This is our favourite time of year for sheer abundance and variety of fruit and veg. At this point we’re still able to enjoy sun-loving crops like UK tomatoes, basil and sweetcorn as well as a wide variety of dark leafy veg. The brassica section is looking especially swish, with lots of kale, cavolo nero and lovely Northern broccoli from Wass (Yorks) and Gielty (Lancs). Also look out for big heads of cauliflowers, white and Romanesque, from Duncan Gielty as well.
Aubergines continue to shine: the past 6 weeks have seen a steady UK supply that is now starting to dwindle a little. We’re still getting nice numbers in via Libby Flintoff (Preston) and Carey in Herefordshire, but expect some Dutch alongside.
UK plums are going from strength to strength. Carey’s Mallard variety got ‘best plum I ever tasted’ from a couple of members of staff. The next varieties include Jubileum and Marjorie, with Victoria hot on their heels.
As we’re welcoming the start of the French fig and grape season, a bit of background information is needed. France have had their own severe weather conditions this year, all to do with bad timing of frost at blossoming stage and lots of rain during the harvest. This has meant lots of quality issues and reduced availability on stone fruits as well as figs and grapes. French Bourjasotte figs and red grapes (particularly Muscat de Hamburg) are a very special thing with flavour standing head and shoulders above other origins, so make the most of what we have this year!