Fruit and Veg

March's Fruit and Veg Market Report

Written by Tom Moggach
March 02, 2016

There's just the first whiff of Spring on the Market - and it's rather garlicky. The first wild garlic leaves have popped up, although it's still early days. The last box was sold before I could pounce on it with my camera. But I did lay my hands on super-early asparagus from the Wye Valley - see our product profile on this excellent grower.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Asparagus Hr

For a splash of colour, it's back to the pink Yorkshire forced rhubarb, Sicilian and Spanish blood oranges and South African stone fruit.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Forced Rhubarb
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Blood Oranges
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Plums

The forced rhubarb has dipped in price, given that the season will wind up this month. (Read our product profile for more on this ingredient). South African stone fruit, including plums and nectarines, is now eating better. From Spain, there's a glorious glut of citrus, such as clementines (including Nordicotts, an excellent late variety), Navel oranges, leafy lemons and kumquats.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Clementines
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Lemons
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Kumquats

Lychees are cheap at this time of year. English apples and pears include Cox, Braeburn, Bramley and Comice.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Lychees

One of my favourite March vegetables is agretti from Italy. I've recently enjoyed the leaves stirred through a risotto and with a fillet of Sea Bream. Early peas and broad beans are also trickling through. 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Agretti

Also from Italy, don't forget this is a prime time for radicchio, the star of last month's special product profile. I thought I could identify the main varieties by now, but the one below is new on me. It was described as 'flowering radicchio' but if I've got this wrong then I'm all ears - send any thoughts via the Comments box below. 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Flowering Radicchio

These onions are Italian, too. At first I thought they were the famous Calcots, a favourite in Catalonia, Spain, where they are chargrilled then dipped in a romesco sauce.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Italian Onions

For British veg, early Jersey Royals are available. The picture below shows the Mids and Ware grades.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Jersey Royal Potatoes

Brassicas, such as the January King cabbage below, are on good form. Hispi from Portugal is also worth a shout. 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 January King

These gorgeous beets were also tempting. 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Beetroot

Continental specialties at this time of year include round courgettes, Violet and Globe artichokes, purple and Romanesco cauliflower, celeriac, ice plant and chervil root. The last three are pictured below. 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Celeriac
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Ice Plant Hr
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Chervil Root

For a proper off-the-wall veg, how about this jet black corn from Peru? 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report March 2016 Black Corn Peru Hr

For wild mushrooms, the winter season is coming to an end. "We're waiting for Spring," says Michael Hyams at The Mushroom Man. "We've had the first bit of morel which heralds the Spring. We've had some from Turkey and also from Tibet." Chanterelle and trompette are all but finished. Girolle keeps going nearly all year, but quality varies. Next up will be St George and Mousseron. 

See you in April, when Spring will have hit full stride.

Comments

Subscribe to our emails

Join thousands of food and flowers businesses and get what’s in season delivered to your inbox every month.

On the night of Saturday 7 July, Art Night will transform the Thames riverbank by putting art into iconic and extraordinary locations. And the Flower Market is one of those places.

Read more

1

Loading more blogs...

End of content

No more pages to load