Fruit and Veg

March's Fruit and Vegetable Market Report

Written by Tom Moggach
March 06, 2015

It's a relief when the seasons behave. This month, it feels like spring has just about arrived on time.

Wild garlic is one of the first foraged ingredients to hit the Market, although I've not been quick enough to spot these very early batches.

Jersey Royals are another frontrunner, although these initial deliveries - mostly mids and ware sizes - are grown with the protection of a greenhouse. As a result, they're not cheap, either, although prices will steadily drop:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Jersey Royals

Blood oranges are in their prime. I drove home with a bumper box of Tarocco, a sweeter variety, from H G Walker. Moro, the redder orange, are also plentiful.

I also couldn't resist a pic of the batch below at The French Garden, although I believe these are not grown in Sicily, this fruit's spiritual home:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Blood Oranges

At this time of year, many other fruits are from South Africa. This includes plums, grapes, and black figs:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Plums
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Figs

Yorkshire forced rhubarb is still going strong, too. See our recent Product Profile for the inside scoop on how this product is grown:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Forced Rhubarb

Citrus remains strong, with leafy clems, nardacotts and lemons available. Spain is a main sender:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Nardacotts
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Tealing Display

As you might spot from displays on the market, English apples and pears are still a good shout. Main varieties are Braeburn, russets, Cox, Bramley, Comice and Conference.

Cherries are Chilean. Mangoes and papayas hail from Brazil. Pomegranates often from Iran. Strawberries and raspberries are both typically Spanish.

On the veg front, homegrown roots and brassicas are an excellent buy. Chantenay carrots and Piccolo parsnips remain popular choices.

As I write, note that prices of broccoli and cauliflowers have both leveled out - so no worries there. January King cabbage is a colourful choice:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 January King

Note that purple sprouting is somewhat erratic - cold nights slow the growth of this plant right down:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Purple Sprouting

Aside from Jersey Royals, there's a huge range of other spuds to take your fancy:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Potatoes

Jerusalem artichokes are another British crop worth considering. Petit Violet and Globe artichokes from the Continent are also on good form.

These pak choi below are also grown in this country - another exotic product, just like kohl rabi, that British growers have learnt to master:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Pak Choi

For other lines, note that fennel is on fine form. Radicchios, also from Italy, are a fabulously diverse group of plants and look great on a plate.

These specimens are from Covent Garden Supply:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Radicchio

Cime di rapa and puntarelle are both still in season, too:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Puntarelle

As for herbs, basil has suffered from snow in Israel, so was short for a while. Normal service will have hopefully resumed by the time you hit the market.

For an intriguing specialty, check out these blanched beauties at European Salad Company:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Friseline

The larger specimen is blanched dandelion, which the smaller is marketed as friseline, apparently a cross between chicory and frisée? Feel free to get in touch and correct me if I'm wide of the mark.

Another interesting line from the same supplier are sweet friggiarelli (a.k.a. friarelli / friarell) peppers from Italy, often simply fried in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt, just like Padron peppers.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2015 Friggiarelli Peppers

See you next month, when the growing season will have shifted up a gear.

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