So what’s buzzing this month? "Cherries, apricots … colourful vegetables," replies a smiling Leonie Taka, buyer at Wild Harvest, as she works her way along the Buyer’s Walk.
Peaches and nectarines join her list of stone fruit. Their season in southern Europe has just begun. British cherries are still a few weeks away. "We’ll find out how they got through the weather," says Roger Garber, salesman at Premier Fruits.
Early gooseberries are my fruity highlight, surely the most quintessential of British fruits. The first punnets from Kent are pricey, but this will drop sharply.
Redcurrants (often Dutch), home-grown raspberries and strawberries are readily available. No sign of whitecurrants so far.
Another lovely sight are the first proper melons, including Charentais, Honeydew or Galia (best value).
From Italy and France, there’s excellent quality wet garlic, borlotti, haricots, courgettes, pale aubergines, artichokes (including Petit Violet), agretti and watermelons.
It’s the very last chance for Sicilian blood oranges. Suppliers of above include L’Orto di Sorrento, The French Garden and S Thorogood & Sons.
For something special, The French Garden stocks wild asparagus, La Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes, and the last wild garlic.
Also look out for morels, girolles and mouserron mushrooms. The best selection is from specialist The Mushroom Man.
For home-grown greenery, expect peas, broad beans, spinach, salads and cavolo nero. Purple sprouting is over.
Asparagus is currently a touch more expensive because of cooler weather after the early gluts. "It’s definitely making more money," explains Nick Padley, salesman at Sidesalads. "They’re cutting straight from the fields."
As for spuds, Jersey Royals (mids and ware) are decent value. Cornish are a little cheaper. Ambo, washed Estima, Piper and Cypress are also available.
Cauliflowers are a problem – the cold winter led to late planting. "We’ve had to go abroad – Germany and Holland," explains Peter Creswell on P&I Fruits. Onions are also in between seasons.
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