Fruit & Vegetable Market Report – 2nd June 2017
This week and next is probably the best weeks for picking Elderberry flowers. The flowers are sweet, honey-scented clusters of white that when used fresh, make deliciously sweet cordials and liqueur – the famous and globally known of which is probably St Germain’s, it is available in most good supermarkets and is great added to some Fizz to have with your BBQ.
According to the company’s website, the picked flowers are bicycled to a collection depot (yep, bicycled) where they are immediately macerated to preserve the fresh flavours of the bloom. Extracting the flavours of this flower is not an easy process, and the Saint Germain company keeps theirs a family secret.
We are getting sporadic supplies of Elder flowers now so give us a call to order yours if you’ve no time to pick your own.
June is such a plentiful month for English Produce and none better than the Baby Vegetables that are coming through from various farms in the Home Counties, there is some great Baby Heritage varieties too. English Jerusalem Artichokes have re-started, all the English Lettuces are great, so too is Spring Greens, Baby Bok Choi, Broad Beans, Celery, Peas, Baby Spinach & Rocket. Spanish Broccoli is ending so we’ll probably switch to English this week. Courgettes still remain a good buy and English Cauliflowers will be cheaper next week. English Cornish Washed Mids are great so if you don’t mind paying a little more then these are a must. Spanish Tenderstem Broccoli is great but not the cheapest. Lemon Balm & Lemon Verbena are now available.
Our Norfolk Asparagus grower informs us the he intends to stop cutting around the 15th of this month and this is in line with most other growers, this is a little earlier than normal due to the season starting earlier. The reason they can be so precise is that they know they can only cut for about 6-8 weeks, after that the plant has to mature into ferns so as to put energy back into the ‘Crowns’ for next years crop. Quite unexpectedly Iron Bark Pumpkins have become non-existent so are not available at the moment. The Wild Mushroom selection is still poor but the Girolles are quite good.
All the berries – Blueberries, Raspberries & Strawberries are reasonable at the moment (except Redcurrants). Spanish Plums are slowly getting more plentiful, they look great but are still very ‘tart’. Lemons & Grapefruits remain dear and Limes are creeping up too. We’re in a little lull regarding Spanish Honeydew & Water Melons, supplies are very short as we finish from the north and await the start of the south so prices have jumped up this week. There are some great Cherries around arriving from all over Europe so we expect the prices to tumble soon. The expected glut of Peaches & Nectarines has not happened yet so prices are much the same. Apricots are still great and totally recommended.