After a poor start to 2017 with prices hitting 10 year highs, crops 70-80% down in some areas of France, Greece, Italy & Spain, caused by hard frost, snow and flooding. Unfortunately it does not seem to be getting any easier, and the english season cannot start soon enough.
However nature has its own way of balancing the scales, and there is still some superb quality produce available throughout the UK. English leeks are in season, good volumes and reasonably priced.
Savoy Cabbage, the king of Cabbage. In full swing and good value for money, with its wrinkly texture and nutty taste the Savoy is a welcome guest to any table, particularly on a Sunday roast in these winter months.
Home-grown Swede, Turnips, Parsnips, Kale and Cabbages are in abundance, and great value for money as you would expect. It is also still a great time for Baby Veg, such as Parsley Root, Beetroot, Chantenay Carrots and more.
As far as European produce is concerned, supply issues seem to be hanging around for a little while longer, at least April. Crops such as peppers, courgettes, spinach, fancy lettuces including Endive & Lollo, are all heavily affected.
Oranges, Lemons & other citrus are reasonably priced and still selling well, Blood oranges especially, but won't be around for much longer!
Berries are at a similar stage, with Spanish Strawberries & Raspberries at similar money. Blueberries from Peru are still of brilliant quality, whilst Dutch Blackberries and Redcurrants are very good also.
For some exotic fruits to liven up February, try Lychees, South African Black Figs, Golden Kiwi, Madjool Dates or some superb quality Peruvian Mangoes at excellent money.