Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 25th August 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  25th August 2017

Firstly a quick reminder that we are closed on Bank Holiday Monday 28th August.

There are some lovely English Apples called ‘Scrumptious’ available for a short period. It is not a new apple as it created in the 1980s by an English apple enthusiast called Hugh Ermen who also raised several other popular modern apple tree varieties such as Red Devil and Hertfordshire Russet. The medium-sized apples are a very appealing shade of red which is over most of the surface of the apple. The sunnier the position the redder the apples turn. The skin is thinner than average making eating them easy for all ages and has more depth of flavour than other early varieties. They will store for a relatively short time when picked, one or two weeks at most. English Conference Pears are also appearing on the market now and are still relatively firm to eat. If your looking for something different then there is a fruit  called a ‘Pluot’ or ‘Plumcot’, as the name suggests they are a Hybrid cross of Plums and Apricots has a relatively short window of availability, about three weeks on average, and each variety has its own unique appearance and flavor attributes. English Cherries are now finished and we’ve moved onto USA fruit, Apricots too are coming to an end. English Cob-Nuts are available and tend to improve the more they mature. Melons are starting to creep up in price particularly Canteloups & Galia. South African Packham Pears are coming to an end too.

There is some lovely produce arriving from Italy, Yellow Beans, White Flat Beans and Round Aubergines are just a few to mention. Water Melon Radish is available and are a good size. English Cauliflower & Broccoli are very reasonably priced, English Corn-on-Cob are too. Yellow Courgettes are still at least twice the price of its Green cousins so should be avoided. English Red Onions are coming much better now. Many varieties of Pumpkins and Squashes are now available and will be for some time so you can adjust your Autumnal Menus accordingly. The cooler weather has made the selection of Wild Mushrooms much better but not particularly cheaper!

 

 

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 11th August 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  11th August 2017

Discovery Apples are still our recommended apple of the week and we’re expecting the Early Windsors & Worcesters to start shortly.

But we do have Bramley Apples started and these are the king of all cooking apples. In fact ALL Bramley Apples to this day originate from the pips that Mary Ann Brailsford planted as a young girl in 1809 at her Nottinghamshire home. In 1846 Matthew Bramley bought the home and in 1856 and a local Nurseryman named Henry Merryweather asked to take cuttings from the tree and named them ‘Bramley seedlings’. This is because a true fruit can only be taken from a parent tree and not from the seeds as when pollinated the seeds can be a cross from another variety. The first recorded sale of the variety is in Henry Merryweather’s book of accounts on 31 October 1862. He sold “three Bramley apples for 2/- to Mr Geo Cooper of Upton Hall”. The original Bramley Apple tree continues to bear fruit to this day. Those few pips planted 200 years ago are responsible for what is today a £37 million industry, with commercial growers across Kent, East Anglia and the West Midlands.

Next week will probably be the last of the English Cherries. There are English Greengages, Victoria Plums and we expect Marjorie Seedling Plums to start soon. English Strawberries are a little scruffy, probably due to the weather so we’re moving onto Belgium for now. Spanish Water Melons are still good value and French Charentais  Melons are our preferred choice of orange flesh at present.

French Globe Artichokes have eased this week but the Jerusalem Artichokes are still very dear. Yellow Courgettes have jumped in price this week but Green Courgettes remain the same. There’s some lovely English Rainbow Chard from Kent and a selection of Baby Veg from Colchester on the market.  Tender Stem Brocccoli from Worcester is very good at the moment and reasonably priced. Cauliflowers are very dear and its due to late planting earlier in the year due to weather but should be OK within two weeks. Peruvian Asparagus is finally easing in price and we expect this trend to follow next week too. English Peas & Broad Beans have been in short supply as they will be coming to an end soon, Runner Beans are still plentiful though. Corn-on-Cob is at its best now and is very good value.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 4th August 2017

Fruit & Vegetable Market Report –  4th August 2017

The English Apple Season has kicked off and as usual ‘Discovery‘ is the first of the earlies. This is a lovely crisp apple but only if eaten fresh, this apple does not keep very well once picked and left out. So for the next few weeks we recommend this apple. Damsons have also started, they are a plum like small fruit with vibrant dark blue skin and a strong, sour flavour, although similar to plums they are actually a member of the rose family.  Damsons are more suitable for cooking than eating raw and are especially good for jams and jellies. For anyone that likes foraging then Elderberries are now available. If you didn’t rob your favourite Elder Tree of all its flowers earlier in the season to make your cordial then there will be some lovely berries available now, alternatively you can purchase them from us. Other English fruits available are lovely large Black Cherries, Victoria Plums, Blackberries, Raspberries, Currants (all colours) & Strawberries. English Rhubarb has now finished though. Turkish Black Figs are becoming plentiful and prices are very reasonable but I’d expect the price to drop even further soon. Lemons & Limes are easing but Oranges are still a problem on both quality & price. French Charentais Melons are wonderful and are our choice of orange flesh melon this week. Lychees are now available.

All English Potatoes are new season now and very good, from Maris Peer New Potatoes, Agria for Chips and Roasting and various varieties for Jackets Potatoes. There is some limited availability knockout English Aubergines (Purple & Striped) from a farm not too far away in Ripley, Surrey. Also some beauteous English Round & Yellow Courgettes from Maldon in Essex. English Green Courgettes in general are not being graded that well at the moment are either too big or too small so we’re buying from European growers. Globe Artichokes are expensive at the moment and Sugar Snaps are up in price too. The rain has affected the quality of English Lettuces and we having to be selective as to which grower we buy from at the moment. We’re getting some stunning Tender Stem Broccoli & Corn on the Cob from Barfoots Farm in West Sussex and prices are reasonable too.