Fruit and Veg

May's Fruit and Veg Market Report

Written by Tom Moggach
May 12, 2015

May is when the growing season shifts up a gear, bringing a blast of colour to lift the spirits.

Edible flowers are the most obvious display of the summer to come:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Edible Flowers

English strawberries are another welcome sight:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Strawberries

(Note that supplies are up and down for now – Belgian, Dutch and Spanish are more consistent).

Other highlights for May include plentiful asparagus. Note the new packaging on the Chinn brand below, a grower we featured in a Product Profile earlier this year:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Chinn Asparagus

There's even some fancy wild asparagus, too:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Wild Asparagus

English salads are building momentum, with spinach and iceberg lettuce amongst the first arrivals at Side Salads:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Spinach

Mint is among the first of the British herbs, and baby kale is the latest in fashionable salad ingredients from their supplier G's:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Baby Kale

Back on Buyer's Walk, the main shift at this time of year is from Spain to The Netherlands for bulk supply of peppers, cucumbers and the like, typically grown under glass.

From further afield, these peas and broad beans – mainly from Italy – are a chefs' favourite:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Podded Peas
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Broad Beans

There are plenty of Jersey Royals still to be found, along with other new crop spuds: 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Jersey Royals

In terms of staples, brassicas and roots are abundant, such as these Kentish cauliflowers:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Cauliflower

Tomatoes are flooding in from all over, including the brilliant mixed boxes from Nutbourne Nursery in Sussex (see our Grower Profile):

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Nutbourne Tomatoes
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Nutbourne Tomatoes Close Up

Confusingly, tomatoes are technically a fruit while rhubarb – pictured below – is a vegetable. This crop below is British and grown outdoors:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Outdoor Rhubarb

Apples are often from New Zealand, Italy or Chile. Spain has just started sending first crops of stone fruit such as nectarines, but it will be a while yet until these are ripe and eating well: 

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Nectarines

For something more unusual, there’s still local wild garlic, nettles and now some classy agretti (a.k.a. monk’s beard), over from Italy:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Agretti

Radicchios are another classy choice:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Radicchio
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Castelfranco

Or this pink wet garlic:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Pink Wet Garlic

Courgette flowers, artichokes, aubergines, radishes, Roscoff onions, puntarelle, round courgettes, Jerusalem artichokes and runner beans are among other Continental options to consider:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 Round Courgette

Wild mushrooms are always tricky at this time of year. St George's mushrooms (pictured below) will be around for this month only. Morels, cep and Pied Bleu also available:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report May 2015 St George Mushrooms

See you next month for June’s Market Report.

I can’t wait. Not long now until the gooseberries arrive – for me the (overlooked) star of British soft fruit.

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