Australia: ‘We can’t get any’: Canberra takeaway shops battle potato scallop shortage

Owner of The Corner Takeaway at Queanbeyan, Steve Salmon. The shop has not had any potato scallops since October.A wet spring, including severe storms and floods, resulted in crop damage and harvesting delays on potato farms throughout Australia. And an unlikely result of the harsh conditions has meant Canberra is currently experiencing potato scallop shortage. And it’s proving to be quite an annoyonce for takeaway shop owners throughout the capital. “Probably a lot of them have given up,” Watson Takeaway owner Kerry Spanos sighed. “A lot of the shops are buying them frozen now. The prices have gone through the roof.” Bidfood, which supplies 80 per cent of takeaway shops in Canberra, has been without potato scallops for about two months. Sales manager Nick Moullakis explained a good quality potato scallop required a large potato – a rare commodity. “They slice the potato, then they batter it, then they blanche it, then when the customer comes in they re-fry it – that’s it,” he said. “The mashed one is like the McCains product which is popular in places like food courts. They had their time in the ’80s and ’90s and it’s not very popular.” More