Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 30th September 2016

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – September 30th 2016

One of my favourite treats of autumn is munching through a hand full of Wet Walnuts. These are fresh walnuts that have not been dried for keeping. They are crunchy with a milky, mild walnut taste and excellent with a soft cheese, in a salad or a sauce and you don’t need nutcrackers to open them. Another Autumnal favourite is Pumpkins & Squashes, there is a vast selection available and is a must for your menu. For a bit of colour there is a Baby Chantenay mix of White, Purple & Orange Carrots. We have some Lovely Spring Green form Baxters Farm in Lancashire and were getting the last of the Runner Beans & Purple Sprouting Broccoli from N.E. Revill & Son in Worcs. Unfortunately the English Peas & Broad Beans are finished now. Cauliflower, Broccoli and Courgettes are still good value. We have also had in some astounding New Season English Torpedo Banana Shallots from Parrish Farm in Bedfordshire. We’ve now switched to French Lollo & Oakleaf, but the English Cos, Little Gem and Iceberg is still very good. The Wild Mushroom selection is as good as you’d expect for this time of year.

Pineapples continue to ease as more arrive, Canadian Cherries are still ridiculously expensive but are quite good. Peaches & Nectarines may still look okay but really should be avoided as they really don’t eat very well. Brazilian Honeydew & Water Melons remain on the pricey side, but there are Cantaloupe Melons coming from Italy and Brazil so they have eased in price. This week we’ve had some humongous Blueberries from Peru and they eat well too. English Raspberries are still good but Strawberries whether English or Continental remain a problem in quality. The small French Mirabelle Plums are quite nice but the Portuguese Laetitia Plums are really good. English Early Windsor & Cox’s Apples are not to be forgotten or the Crispy early Conference Pears.  Still no Lychees available.

Focus On… Avocadoes

Avocadoes

What’s so super about it?
Avocados are brimming with essential nutrients, including potassium, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a so-called nutrient booster; when eaten with other foods, avocados enable the body to better absorb cancer-fighting nutrients, such as carotenoids, found in vegetables that include spinach and carrots.
Eating avocados has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and they are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid, which offers significant protection against breast cancer.
The potassium content in avocados regulates blood pressure and helps guard against heart disease and strokes, as well as aiding digestion and helping the body flush out toxins.

Best of British Produce – September

Best of British Produce– September

Salads: Cucumbers, Radish, Spring Onion, Wild Rocket, Round Lettuce, Raddichio, Little Gem, Pousse, Lollo Rosso, Oakleaf, Iceberg Lettuce, Cos Lettuce. Tomatoes (inc. Heritage), Watercress, Micro Cresses, Celery
Vegetables: Cauliflower, Swede, Beetroot, Carrots, Leeks, Red & Primo Cabbage, Chantenay Carrots, Broccoli, Piccolo, Celery, Mid Potatoes, Turnips, Green & Purple Curly Kale, Savoy Cabbage, Cavalo Nero, Broccoli, Peas In Pod, Broad Beans, Runner Beans, Bobby Beans, Courgettes, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, New Season Main Crop Potatoes
Fruit: Bramley Cooking Apples, Discovery Apples, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Raspberries, White Currants, Red Currants, Blueberries, Blackberries, Cob Nuts
Foraging: Wild Elderberries,

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 23rd September 2016

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – September 23rd 2016

It’s official – today is the first full day of Autumn after yesterdays Equinox (where the day and night are exactly the same length) and there is plenty of Autumnal produce around to celebrate it. For instance all the Root Vegetables are in their prime now but if your bored with the regular ones then the Chervil Root and Parsley Root season has just kicked off. It does look similar to Parsnips but the taste is completely different, unfortunately it is twice the price. The French Quince Pear season has just started also and although related to apple and pear family, their taste couldn’t be more different with its bitter taste until cooked, the French Pears are the tastiest above all its European rivals and is excellent for jellies. Also from France is the Roscoff Onions that are the stereotypical stringed Onions that ‘Onion Johnny’ the Frenchman delivered on his bicycle in the 1950’s  and what a lovely onion it is and is only grown in the Roscoff area in Brittany. English Cauliflowers & Savoy Cabbages from C.J. Bean in Worth, Kent are a really good size and excellent quality at the moment and prices are very reasonable. Broccoli is also a good price this week. Courgettes still remain a good buy. We’re expecting more produce to arrive from Spain over the next few weeks and this will ease the price of Aubergines and Peppers. 

Pineapples continue to ease in price but Limes are getting even dearer! Peaches & Nectarines are past their best now and tend to be either hard or soft and pappy. We’ve moved over to Peruvian Mandarins for an easy-peeler but they’re still on the dear side. White Grapes are expected to be in very short supply so prices will rise. We are trialling out a new Red Apple from New Zealand called ‘NZ Queen’ it is a bi-coloured apple with a stunning deep red skin colour. They are very crisp and juicy, with a sweet taste and clean white flesh so let us know what you think. English Strawberries are hanging on in there and are still good, so too are the English Blueberries & Raspberries

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 16th September 2016

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – September 16th 2016

Oh no……, not Brussels Sprouts! You know Christmas is only round the corner when these appear on the market. Don’t get me wrong as I love Xmas and I don’t even mind Brussels Sprouts, but I just wish it wouldn’t come around this quick.

Whilst on this theme… Parsnips are more plentiful and a little cheaper, loose Chestnuts are not readily available yet but there are some expensive French Chestnuts in their Cobs available. This time of year there are some great Pumpkins and Squashes around and they greatly vary in colour, size and taste. They should definitely be on your menu somewhere, some of the varieties available are Harlequin, Onion, Gem, Crown Prince and Kabocha Squash, far tastier than our own classic Orange Pumpkin variety. English Corn-on-Cob is still a good buy and Courgettes arriving from just about every European country keep the prices reasonable. English leeks are much better now and more plentiful so we expect prices to ease. Mid Potatoes are getting dearer which is unusual for this time of year. English Broccoli is both good quality and cheaper in price. The French Celeriac with leaf looks outstanding at the moment, a lot better than the English unfortunately. The price of Peppers regardless of colour are all over the place at the moment, so too is Aubergines as there are Spanish arriving too.

Lemons are finally getting cheaper, but the same cannot be said about the Limes, there seems to be enough around but prices are still quite steep. Pineapples remain expensive also and there’s no sign of easing just yet. English Russet Apples, the true classic apple of ‘Waldorf Salad’ is now available, also English Cox’s Apples are starting to arrive. English Victoria Plums may have all but finished but there are still some English ‘Marjorie’s Seedling’ Plums about that are a redder looking variety. If your one of those people that love crispy hard English Conference Pears then now the time to buy them. English Blueberries & Raspberries are still good but the Strawberries are coming to an end and we”ll probably switch to Dutch or Belgium shortly. Lastly, forget about Cherries, the price is horrendous and the quality is now poor and there are still no Lychees available.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 9th September 2016

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – September 9th 2016

Cobnuts are now at their best. A cultivar of the Hazelnut and grown in the UK since the 16th Century, these are great eaten as they are or roasted and added to salads or Game dishes. Other not so obvious English seasonal produce available is Purple/Green Curly Kale, Kohl Rabi. Cavolo Nero, Fennel, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Bobby Beans. Also the English Romanesco is a good size and reasonably priced so too is Broccoli and lastly Baby Kale is great for salads. English Corn-on-Cob is such good value and full of flavour, English Bunch Spinach is good but the large leaf French Spinach is better value. Green Courgettes remain a good Buy and Yellow Courgettes are not overly expensive too. Peppers across the board have eased in price. Nutbourne Nursery in West Sussex are still turning out a delightful selection of Heritage Tomatoes in their mixed box. English Lollo Biando & Oakleaf are coming to an end and we will switch to the continent lettuces if the the quality drops. Mid Potatoes have crept up in price over the last week for no obvious reason and there are still Jersey Royal Ware & Mid Potatoes available.

Extra Sweet Pineapples remain expensive but there seems to be more available so we expect the price to ease over the next week or so. Lemons have remained expensive incessantly but finally prices are easing. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Melons, Galia, Honeydew & Water Melons, are all much higher in price. Cantaloupe seem about the best priced. English Victoria Plums are now ending and have risen in price. English Discovery Apples are ending too but there are some lovely Worcester & Early Windsor Apples to compensate. Easy Peelers are a problem, The South African Nardicots that we’re buying now are the best we can find, but they are expensive and have quite a few pips! English Wye Valley Blueberries are very good and so too are the English Raspberries. We have some good Canadian Cherries available but they are very expensive.

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 2nd September 2016

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – September 2nd 2016

Ever since my cheffy days I’ve always found Pastry Chefs as a bit mad and even back in 1666 on this day (sept 2nd) one of them was blamed for starting the Great Fire of London!

Unfortunately they never had the choice of produce that is available today, we’ve got some great English fruits available in the way of Discovery Apples, Victoria Plums, Kentish Cobnuts to name but a few. Blueberries from the Wye Valley are excellent and we have just started English Conference Pears but you will need reinforced teeth to eat them! From the Continent there very good Mirabelle PlumsGreengages, Fresh Chestnuts in their cobs and Wet Walnuts, but the latter two are in Peter’s words ‘F**ing expensive!’ There some lovely Apricots and Flat Peaches from Spain that are reasonably priced. Pineapples are in really short supply and are expensive, unfortunately a few other lines are still expensive like Melons, Lemons and Oranges (Galia has doubled in price over the last 10 days). The best buy at the moment is Turkish Figs, not only are they cheaper, but they eat fantastically. Lastly, Elderberries are all but finished but we may have a few days left.

Potatoes are easing a little, historically they normally drop in price in September so we’ll have to wait and see. We have been buying some good sized, bold Cauliflowers and Savoy Cabbage from Francis & Son from Lincolnshire. English Broccoli is easing and hopefully will continue to get cheaper. All the English Peas-in-Pod, Broad Beans, Runner Beans and Bobby Beans are still good and plentiful. English Corn-on-Cob are still a good buy, plump and beautifully sweet. We’ll probably switch to French Spinach in a few days as the price has eased. Courgettes continue to be a good buy and finally the Pepper price is starting to ease but Aubergines have shot up in price.