Fruit and Veg

May's Fruit and Veg Market Report

Written by Tom Moggach
May 01, 2014

It’s all systems go. Asparagus is flooding in from all over – more on this prize crop later …

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Asparagus

Other headlines include the start of the Spanish season for cherries, melons, peaches, nectarines and apricots – all should begin eating well this month:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Cherries
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Peaches

For the produce geeks, you might even spot the nispero (a.k.a. loquat), a lesser-spotted fruit also from Spain:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Nispero

British strawberries are gathering speed, competing with imports from Belgium and others (see pic below for some Dutch). Spanish growers are now winding down:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Strawberries

British raspberries are worth a shout, as well as outdoor rhubarb:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Raspberries
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Rhubarb

As for lovely asparagus, you’ll find supplies from all over, including Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Herefordshire. All grades available, along with purple varieties, white forced and even wild (from the Continent):

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 White Asparagus
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Wild Asparagua

Another bonus is that homegrown tomatoes are starting to offer proper flavour, such as these mixed boxes over at Bruce White:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Tomatoes

For salads, the English season is with us. It started with Little Gem and baby leaf, then Iceberg and Cos, with larger Lollo Rosso, Lollo Biondi, oak leaf, endive and similar following towards the middle of May.

“We’re about a month ahead of last year,” explains Nick Padley at Side Salads, who can be admired below modeling some splendid spring onions:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Nick Padley

Watercress is also on hand, both English and French, along with a a red variety (first picture below) from The Watercress Company in Dorset:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Red Watercress
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Watercress

From the Continent, you’ll find plenty of radish and boxes of chunkier salads that have enjoyed a head start, such as these from The French Garden:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Mixed Salads

On the spud front, “Jerseys are getting cheaper by the week,” explains Matt Mole at P & I. You will also find new potatoes from Cornwall, Cyprus and others:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Potatoes

Leeks remain a bargain buy. (“So cheap – never seen this in eleven years of selling,” says Matt). 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Leeks

Peas and broad beans are available, often Italian:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Peas

Artichokes from the Continent include Jerusalem, globe and violet types:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Artichokes

For herbs and related specialties, wild garlic is hanging on in there. Even better are their flowers – a fabulous ingredient, with a sweet and subtle garlic flavour. Here are some bunches from European Salad, who also have bags of nettle tops: 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Garlic Flowers

Courgette flowers and cucumber flowers, the latter from Westlands and sold by Neil Brown Herbs and Premier Fruits, are another ingredients to turn the heads of even the most fussy foodie:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Cucumber Flowers

For wild mushrooms, ceps are unavailable but you’ll find plenty of girolles, St George’s (in first picture below), mousseron, morels (second picture below) and more:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Saint George Mushrooms
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Morel Mushroom

These ‘shrooms would be divine sautéed with some wet garlic:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2014 Wet Garlic

It’s worth noting that most British brassicas are now out of season, for example Cavolo Nero, purple sprouting and Savoy cabbage.

It’s certainly an epic report this month – but just you wait. Summer will be even better.

Do drop me a line with any comments or questions. We always love you getting in touch.

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