Saturday, July 07, 2007

Buying fruit in Cyprus

When we moved here, in 1997, we bought our fruit at the supermarket, when we did our weekly shop once a week. As we tended to in the UK.

Friends told us that there were some lovely 'froutaria' shops - greengrocers, as we would call them in the UK - and sure enough I found one that was excellent, and would go there perhaps once a week for extra fresh fruit and veg.

Then it closed down.

When we moved, last year, we found a very close fruit shop - just two minutes' walk from our house. It was useful when I'd run out of onions or lettuce mid-week, but the prices didn't seem great, the produce wasn't really as good as that in the supermarket, and - worst of all - despite no-smoking signs everywhere, I saw several men with lighted cigarettes in the shop, and no attempt made to stop them. Ugh. At least smoking in supermarkets seems to have been banned in the past five or six years.

Friends told us that there was a much nicer froutaria a little further away, but it took me a while to try it. Now I'm hooked. I go there usually twice a week, first thing in the morning during the summer (it opens at 7am).

There are always lots of reduced fruit and vegetables outside, as shown in this picture. I assume they're the previous days' produce, since they're always in good condition, and the prices are amazing. Inside, the shop is air conditioned, usually pretty full of Cypriots (always a good sign) and the quality and selection of produce is superb. In addition, there's a refrigerated section with milk, lunch meats, cheeses (etc) and a few extra items - sugar, salt, some cans, and so on - that would be found in a regular supermarket.

I make freshly squeezed juice every morning, and (during the summer) pure fruit smoothies most afternoons, so this froutaria is very useful, particularly now when there are lots of soft fruit in season, which wouldn't necessarily keep for a whole week if we bought them at the supermarket.

Are they expensive? I get asked that fairly often. The prices vary during the season, they vary from shop to shop, and one person's idea of good value is another person's 'very expensive'. If you're from a country other than Cyprus, a lot depends on the exchange rate too.

But for what it's worth, here's what I bought this morning:

1.25 kg apricots (from the reduced section)
just under 1kg nectarines (from the reduced section)
just over 1kg grapes
0.75 kg black cherries
0.65 kg kiwi fruit

I should add that the black cherries are the most expensive of the lot. They were a whopping £2.99 per kilo. But worth it. The reduced apricots and nectarines cost 69c per kilo. (For those in America, that's about 69 US cents per imperial pound)

The total bill was £6.30. (That's around £7.40 sterling, or $13 US)

Is that expensive compared to other countries at this time of year? I'd be interested to know.


Shirley said...

Hi Sue,

Cherries are in season right now and cost about $1.60 U.S. a pound. They are *so* good :-). The Canadian dollar has been rapidly climbing and almost at par with the American right now. Blueberries are now just out.d We like the smoothies too!!!
Love, Shirley

fraser stewart said...

I`m coming out for two weeks 1st weeks of August with my family. There are five of us, three kids aged between 10&14. We wanted to try somewhere differant with guaranteed sunshine. Looking at your site it seems we have no worries there. I`m slightly concerned at the humidity in Paphos. We are staying near Coral Bay which I understand is only a few miles away and it seems for some reason that the humidity in Paphos (according to the web site is much higher than anywhere esle on the island. Is that the case? The villa we have booked has air-con but still slightly concerned. Any idea of what coral bay is like and any suggestions of things we should do?

Many thanks

Fraser Stewart

Sue said...

Yes, Cyprus is very humid during the summer - I didn't know Paphos was worse than the rest; usually it's slightly cooler, which I suppose would compensate somewhat. Air conditioning will remove the humidity so you should be all right for sleeping; humidity is usually worst in the evenings.

As for Coral Bay - we've never been there, but it's famous for its beaches. If you want sea and sand, it's ideal. Otherwise you may want to rent a car and go into Paphos to see historic sites etc. Hope you enjoy Cyprus!

Rosemary said...

Dunno without a lot of thinking Sue :-) Despite what you (and the EU) might assume I both buy and think in pounds not kilos!
I bought some *wonderful* cherries grown in Kent last Friday. They were dear too - as far as I remember £3 for 2lbs - but worth every penny and, if I've remembered my price correctly, very close to what you also paid.

Cyprus Insider said...

With all the fruit in many supermarkets being so 'regular' in shape, size and weight many people want the 'odd size' fruits and vegetables. Cyprus has some of the best fruits on offer anywhere in Europe. In fact a recent 'internal' memo at Cyprus HQ mentioned the fact that Cyprus should be promoting it's organic produce and local shops.. best wishes, Cyprus Insider

Anonymous said...

Great to see you've abandoned the big supermarket in favour of the Froutaria.
We live on the west of the island near Polis/Latchi and we but ALL of our fruit/veg from the local fruitaria = always fresh straight from the fields of Argaka a few km away that morning. papantoniou are coming here soon but I'll be sticking to the froutaria for my veg