Wild Garlic is far more plentiful now from Surrey, Hampshire & Norfolk. It is also known as Ramsons or Bear Garlic and is usually found in woodlands. It is slightly sweeter with a more subtle flavour than garlic and can often be used in a similar way to baby spinach. Ideal for salads, pesto, seafood and soups. White flowers follow the leaves later in Spring, which are also edible, but tend to make the leaves more bitter, so best eaten before it flowers.
With some cabbages, such as January King, now finishing and more being imported, some are arriving a little smaller than usual, so many are switching to Tundra Cabbage, which is basically a cross between Savoy and White cabbage and better size-wise, currently from Bedfordshire. Cavalonero, Hispee and most Savoy Cabbages are now imported. Spring Greens are UK grown (Lancashire).
Jersey Royals are coming through in greater quantities as demand increases. They have a unique flavour and are grown on slopes close to the shoreline. The soil on the island of Jersey is well drained and growers will often use seaweed washed up on the beaches as natural fertiliser. Most of our customers opt for the ‘mids’ size and they are very tasty and extremely nutritious. They also have protected designation of origin. Available March through to Summer.
Conference Pears are now being imported and although we are at the end of the season, these very large Red Comice Pears from Kent, are delicious when eaten ripe. They are over 300g each, which is double the weight of most pears!
We are still a few weeks away before end of the UK apple season and the Gala Apples from Kent still taste as good as they did last year.
Also, UK grown: – Yorkshire Rhubarb, Swede, Parsnips, Carrots, Celeriac, Turnips, Beetroot, Leeks, Jacket Potatoes, Chipper Choice, King Edwards, Maris Piper, outdoor Rhubarb, Desiree Potatoes, Kalettes, Jerusalem Artichokes, New Potatoes, Chantenay Carrots, Kale, Micro-herbs, Edible Flowers, Cox Apples, Braeburn Apples, Jazz Apples, Smitten Apples, Comice Pears.
Stunning ‘Fresh’/‘Wet’ Garlic is an alternative to the above, from Egypt, but is considerably more expensive than the standard dry garlic.
Purple (Flesh) Sweet Potatoes (dark skin) and White (Flesh) Sweet Potatoes (purple skin) are available from USA/Brazil, but are always dearer than the standard sweet potatoes, so worth checking on prices first.
These perky Rainbow Radish below are from France bri and brighten any salad bar. Also 10/10 on the colour chart is the Rainbow Chard, which currently comes from Italy. Also from Italy are Broad Beans, Fresh Peas, Cavolonero, San Marzano Tomatoes, Radicchio & Kiwifruit.
From Spain – we think these smaller Spanish Blood Oranges are better than the Italian this year and what they lack in size, they make up for in colour and flavour. Look out for a special offer on these shortly. Also, from Spain,
Strawberries, Romanesque, Peas, Broad Beans, Raf Bleu Tomatoes, Asparagus & Lemons.
Coming in from France are these Crosnes (aka Japanese or Chinese Artichokes) below, which have the appearance of witchetty grubs! They have a crunchy texture and a flavour similar to Jerusalem Artichokes. Also, from France: vibrant Bunched Carrots, Grelot Onions, with Gariguette Strawberries also just starting to come through too.
Nadarcotts (satsumas) are very good quality from Morocco. Red Plums are getting better each week as different varieties become available (S. Africa). Most Pears are imported now, with Conference from Belgium, plus other varieties from S. Africa. Raspberries are decent from Spain and Blueberries & Blackberries are from South America.
There will be Chilean Peaches and Nectarines available, but we have doubts whether the sweetness or flavour will be good enough and it may be worth waiting for the Spanish further down the line.
Many wild mushrooms will certainly be scarcer, as the origins switch from countries such as Portugal to Bulgaria & Eastern Europe. This includes Girolles, Cepes, Trompette and Chanterelles.