Fruit and Veg

October's Fruit and Veg Market Report

Written by Tom Moggach
October 09, 2015

The last of the summer's soft fruit decorates a cake celebrating one man's 52-year stint on the market.

Plenty of autumnal produce is gliding in: English plums; apples; cobnuts; Turkish black figs; squashes and much more besides.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Retirement Cake

Plums are terrific right now – decent harvests with ripe, sweet fruit. Varieties at time of writing include Victoria (pictured in center below) and the later Marjorie's Seedling. You'll also find the variety Angelo, typically from Italy:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Plums

Early crops of russets have joined Cox (first picture below), Gala, Early Worcester (second picture) and the last of the Discovery:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Cox Apples
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Early Worcester

English Conference pears are still early, and compete with Italian Williams pears (pictured below):

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Poire Williams

Black Turkish figs are always a bestseller at this time of year:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Turkish Figs

The first clementines and satsumas are also here – a quintessential taste of autumn:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Citrus

Other fruits to consider are peaches, quince, fragrant Muscat grapes, custard apples and kaki fruit (pictured last below):

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Peaches
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Kaki Fruit

Among the softer fruit, British blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are available.

"[Strawberries will last] about another month if the weather stays as it is – but it only needs the frost to knock it out," says Steve Oakden at French Garden.

Cobnuts, chestnuts and green walnuts are among the nuttier options:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Chestnuts
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Walnuts

On the veg front, squashes are dazzling in their variety, with pumpkins here too in time for Halloween:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Squashes

English sweetcorn and runner beans are still going strong:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Sweetcorn
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Runner Beans

Among the brassicas, Brussel sprouts and their tops have arrived, along with purple sprouting, excellent cabbages and kales:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Brussel Sprouts

I love the sultry colours of this Rainbow chard, sparkling in the light:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Rainbow Chard

Don't forget the final weeks of British salads, plus fresh spinach and herbs such as parsley, mint and this tip-top coriander from Worldwide Exotics:

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Coriander

Wild mushrooms are a good bet too in this cooler, damp weather, such as these fine Cep

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Cep

Produce from the Continent includes Jerusalem artichokes, Globe and Petit Violet artichokes, round courgettes and Romanesco cauliflowers.

Specialties include these Zebra tomatoes and chervil root from France (pictured last below):

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Zebra Tomatoes
Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Chervil Root

"Quality sells," says Chris Kensit, the gentleman receiving the cake from employers French Garden after a lifetime on the market. 

He's off to Australia and started his career in the original Covent Garden sit, where he remembers how queues for opera house tickets snaked through the market itself.

Here he is with Charlotte, one of the younger generation, who works with distributor J Connell.

Fruit And Vegetable Market Report October 2015 Chris Charlotte

I wish him all the best in his travels. Drop me a line with any comments and queries on this month's report. See you in November.

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