Cauliflower off the menu after hot July kills crop

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Those hunting for a bubbling dish of cauliflower cheese in a restaurant will be in for disappointment after the crop was killed off by the freak July weather, causing a shortage.

Britain is usually self-sufficient for cauliflower, which has become fashionable in recent years, roasted whole as a plant-based Sunday dinner and whizzed up as an alternative to rice.

As the country baked in temperatures, which hit a record 38.7 degrees, brassica plants were killed off. This means wholesale prices have been hiked from 60p-£3 in some cases, and restaurants have taken cauliflower off their menus entirely.

Vernon Mascarenhas, a vegetable wholesaler from Nature’s Choice at New Covent Garden Market said: “Right now we have none.”

Mr Mascarenhas,  who supplies many of London’s leading restaurants and hotels, including The Ledbury and Le Gavroche, added: “Cauliflowers suffered because of the freak weather we had a few weeks ago, the incredible heat, that basically just killed all the crops coming through.

“The wholesale price of cauliflower was 60p, it’s now £3. We have none. That’s the wholesale price – it’s not even reached the shops yet.

“There will be none in regular greengrocers, supermarkets are stocking tiny weeny ones.”

Mr Mascarenhas said the vegetable is not featured on menus at the moment, explaining: “Most of my clients I have spoken to have taken them off. The trendy dish of cauliflower couscous is on hold at the moment, they are using other vegetables.



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