The most exciting new kid on the block this week is new season bunched beetroot! We have already seen a few bunches via Farmstart in Stockport, but now the supply kicks off in earnest as Strawberry Fields in Lincolnshire have started harvesting their crop. First in are classic red beets, with the stripy variety ‘chioggia’ arriving on Friday. The leaves are absolutely edible, but taste best cooked – lightly sautéed or steamed, not unlike chard.
Moving onto to a quick update on tomatoes from the Isle of Wight: The flavour is getting close to fully developed and all varieties are tasting incredible. The larges vines are juicy and sweet- tasting of sunshine. They obviously make for a great paring with basil, which will be available in small amounts from Thursday from Strawberry Fields (Lincs) and Ward & Thompson (near Blackpool).
We’ve reached the end of the European season for staple fruits. This means sourcing them from the Southern Hemisphere via boat. Apples, pears and kiwis have moved have moved to Argentina and Chile already and soon all citrus will originate from South Africa. We get less than excited about these products at this time, since we’d rather focus on seasonal produce grown closer to home.
Luckily, the UK fruit range is about to expand. In addition to the lovely strawberries from Whitethorn Farm, we’re expecting cherries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries from their orchard in Herefordshire next week. In the meantime, pink and orange blushed apricots varieties from both France and Spain are coming in thick and fast – some great flavours and textures!