Fruit and Veg

Fruit and veg in season this December

Written by Tom Moggach
December 05, 2018

Not long now until Christmas ... Here's a chunky order for sprouts and sprout tops heading to the capital's top restaurants.

All festive favourites are plentiful - including holly for decoration. I grabbed a sprig to take on my travels.

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Holly P And I

Purple sprouts are here; whole sprout stalks are almost too good to eat. (Want to meet a leading sprout grower? See our profile of David and Steve Cook up in Merseyside). 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Purple Sprouts P And I
Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Brussel Stalk P And I

Sprout tops are a winner - cheap, on-trend and very healthy, too.  

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Brussel Tops P And I

For something more unusual, how about kalettes? A cross between a Brussels sprout and kale. 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Kalettes P And I

For British veg, you'll find leeks, carrots, spuds, onions, swedes, turnips, parsnips, kales (more info here), beets, Rainbow chard, cauliflowers and lovely Romanesco.

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Romaneco P And I

Cabbages of all kinds are on hand. Savoy is a definite highlight. January King has arrived for its short season. 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 January King P And I

Here's a flash to give you a sense of what's on offer.

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Flash P And I

Christmas menus often call for dainty veg to decorate the plate. Rainbow Chantenay carrots are always popular, along with the diminutive Piccolo parsnips. 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Piccolo Parsnip P And I

Continental specialties include aubergines, puntarella, radicchios, courgettes, peppers, crosnes (pictured below; a.k.a Chinese artichokes) and winter tomato varieties such as Costaluto. 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Crosnes French Garden

This is still peak season for English apples and pears. This variety is a rare one - Taylor's Gold, spotted at wholesaler P & I. Russets, Braeburn, Cox, Conference and Comice also available. (For recipe ideas, see our Chef's Guide). 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Pear Taylors Gold P And I

Lychees are an essential for December. 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Lychees

Citrus of all kinds is in its prime: leafy clems, Navel oranges, bergamot, cedro and more. This image also shows the humungous Sicilian pomegranates, part of the Italian range at European Salad Company

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Pomegranate European Salad Company

Quince is typically French or Turkish. Lovely baked or poached. 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Quince

Fruit from the southern hemisphere, especially South America, includes pineapples, mangoes and figs. 

There are plenty of nuts on the market, including terrific chestnuts, walnuts and bags of mixed nuts. Dates and dried figs also available - try wholesaler H G Walker

It's not a great time for berries. This pallet of blackberries was over at French Garden, but strawberries tend to be dull in flavour. Blueberries and raspberries are probably your best bet. 

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Blackberries London Fresh

Wild mushrooms include Trompette, Chanterelle and Cep. Leading wholesalers are The Mushroom Man and Bruce White.  

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Chanterelle

This image gives you a sense of the scale of operations here on the market. December is always a crazy busy month - this gives the place a lovely buzz. See you in 2019.

Fruit And Veg Market Report December 2018 Loading Bay P And I
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