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Where’s good for fruit?

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Photo: sxc.hu

Photo: sxc.hu

One fruit bears the truth: the simple easy peeler. When your teeth glide through  an orange segment, its exterior wet and firm, and the juices squirt onto your chin, you know you’re on to a good thing.

Bite into a dry and dusty fruit, however, and you’ll feel as though the juice has been sucked out of your body.

If a supermarket can get this right, chances are most of the fruit is good. For some reason, fair or not, I’m inclined to avoid fruit at Tesco and Dunnes – too many bad experiences – but SuperValu has never let me down. I find that Lidl and Aldi’s fruit is very reliable as well.

Of course, the best quality fruit you’ll find often comes from your local greengrocer. These shops are a threatened species, with more and more finding it difficult to compete against the might of the supermarkets which, since 2005, can sell food below cost as a way of bringing customers through the door. Aldi’s Super6 deal – a selection of fruit and veg for knockdown prices – is particularly good value.

Lots of local greengrocers offer better value than some of the supermarkets; many more are very competitive. Both fruit and vegetables can work out cheaper when they are loose, particularly as you don’t have to worry about buying more than you need, only to throw half of them out. The greengrocers have regular deals and offers. Have a look next time you’re in your main supermarket and compare the prices with your greengrocer. You might be surprised.

Readers, can you recommend a greengrocer? Or do you find them more expensive than the supermarket? Where do you find good value and quality fruit?

10 Comments

  1. Fresh Market on the New Cabra Road – a few doors down from Ethersons Butchers – is a magnificent little fruit and vegetable shoop. Does lots of other things besides. A great find.

  2. Dunnes in Douglas have been consistently good for me but I always try to split my shop between there and the grocers (the name escapes me) in the shopping centre next to the Good Fish Co.

  3. Woods on Grand Canal Street do some really good fruit and veg!

  4. Dooleys, Magazine Road, Athlone is excellent, they have a section form local producers

  5. Oh and all of the grocers in the English Market except the one by the Grand Parade entrance. I don’t want to name it, but I don’t trust anything from there.

  6. The veg shop at the bottom of Camden street is great, can’t remember the name at the moment, has a huge selection and always nice and fresh. And I’ll try the one in Cabra as it’s near me, thanks for the good tip.

  7. I’d have to disagree with you about the fruit at SuperValu, or at least my local SV store(s). I live in Co. Sligo and there are 2 SV shops near me, 1 is very poor for fruit (and veg) while the other bigger shop (slightly bigger store, closer to Sligo town) is a little better, but only a little. I frequently got fruit that’s gone off, badly bruised and bashed.

    Regarding supermarkets, I would agree with you about Lidl and Aldi, both of which are usually good, and rarely get a bad piece of fruit there.

  8. Constantly disappointed by the fruits in my local Dunnes. I bought a small bag of clementines the other day, the next morning half were rotten. Apples have bruises or the tell-tale signs of being frozen. Mangoes and melons are tasteless. Strangely, vegs are good there, it’s only fruits that aren’t.
    My all times favourite, but oh, so expensive: M&S. Never had a bad fruit there, but at almost 5€ for a net of clementines, you would expect the best.
    I have two greengrocers who are quite good but one has no Irish apples so I tend to go to both to complete my shopping. Also the local farmers market, although I don’t like the way the organic stall has been selling more and more imported, out of season fruits and vegs recently. Apricots and cherries in February? No thanks, even organic

  9. Good point on organic food there, Nanazolie. Lots of organic food is air freighted – hardly good for the environment. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/food-miles-the-true-cost-of-putting-imported-food-on-your-plate-451139.html

    I agree with you on M&S: very reliable for fruit and veg, although you do pay for it.

  10. The Evergreen on Camden st is great but not super cheap. There are a couple of fantastic green grocers on Meath st in the Liberties. Best produce I’ve had and they’re always happy to let you try something before buying. Very cheap too and the welcome is always really warm. I’d go out of my way to shop there when I can.

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