The management of the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market of Mercabarna has analysed the 2009 conduct of certain fruit and vegetables whose consumption is closely associated with the celebration of different traditional festivities.
In autumn, chestnuts and saffron milk cap mushrooms
If we take the Market data into account, it can be said that the 2009 Castañada festival was a resounding success. Close to 1,800 tonnes were sold in October and November, an 82% increase over chestnut sales in 2008.
As the Market management sees it, two factors account for this soar in sales. One was the reasonable price of the chestnut in the 2009 campaign, and the other was the fact that autumn consumption of this product –which traditionally takes place in October – lasted into November.
The saffron milk cap mushroom also recorded increased sales, although in a less striking manner. 920 tonnes were sold from September to December, practically double the number of tonnes sold in2007, showing the trend towards higher consumption of this wild produce.
Lower sales of typical Christmas produce
Every December, coinciding with the celebration of the Christmas festivities, pineapple and white grapes become the Market’s top sellers. However in December 2009, the sales of both fell with respect to 2008.
The grape showed a drop of 23% over 2008, owing to a reduced supply for weather-related reasons.
As for pineapples, the 25.7% slump in sales is thought to be due to the fact it has become increasingly less seasonal and is consumed regularly throughout the year.
Sales of some of the typical vegetables for making Christmas broth, such as celery and the round radish, held steady in December, although they are tapering off on a year-on-year basis. As Market management points out, it is a tradition that appears to be on the wane.
The calçotada boom
One product that is becoming increasingly popular in the early months of the year is the calçot (spring onion). Consumption has soared by almost 50% since 2007, thanks above all to its greater presence in the hospitality sector and the increased trend for families and friends to go out with the express intention of enjoying a calçotada.
Altogether, close to 9,500 tonnes were marketed from January to March 2009.