J U N E - J U L Y
All being well, hopefully the hospitality industry takes another step forward at the end of June, which could be great timing with all the superb produce around currently.
English Strawberries – we are looking forward to working with Annabel’s Deliciously British Strawberries again this Summer. These look and taste exquisite. Grown in West Yorkshire and are amongst the best strawberries we have ever had. As well as being fantastic growers, every thought is given to the environment, from biodegradable punnets (both 500g and 1kg) through to using excess fruit to make conserves. It is a great time of the year for strawberries, with many sporting events happening this month and we should not forget how healthy they are a great source of vitamin C, very rich in antioxidants and contain calcium, for healthy teeth and bones. All of this and taste sublime.
In early July, we will also be sourcing British Cherries from Annabel’s too. Other UK grown berries will start to arrive in the coming weeks including Raspberries, Blackberries & Blueberries, with Gooseberries to follow.
Still going strong are the wonderful Heritage Tomatoes from Nutbourne Nurseries in Sussex.
UK Broccoli, although late, has now started. Both Red & White Cabbages remain an issue currently as both are imported (at much higher prices) until UK becomes available. Parsnips are finishing (replaced by Spanish), as is Wild Garlic.
Also from the UK: Asparagus, Jersey Royals, fresh Peas, Spring Greens, Cucumbers, Swede, Beetroot, Kale, Pak Choi, Chinese Cabbage, Celeriac, Shallots, Bramley Apples, Onions, Baby Leaves, Mizuna, Rocket, Little Gem, Lollo Rossa/Bondi, Cos Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Iceberg Lettuce, Watercress, Peashoots, Spinach, Celeriac, New Potatoes, Rainbow Chard and Cavolonero.
Also, popular right now are these Cucumber Flowers and Borage Flowers, expertly grown by Nurtured in Norfolk
The stonefruit so far from Spain has been very good quality, particularly Apricots, which have been good size and excellent flavour. Round Peaches and Nectarines are also very good and Flat/Donut Peaches too. We are still a few days or so away from the South African Clementines starting, which should be an improvement on the Peruvian Satsumas.
Although the UK grown ones are not far away, the Cherries from Spain, Italy & France (below) are all good quality and eat well.
There is some good quality Grapes around at the moment, including Royal Sweet (below) and White Vittoria.
These smaller Charentais (below) are better quality, but smaller in size than Cantaloupe, Galia and Honeydew. Staying with melons, these XXL Long Watermelons (below) from Morocco are also available, but dearer as they are often 7/8kg+ in weight. All apples and pears are now imported and will remain so until the Autumns, when the UK-grown begin again.
There is some pretty impressive produce coming from Italy and France at the moment, including these White Cannellini Flat Beans & next to them, Round Yellow Courgettes. Also the Grelots or Tropea Onions below look and taste incredible.
There are smaller UK Cauliflowers around currently but the French ones are larger, plus these colourful Orange & Purple Cauliflowers, and Romanesque. (all below)
The first of the fresh Sweetcorn in husks are available. They usually start from Morocco, then France before the UK is available later in the Summer – perfect for outdoor dining.
Elsewhere, there are Baby Mangoes from Colombia, Lychees from Mexico, Pineberries (Holland), Camone Brown Tomatoes (Ita), Fuji Apples (Fra), "Smitten" Apples (N. Zealand), Roscoff Onions (Fra), Papaya (Braz), Borlotti Beans (Ita), Ratte Potatoes (Fra) Courgette Flowers (Holl) and Morels.