. For salads, we are in good shape with very few shortages; twin pak baby cos and all tomatoes are abundantly supplied, and there are enough baby cucumbers and telegraph cucumbers available, although Lebanese cucumbers are in short supply. With the traditional roast, I am seeing baby red and white potatoes as the real bargains, as well Dutch carrots which are good and plentiful. There are plenty of all cabbages and mushrooms in the market at the minute.