We’re starting with an update on European produce this week. It’s a time of transition. While UK and Dutch summer crops (courgettes and tomatoes) are really tailing off now, the Spanish crops aren’t quite ready to start yet, leaving us scrabbling around to find some! French figs and grapes are coming to an end as well, making way for lovely autumnal fruits. Pomegranates are really coming into their own in terms of taste and value, clementines and mandarins are improving in sweetness, and Spanish new season oranges are fresh and juicy.
Closer to home, salad leaves from Glebelands market garden in Sale now contain wintery leaves, such as radicchio, rossa italiana and a variety of mustards and endives, creating a beautifully colourful mix, that will brighten up any plate of food. Baked potato and salad, anyone? Also look out for their true spinach. It’s very tender and flavoursome. We’re getting 3 deliveries this week.
The brassica range keeps expanding, now featuring January King cabbages from Wass (Yorks) and vibrant spring greens from Duncan Gielty in Ormskirk. Pak choi from Ward & Thompson is an unexpected delight too. In the summer they lost most of their lettuce harvest after heavy rainfall flooded their tunnels near Blackpool. Yvonne and Barry decided to plant pak choi instead and it paid off; the crop did very well and will see us through until the frosts arrive.
And finally, a proper treat: UK walnuts! We have one supplier that does these – Windmill Orchards in Oxfordshire. In 2017 Sima installed a kiln so she can provide the walnuts dried, giving us the opportunity to offer them all the way through to Christmas. They stand out for their creaminess and richness of flavour.