O C T O B E R
With many restaurants and offices only partially open or closed currently, the demand for Halloween Pumpkins may be less this year, but the occasion can still be celebrated and as Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, it can be enjoyed amongst families (or small groups obviously).
We will still have plenty to go around and don’t forget they are not just for carving, as the flesh can be used for soups = zero waste. The varieties are mainly Racer and Harvest Moon and are grown locally in Essex and Hertfordshire, so food milage is very low.
The other squashes around are at their best and extremely tasty and nutritious. They are all UK grown – in March, Cambridgeshire by specialist growers Bedlam Farm, who amongst other vegetables, specialise in growing organic squashes. The list of different varieties can be ever changing but some of the most popular are below. Left to right - Turk's Turban, Acorn, Crown Prince, Delicata, Onion & Kabocha Squashes.
DDP has always been a strong supporter of British Apples and championing them for 40 years. Although National Apple Day falls on a Wed 21st, we always try to use the whole week at least to celebrate this traditional British fruit. English Apples are usually available from September through to the Spring. According to many growers, the warm days and cooler nights we had back in April/May were perfect growing conditions for apples, so quality should be spot on.Sometimes the UK grown apples are not as ‘gleaming’ in appearance as the imported ones, but they certainly make up for this in flavour. They are crisp, sweet, juicy, cost less and more importantly, are locally grown - within 40-50 miles of Central London. The most popular varieties are Cox, Gala, Braeburn, Russet, and Spartan. If you require any specific information on each variety, please let us know.
Despite everything else going on, we were still able to celebrate British Food Fortnight recently and the fantastic range of UK grown produce available to us and our customers.
As well as lots of great photos, there was also a DDP Q&A blog created by New Covent Garden Market, which you can view by clicking on this link below: -
Although many items such as lettuces will be imported any time now, there is still plenty of UK grown produce around including, Broccoli, Green Kale, Purple Kale, Bramley Apples, Parsnips, Piccolo Parsnips, Carrots, Chantenay Carrots, Leeks, Swede, Turnips, Jacket Potatoes, Maris Piper, King Edward, Chippers Choice Potatoes, Red Desiree Potatoes, Raspberries, Celery, Marrows, New Potatoes, Savoy Cabbage, Hispee Cabbage, Beetroot, Heritage Beetroot, Purple Broccoli, Celeriac, Onions, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Rainbow Chard, Cavolonero, Peashoots, Edible Flowers & Microherbs.
October is often the point where there is a change in seasons and switch of origins for a lot of produce used in the UK.
On the fruit side, Leafy Clementines should start to come through in larger sizes shortly and in greater numbers. The switch from Nadorcotts to Satsumas is happening now. Black Figs from Turkey remain excellent quality and value. Red Plums are coming from Italy in the main. Most berries are now imported with Blueberries and Blackberries from South America. Raspberries will remain UK grown for a couple of weeks or so and Strawberries are now imported from Holland. There are foreign apples and pears available, but the UK grown varieties represent the best flavour and value. Kiwifruit is good quality and from Italy. Grapes are coming from Spain for Red/Flame and Italy for Green/White.
There are some really attractive Pomegranates from Spain currently and also Kaki (persimmon) [below] again from Spain Although supply has been a bit hit and miss, Baby Kiwi or Kiwiberries [below] have been available.
Citrus including medium and large Oranges are in short supply as the South African season is nearly over and there is a lack of Spanish available for a couple of weeks or more. This will have a knock-on effect on market prices. Avocadoes will change from Peru to Chile shortly, which may see prices change late October/November. All Melons now are coming in from South America. Limes, Lemons, Mangoes & Papaya are also all from South America.
On the veg side, Aubergines and Courgettes always prove a bit trickier at this time of year, as origins shift to Spain, along with Peppers and salads. There is usually much heavier rainfall around this time of year in Kenya, which may affect Beans, Mangetout & Sugarsnaps over the next few weeks.
Now is good timing for Wild Mushrooms, including Chanterelles, Pied de Mouton, Trompette, Pied Bleu and the pick of the bunch, Girolles, [left] which are superb quality at the moment.