Less surprising was my next random encounter. See the Rolls Royce below? Well, it was a box of finest English cherries that were the first purchase I saw loaded into its enormous boot.
These homegrown cherries are a definite highlight for July, available alongside imports from Spain. Melons, including watermelons, are another summery buy:
British soft fruits are in full swing, including strawberries, redcurrants, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and both red and green gooseberries:
Flat or ‘donut’ peaches and nectarines are always popular and eating well. These join apricots, peaches and plums, mostly Spanish:
There’s also plenty of chunky outdoor British-grown rhubarb to add a tarter note:
On the veg front, the first runners have arrived to join the English peas and broad beans:
I spotted these rather choice Fagiolo Corallo beans at European Salads, modeled here alongside the more easy-to-find Haricots Beurre:
Beautiful Borlotti are also on hand:
There are plenty of excellent tomatoes of all shapes and sizes. Also English and Continental courgettes (including round green and yellow) and their flowers, plus larger marrows:
On the leafy side, expect a full range of English herbs and salads including spring onions and watercress. Admire this chock-full display at Side Salads:
The lovely spinach below is from P&I Veg:
This Rainbow chard is English, too:
For chunkier veg, there’s excellent mid potatoes, including Jersey Royals and others from Norfolk and Cornwall.
Cabbages include Primo, Hispi and Savoy. Broccoli and caulis steady, alongside parsnip, swedes and beets.
For something a bit more unusual, English Globe artichokes are also on hand from traders such as S Thorogood:
It’s pretty much the end of asparagus, although you may still find the last batches about, such as these purple spears at Gilgrove:
Specialties on the market include enormous banana shallots , this fabulous purple garlic at The French Garden, wild mushrooms (mostly Pied Bleu, Girolle, Trompette; a little Morel), fresh almonds, and sparkly ice plant:
As I walked the market, a random straw poll picked Germany to win this year.
It’s beautiful down here on these sunny mornings, so pop down to enjoy the show:
As ever, feel free to drop me a line with any comments and queries. See you next month.