Fruit and Veg

Fruit and veg in season this February

Written by Tom Moggach
February 01, 2018

These Bird's Eye chillies are a feast for the eyes. But can you guess the ingredient below...?

I'll give you a clue - it's an exotic spotted at Gilgrove, kindly modelled by a passing trader. Often sold dried or pickled, it's rare to see it so squeaky fresh.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Chinese Ginger

No question as to what's the British-grown highlight for February - Yorkshire forced rhubarb. Here they're loading up an order at H G Walker

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Packing Rhubarb

Here you can see the slimmer Grade 2 rhubarb - often used for desserts and drinks. You'll find much more detail on this amazing ingredient in last month's Chef's Guide

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Forced Rhubarb

For British veg, it's the roots and brassicas that impress. There's some excellent homegrown Jerusalem artichokes about. (Try S Thorogood & Sons). 

Cauliflowers, purple sprouting, kales, broccoli, turnips and parsnips are all a good call.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Brassicas
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Broccoli

Some will also hail from across the Channel, such as these carrots (from Italy) or Hispi (Portugal).

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Carrots
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Hispi Cabbage

Other prime ingredients from the Continent include artichokes, agretti, radicchio, celery, watercress, garlic, puntarelle, cime di rapa, winter tomatoes (e.g. Camone), peppers, radish (red heart; blue; winter), and courgettes and aubergines in all shapes and sizes.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Artichokes
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Cime Di Rapa
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Fennel

It's slowly edging towards the end of the season for citrus from Southern Europe - blood oranges, clementines, Navel oranges, cedro and bergamot. 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Blood Oranges
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Clementines

If you hunt hard, there are small batches of peas and broad beans - an early taste of spring - from Spain and Italy. 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Broadbeans

South African grapes and stone fruit (including cherries) are still going strong. (You'll also find plenty of strawberries for Valentine's - but their flavour may be wanting at this time of year.)

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Apricots
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Grapes

Other fruit that caught my eye include these figs and air-freight pineapple from Worldwide Exotics

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Figs
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report February 2018 Mini Pineapple

By the way, the answer to the quiz question is Lesser Ginger, a.k.a. Kra Chai. This rhizome is a favourite in authentic Thai cooking. More info can be found here. See you next month .. 

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