Farmers across the UK breathe a sigh of relief this week as sunshine and warmth trigger a much-needed growth spurt to crops delayed by the unseasonably cold start to the year. We welcome our first delivery today from Preston stalwart Libby Flintoff, her spinach beet and peppery rocket are as fresh and green as one could hope a leaf to be. Alongside beautiful spring onions from Lancashire neighbours Ward and Thompson, good value spring greens form Duncan Gielty in Ormskirk and a trickle of courgettes and aubergines, the UK season is finally kicking into action.
New season Dutch aubergines and peppers are both tasting fantastic at the moment, we’d recommend cooking on the barbecue for an extra smoky quality. PSB remains sweet and tender too, we’ve been cooking ours with pasta for a quick midweek supper.
We’ve mentioned it several times already but the apple supply is very difficult at the moment. For the first time in Unicorn history we’ll be down to one single variety of apple this weekend! In a typical year we’d still be on English apples from storage but late frosts in May 2017 resulted in the loss of a lot fruit across Europe. The shortage has had a knock on effect to supplies world wide and the early imports of Southern Hemisphere varieties can’t meet market demands. In short, we’ll try to get more varieties as soon as we can.
Luckily we’ve plenty of other fruits to choose from. Gorgeous local rhubarb from Dunham Massey; Ortanique clementines, although tricky to peel, have an amazing tang and flavour; Spanish raspberries are tasting fantastic and mangoes from Burkina Faso are offering good tropical value. On the horizon next week: melons and nectarines! It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer…