These juicy elder berries, for example, are foraged from a churchyard in Faversham by an enterprising truck driver for the European Salad Company:
The ripe watermelons below are also English – grown for the third successful year in polytunnels up in Staffordshire and sold by wholesaler R Tealing:
Black figs from Turkey are an essential buy this September – abundant, cheap and excellent quality:
English apples, too, are gathering speed. Discovery are over, with Worcester, Cox and russets the main varieties available at time of writing. The first Conference pears are also on hand:
Cobnuts, plums (Victoria and Marjorie’s Seedling) and sloes are also the very best of British:
Other headlines are the arrival of the first of this summer’s squashes, such as these from P & I:
For soft fruit, English strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are still going strong, with redcurrants often from the Continent. Gooseberries are over.
Spanish melons remain a good buy, alongside their nectarines, peaches and apricots. Flat or ‘donut’ varieties are far more scarce.
Note that lemons are unusually expensive, with most supplies from South Africa during this hiatus before the start of the Spanish season:
“Oranges are not as tricky but still difficult. You’ll get a few creeping in from South America but mainly for juicing,” explains Paul Emmett at P & I.
In terms of salads and veg, expect nearly the full range of new season British produce.
Courgettes, runners, broad beans, French beans and small volumes of peas are still on hand.
Spuds now include jackets such as King Edwards. The first parsnips are proving good quality. Brussel sprouts are now on the market and kales are back after the hot spell.
Excellent homegrown kohl rabi and pak choi are also available if you’re after something a touch more exotic:
For ‘shrooms, I loved this tweet from Mushroom Man: “All this damp weather only means one thing … #mushroomstock just got more interesting.”
Indeed, there were a few species I had never seen before, including these Parasols:
You may also find top grade Cep and Girolle from countries including Sweden and Scotland, alongside the occasional Puffball. Trompettes are also in season.
I thought I’d leave you with this pic of one of my favourite roots, the gnarly celeriac:
These join other specialties from over the Channel including Borlotti beans, Jerusalem artichokes, haricot jaune and Globe and Petit Violet artichokes.
I’ll be back next month for the first market report of the autumn.
In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with any questions, queries or comments.