Colour comes in the form of the dark greens and purples of British brassicas, such as sprouts and tops, kales, purple sprouting and cabbages of all kinds.
The newer purple varieties are also available if you want to turn diners' heads.
Other British lines in December include apples and pears from store (typically Cox, Braeburn, Bramley, Comice and Conference), roots (onions, carrots, beets, parsnip, turnips, swede, Jerusalem artichokes etc.), Rainbow Chard, squashes and even the last of the British salads - such as these radicchio in the second photo below, sold by H G Walker.
The display below from The French Garden shows a glimpse of the best from the Continent.
Specialties include salsify (first picture below), Romanesco, fennel, celery, crosnes, radish, aubergines, radicchio, shallots, peppers and more. Salads are typically from southern France and Spain. At this time of the year, Morocco also becomes an important exporter of crops such as chillies and tomatoes.
Wet garlic is a lovely niche crop, with its subtle and sweet flavour.
I couldn't resist a box of Padron peppers - bought fresh, they hold up well and are delicious fried until lightly charred then served with a good pinch of flakey salt.
On the fruit front, this is an excellent month for pomegranates, quince, custard apples, and mangoes. Figs are typically Peruvian or Brazilian. At time of writing, lychees are still air freight (i.e. expensive) but by early December this should switch to sea.
This is also the season for grapes and stone fruit from South Africa, which is now eating reasonably well: plums, peaches, apricots and nectarines.
Don't forget it's a prime time for nuts, dates and cranberries. If you are on Buyers' Walk, check out the range of dried nuts and fruits over at Gilgrove.
Soft fruit is still available - strawberries from The Netherlands and Belgium, with some posh fruit from France. Other berries are from far flung corners.
Author: Tom Moggach