British supermarkets are rationing fruit and vegetables. Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, Tesco, has limited purchases of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to three items per customer. Asda has further set a three-item limit on lettuce, salad bags, cauliflower and raspberries, while Morrisons is limiting shoppers to two items for cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and peppers. Aldi and Lidl have also introduced restrictions.Heavy rains in Morocco and a cold snap in Spain are being blamed, while British farmers are unable to supply salad produce at this time of year.
Running out of fruit and vegetables of any sort would be considered preposterous here in North Cyprus. There was, admittedly, a slight hiccup a couple of years ago when potatoes, of all things, were in short supply, but the shortage was, well, very short. Agriculture remains a highly significant industry and many Cypriots are also grow-your-own enthusiasts. This combined with a near ideal climate means the stalls and supermarkets are always groaning with salads, root vegetables and fruit. And there’s none of that: “Don’t squeeze me till I’m yours,” nonsense. Buyers may hand pick everything from pumpkins to peas.
It’s all delicious – but seasonal. You have to look at the calendar before dashing out to load up on your favourite fruit. Right now, strawberries are just coming on the shelves, big and fat, bursting with flavour, a result of our mild winters. But don’t expect to find them in the shops after April – that’s when the cherries start to appear.