More hats to come later, but in the meantime over to the December produce ….
All your Christmas staples are available, including clementines and satsumas, Brussels and their tops, lychees, cranberries, chestnuts, mistletoe and even whopping big Christmas trees.
Chantenay carrots and Piccolo parsnips are another festive pick. Check out these lovely purple Chantenay from P&I:
On the fruity side, English apples and pears are still eating well. Expect Cox, Braeburn, russet, Bramley, a little Spartan, Conference and Comice:
Try Brazilian mangoes and paw paws for something more exotic. They are also sending figs and melons:
Turkish or Iranian pomegranates are another highlight:
Grapes are typically from South Africa, Namibia and Turkey:
You may also spot quinces, Dutch rhubarb, raspberries, blueberries and redcurrants, and all manner of other exotics – especially custard apples and Sharon fruit - and much more besides …
Before the veg, here’s another tasty bit of headgear. Can you name the wearer?
Note that British broccoli is now over, but kales are going strong – including red, curly and these weird and wonderful varieties from up North:
Cabbages of all kinds (including red) are in fine fettle:
There are some homegrown caulis to be but supplies are also from the Continent. Expect plenty of winter squashes, too.
For roots, it’s a fine time for carrots, beets (purple, golden and candied), spuds, celeriac, and Jerusalem artichokes. These knobble specimens are English, from S Thorogood & Sons:
English salads are over, but there are feisty leaves from the Continent, including mustards, rocket and stunning Italian radicchio.
Artichokes – Petit Violet and Globe – are worth a look:
Other Continental veg includes celery, globe courgettes (green and yellow), cardoons, ice plant, cime di rapa and Romanesco cauliflowers. Flat leaf parsley is excellent at this time of year. Fennel is also a good bet:
For something more unusual, how about these Oca – a weird and wonderful tuber for sale at European Salad Company:
French Garden are also still selling bergamot – an amazing citrus featured in last month’s report:
These chillies below will bring a welcome splash of colour. Padron and excellent Italian peppers also available:
On the mushroom front, expect all of the wilds except for morels. In the picture below they are sorting out their Shiitake at Mushroom Man:
Christmas trees are abundant, courtesy of the Rogers family who ply their wares at this time of year. “Trees – wholesale, retail, 24/7 – call us on 07765 845813. We aren’t afraid of big orders,” says Jo Rogers, with a grin:
See you for next month’s report in 2015. Merry Christmas!
As always, feel free to drop me a line with any comments or queries.