Advance Notice: Bank Holiday Closure
We’d like to remind customers in advance that Monday May 27 is a Bank Holiday and there will be no deliveries on that day – although the office will be open from 3pm-11pm. Deliveries for Saturday 25th (by prior arrangement only) will take place as usual and the office will be open from 8am-11am. At all other times throughout the weekend an automated answering service will be in operation to receive orders and messages.
The arrival of Flat Peaches (aka, Directors’ Peaches, Donut Peaches, Saturn Peaches or Paraguayos) is always greatly anticipated. Well, anticipate no more, because they have in fact arrived in the market. Imagine a peach resembling a miniature cushion tailor-made for a doll, with pale, opalescent flesh that’s had all the tartness removed and replaced with vanilla. Quite simply, they are amongst the sweetest, tenderest and most succulent fruits the inside of your mouth is ever likely to accommodate. As always, though, a few words of caution, which are that, being only just-in-season, their quality can initially be unpredictable and their price rather high. And the good news regarding Spanish new season Stone Fruits in general doesn’t end there, because any and all restrictions on the sale of Cherries, Apricots, Peaches and Nectarines have now been lifted and consequently you are now at liberty to fill your boots.
After a period during which the Purple Cauliflower available in the market was limited to some pale and patchy French examples, my last visit a mere couple of days ago yielded some lovely new season Italian ones whose colouration was much deeper and more evenly distributed. Purple cauliflower shouldn’t be thought of as an heirloom or heritage variety, but merely a naturally occurring variant of the more common white cauliflower and whose colour is the result of the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is the same as is found in red cabbage and red grapes.
Italian Romanesco, too, is looking rather lovely - and for the benefit of those for whom the name might still be somewhat elusive, Romanesco is the one that looks a bit like a luminous green cauliflower with peaked, conifer-like florets, and which isn’t in fact a cauliflower but a relative of broccoli, hence its broccoli-like flavour. The advantage Romanesco has over both Purple (and Orange) Cauliflower is that it retains almost all its colour when cooked. Before I move on, I’d just like to mention that our regular White Cauliflower is English, generously proportioned, clean looking, vibrantly white and all-round stunning.
Wet Garlic is newly harvested, new season garlic that hasn’t had a chance to dry-out during long periods in storage, which means it’s juicier, more tender, less pungent and more aromatic compared to the garlic to which we're more accustomed. It’s greater succulence and milder taste means that its juice alone can be used quite liberally to flavour all manor of sauces and dressings. Furthermore, it doesn’t have those papery membranes separating the cloves, which means it can be roasted whole whilst still enshrouded by its thick, leathery outer skin without any additional preparation, either before or after cooking. Anyway, the upshot is that new season French Wet Garlic has just arrived in the market.
The milder weather means that we’re on track to see a switch from imported to home-grown Lollobiondi, Lollorosso and Oakleaf towards the end of the month.