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A tough week last week with freezing temperatures right across Europe playing havoc with supplies and more importantly my car in France, where the diesel froze at -19o C – what a disaster!
The bad weather on - the back of strikes in Italy - caused massive shortages of product and obviously price rises, if you could actually buy the product!
It really made us look stupid, not having basic products, but I can assure you all, it was not for the want of trying as our purchasing team were working all hours trying to get the gear to you!
Meanwhile I was chasing my car round the Alps, having a daily crash on the slopes and freezing my little toes off!
Anyway, temperatures are warming and it’s back to the usual rain up here in the North, water shortages on the news! You are having a laugh, aren't you!
Back to the weather and it really is the time of year to be using the basics; cabbages, swede, celeriac, beetroots, carrots and avoiding European broccoli and cauliflower.
If you want a broccoli we are still getting amazing purple sprouting from Evesham.
Your fruit options are better with Yorkshire rhubarb, fantastic quality but still very short in supply as the plants are just not producing following the shortage of water (that old chestnut again) from last summer. We are hopefully now getting enough! Plus, don’t forget the blood oranges and cherries which are both outstanding.
As well as our baby red onions, we now have baby brown onions, both at £1.00 per kilo and when you put these with our baby parsnips, baby chantenay carrots, small graded golden beetroots and Albert Bartlett Anya potatoes, with a fantastic nutty flavour and all pretty much uniform in size, perfect wriggly little worms and all at £1.20 per kilo. There you have a baby selection that could fill a vegetable crèche! All from the UK and all cheap - happy days!
wild things! wild leek and garlic
This week we look at foraged produce as Ben our forager in Scotland has been busy and freshly picked some beauties for you.
Why use foraged ingredients you may ask; because there are numerous edible species and it can add that extra dimension to your dish you just may be looking for.
Nutritionally it is free from any pesticides and as it is not a forced crop it retains an optimum nutrient content that greatly exceeds their cultivated counterparts. In fact, it has been shown that diets rich in wild plants lower cholesterol, are beneficial for the heart, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation.
By increasing people’s awareness of the wild foods on their doorstep, society’s value for such wild places can increase, consequently fostering their sustainable use and expansion.
Wild leeks £16.80 x 1 kilo
Wild garlic £14.00 x 1 kilo
It’s showtime and boy have we got a line-up for you!
I hope you have all seen your invites to our ‘Perfect Ingredient’ show on the 20th March. Once again, it promises to be an amazing day that none of you can afford to miss!
With more than 60 suppliers for you to meet from all over Europe, plus chefs conferences with Q&A’s hosted by Amanda Afiya from the Caterer, lots of food on show for you to taste and this year we have Marco Pierre White coming along with his real ale ‘The Governor’ to wash it all down.
Make sure you are up and out early, it cracks off at 9am.
It’s showtime at hotelympia
Jonny is at Olympia this weekend through to next Thursday on the Angelo Po stand, working alongside the demo chefs. So why not pop in to see him there. I can assure you, this stand is worth a visit, the images I have seen are amazing and it’s a real honour for us to be invited to share it and work alongside such a leading light! Come and see us on Stand N1629.