Fruit and Veg

September's Fruit and Veg Market Report

Written by Tom Moggach
September 01, 2014

As summer edges into autumn, it’s a terrific time to enjoy both classic produce and some more unusual nuggets.

These juicy elder berries, for example, are foraged from a churchyard in Faversham by an enterprising truck driver for the European Salad Company:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Elder Berries

The ripe watermelons below are also English – grown for the third successful year in polytunnels up in Staffordshire and sold by wholesaler R Tealing:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Watermelon

Black figs from Turkey are an essential buy this September – abundant, cheap and excellent quality: 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Figs

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:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Worcester Copy
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Cox

Cobnuts, plums (Victoria and Marjorie’s Seedling) and sloes are also the very best of British:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Cobnuts

Other headlines are the arrival of the first of this summer’s squashes, such as these from P & I:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Squash
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Squashes

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. 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Melon Copy
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Nectarines Copy

Note that lemons are unusually expensive, with most supplies from South Africa during this hiatus before the start of the Spanish season:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Lemons

“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:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Pakchoi

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:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 Parasol Mushroom

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:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report September 2014 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. 

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