Okay, so what’s been happening since last we spoke. Well, for one thing, Spanish Apricots have arrived in the market. A tad pale, not exactly huge in stature and still somewhat firm in texture, the sample I was given to try was nevertheless very juicy and just about sweet enough to conclude that about another week should see them worthy of consideration. Please be advised, however, that, as with new season Spanish Peaches and Nectarines, they’ll not be cheap and it might be wise of you to ask for a price before committing yourselves.
The seasonal switch from Spanish to Dutch Strawberries can be a bit confusing due to the fact that traditionally each come in different punnet sizes, with the Spanish usually packed in 250g punnets and the Dutch in 500g. Furthermore, each are graded differently, with the Dutch fruits tending to be of a smaller and more consistent size. This means that mid-way through the transition it’s not always possible to pre-determine which variety you’ll end up with. Well, I’m pleased to announce that the changeover is now complete and that henceforth all your strawberries will be Dutch and in 500g punnets – until, that is, English Strawberries come on stream, which usually come in either 250g, or more often in 400g punnets.
Another seasonal switch from Spanish to Dutch produce which is now complete and will consequently make life easier for everyone is that which concerns Capsicums. You’ll therefore no longer have to worry about inconsistencies in size or colouration. There is a downside, though, which is that Dutch peppers will be more expensive.
New season, in the husk Corn-On-The-Cob has just arrived in the market. The ones pictured are from Senegal, but I’ve been informed that Turkish are also available. Homegrown varieties aren’t likely to make an appearance until June, but in the meantime, these ones, I think, look rather promising.
English Outdoor Rhubarb seems to have become more plentiful since last we spoke. Indoor-grown Dutch Champagne Rhubarb, however, appears to be less than abundant.
After what seems to have been an eternity in the wilderness, French Heritage/Heirloom Tomatoes are now fully back on stream and have become our standard offering. Their English-grown counterparts are still available, but you’ll need to ask for them specifically.
Both Italian Fresh Peas in the pod (pictured) and Italian Fresh Broad Beans are currently plentiful and highly recommended.
Savoy Cabbage is currently experiencing major issues resulting from English winter crops coming to an end, combined with low volumes of Spanish imports. It’s likely, therefore, that for the time being we may need to replace them with Hispi. Purple Sprouting Broccoli is not looking its best at present, having become pale, limp and starting to produce white flowering buds. At the time of writing we haven’t yet decided to take it off sale, but our advice nevertheless is to avoid it. Tenderstem Broccoli is still going strong, though.