Monday, February 28, 2011

Where to go for cheap produce

Washing peppersImage via Wikipedi
Take your pick. Sweet peppers are 99 cents a pound at Brothers Produce.

Cold weather in Mexico and Florida has sent produce prices soaring everywhere, it seems, except at the Paterson Farmers' Market, where the stores were crowded today with bargain hunters.

I was pressed for time, but stopped at Brothers Produce, with its sidewalk displays of peppers, tomatoes, lemons and other items. Inside, you'll find plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, along with groceries, dairy products and imported Middle Eastern food.

Sweet green, red, yellow and orange peppers were 99 cents a pound, as were plump plum or Roma tomatoes; large, shrink-wrapped gourmet cucumbers were two for $1, and lemons were seven for $1.

An employee was unpacking fresh spinach, and I took two large bunches right from the box for $1.

Driscoll's strawberries were $1.49 for 16 ounces, and raspberries and blackberries were $1.49 each for 6 ounces. I also picked up a bottle of date syrup from Lebanon for $3.49, ideal for making a seltzer-based drink or for topping ice cream or yogurt.

I didn't have time to check out the prices for leafy greens or garlic, but scanning the aisles, the most common price I saw was 99 cents a pound.

Prices also were low down the street at Farmer's Produce, but so was the quality of some of the items. I saw Earthbound Farm's organic greens with a sell-by date of Feb. 14.

The lemons looked good, however, at eight for $1. Stick with Brothers for everything else.

Paterson has long been known as Silk City, but today it resembled Pothole City. Streets were filled with litter, and even the South Paterson neighborhood of restaurants, bakeries and pastry shops looked drab as a steady drizzle fell.

Brothers Produce, 327 E. Railway Ave., Paterson; 973-684-4461.

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  1. Victor, I was there Saturday morning. You are right, Farmers Produce had an "off" week but they did have some amazing Sunset Romana tomatoes for a dollar a package. These were the best tomatoes I have had in quite a while. They also had some Yo Baby Kids drinkable yogurt with a date of 3/4/11 for a dollar for the 4 pack, about 1/4 the price you would pay in the grocery store. With the price and quality at the Paterson Farmer's market the only reason I go to the supermarket these days is for meat, soft drinks or paper products.

  2. I saw those tomatoes Monday, but they didn't look as good as they did on Saturday. I am sorry I didn't have more time to shop in Brothers Produce.


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