Fruit and Veg

January's Fruit and Veg Market Report

Written by Tom Moggach
January 03, 2017

What food trends might we expect in 2017? Weirder predictions include blue-algae coffee and flours made from pulverised insects. Surer bets are authentic dumplings, proper tacos and more starring roles for humble veg.

Whatever the outcome, traders at the Market can focus on what they do best: sourcing tip top fresh produce.

Forced rhubarb is now in full flow, fresh from the forcing sheds near Wakefield in Yorkshire. (For more detail on this ingredient, see my Product Profile from 2015.)

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Forced Rhubarb

In my opinion, we should be shouting louder about the health benefits of this neon-pink wonder – forced rhubarb is packed with polyphenols and oxalic acid, which helps to cleanse and detoxify the body. Forced rhubarb is available from traders such as H G Walker and P & I.

Other British produce in its prime include the brassicas: sprouts and tops, purple sprouting, kales and cabbages, such as January King and the Savoy in second picture below.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Brussel Sprouts
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Savoy Cabbage

Flower sprouts – a cross between kale and Brussel sprouts – are your on-trend choice, available from wholesalers such as P & I. (For more info see here).

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Flower Sprouts

Other homegrown produce includes excellent roots such as parsnips, turnips and swedes. British-grown Jerusalem artichokes (try S Thorogood) are also worth a shout.

Don’t forget pears and apples, including Comice, Conference, russets, Gala, Cox and Braeburn.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Comice Pear

Italy is sending the first of the blood oranges – the focus of my next Product Profile later this month. These are available from a wide range of traders on the market.

Other citrus are Seville oranges (short season – act fast), clementines (late season Nadorcotts now coming on stream), lemons and Navel oranges – often from Spain.

More specialist Continental lines are available from traders such as European Salad Company or The French Garden. Agretti (a.k.a. monks’ beard), for example, has just started.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Agretti

Radicchio and other chicories are also in full swing. It’s the amazing Tardivo and Rosa in the pictures below. (For more info see the Product Profiles here and here).

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Tardivo Radicchio
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Rose Radicchio

You may also find batches of broad beans from the south of Italy, where temperatures now suit these cool-climate crops.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Broad Beans

Other Continental lines include baby veg, purple caulis, artichokes, kohlrabi, celeriac, spinach, fennel, sand carrots and more. Here’s a buyer with some of the lovely rose garlic from Lautrec.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Buying Garlic

On the exotic front, I couldn’t resist a picture of this unusual variety of pitaya (a.k.a. Dragon’s Fruit) at Gilgrove.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report January 2017 Pitahaya Fruit

Other fruits worth considering are quince, kaki fruit, pomegranates, kiwis, kumquats and lychees.

Also expect plenty of grapes and stone fruit – mainly peaches and nectarines - from South Africa.

See you in February and do get in touch with any comments and queries. I'm always keen to help. 

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