Market Report Sponsored by Oakleaf European Newsletter # 22

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd February 2011

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Kindly supplied by Oakleaf European

An exciting new take on Live from Rungis

Products to look out for

Clemenvilla, lambs lettuce, blood oranges, chicory, abate pear, celery, Jerusalem artichoke, courgette, Salustiana juicing oranges and fuji apples.

Fruit and Mushroom

A few changes to talk about and most of these are in citrus. Clementines seem to be coming to a slightly difficult end as the cold temperatures effects some of the crop making it more important still to source the best quality fruit that has no frost inside it. Helping with this is the start of the clemenvilla season. This fruit has a much thinner skin but a far more intense flavour. There are also some Orri arriving from Israel and these are easy to peel and very sweet. The range of oranges and lemons we are offering this year has increased and with blood oranges appearing in greater volume we now have seven varieties on offer and that's before we talk calibres! Washington Navel oranges are just starting and these have a lovely flavour and a rather distinctive segment alignment when they are cut. On the grape front we have a mixture of seeded and seedless fruit from South Africa and Peru but the best news is that Moscatel from Chile has now started and so we can say a fond farewell to Muscat! Stone fruit sees a nice selection of red and yellow plum as well as peach, some nectarine, apricot and cherries shipped both by air and sea. An added bonus today was a find of some really good looking quince that we thought was otherwise too tired and scruffy to continue with.

Vegetable and Salad

There are not many changes this week as we are in the middle of the season and  all the winter vegetables are still in good condition except Capucine Tubers which stops this week.  Lambs lettuce is doing well at the moment after seeing the prices rising due to the cold of last month added with the demand of Christmas. This lovely lettuce is now  showing some good quality and reasonable prices. Meanwhile wild roquette  from Italy has also been great too. Traditionally white chicory enjoys a resurgence this month as it tastes sweeter. Large leaf spinach has been difficult for a couple of weeks, the weather conditions are worse in the south of France than in north. Even in Spain at the time I write this newsletter it's colder there than in Paris! Obviously these conditions are not affecting the quality of the product but  it is reducing production and in the end affecting some prices on most of the Spanish products such as courgettes, tomatoes, peppers"¦ The purple, round Salambo artichoke is arriving from Spain and these will become larger and with a deeper colour over the next month. It should also not be long before we see the first  green Calico artichoke. Merinda tomatoes grown in Sicily started this week. They are great to look at with their green skins which slowly turn red . The small fruit is very firm and is best to use in salad. Some impressive products   grown in Provence are stunning thin white Mooli and Japanese radis.

Blood Oranges

This must be one of the most anticipated products in the fruit calendar. From mid November we receive requests for this colourful citrus but we have to wait until mid January, depending on the weather, before we can offer anything. There are three main varieties of blood orange; Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello - or Sanguinelli as we like to call it as we use the Spanish fruit. Tarocco is somewhere between a blood orange and a juicer as it tends to have just fine flecks of red in the segments and for this reason we do not receive much demand for it. The Moro on the other hand is proving very popular. It comes from Sicily and is, at the moment, cutting pretty red and even has some blush to the skin. The juice is also well coloured. The last variety of the European season is the Sanguinelli from Spain. As the night temperatures drop so the fruit colours up to produce an orange that cuts with a deep red and also has a skin than can be up to 50% red too. We would expect this variety to be in its prime in a week or two as the colour is just not strong enough yet. (The sanguinelli also carries a financial premium too so enjoy the great Moro while you can!) The distinctive dark flesh colour is due to the presence of anthocyanins, a family of pigments common to many flowers and fruit, but uncommon in citrus fruits. Uses for this fruit are varied partly because of the colour of the flesh and juice, and partly because of the sweetness. They tend to be sweeter than "˜normal' oranges with a raspberry/strawberry overtone. Why not try them in a fresh winter salad of fennel and orange dressed in an olive oil vinaigrette perhaps with a few nuts and olives,  for a refreshing, light bite. If you don't fancy the salad then the orange juice can be used to make a vinaigrette with the addition of white wine vinegar, olive oil, shallots, garlic, chives and parsley. Ice cream and sorbet seems a popular choice too. Both use few ingredients so the emphasis really is on the orange. Another stunning use is to make marmalade. The flavour is very good but just imagine the colour that can be achieved! Of course, you don't have to complicate things at all to enjoy this fruit. Squeeze what tends to be a smaller orange to get a sweet juice with a red colour that is great just to drink as is or use in cocktails. ENJOY!

Featured Fruit Products

Moscatel grape first arrives by air from Chile and later by sea freight. It is by far the best eating grape at present and possibly rivals Muscat for sweetness. As the clementine season comes to a close we welcome clemenvilla onto the list. Thin skinned and harder to peel they are packed with flavour. This year we are seeing them with leaf too.  Another easy peeler to keep the season running. These are Orri from Israel and they are particularly sweet. We would expect the same variety to arrive from Spain soon too. French Fuji apples have good skin colour and a lovely sweet, crunchy flesh.

 Featured Vegetable Products

Baby artichoke form Egypt is a similar variety to baby violet "˜chokes from Brittany and is an affordable substitute to bunched artichokes. Extra thin white mooli  produced by our salad grower in Provence.  Red butterhead lettuce is at its most colourful during the winter months because of the cold nights. This is a picture of some of the finest Spanish red hot chillies we have ever seen and along with the peppers , they make an eye catching presentation.

Special points of interest:

  • Quail - a possible replacement for game birds as the season comes to an end
  • Andros - the range of lightly pasteurised fresh juice is at a promotional price
  • Peuplier Yoghurts - glass jars with a fruit compote on the bottom and natural yoghurt
  • Baby Courgette - first time back on the list for quite a while
  • Seaweed - have you seen the new range of fresh seaweed from Brittany?
  • Parma Ham - a nice 12 month old ham off the bone
The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd February 2011

Market Report Sponsored by Oakleaf European Newsletter # 22

IN ASSOCIATION WITH