Market Report Sponsored by Oakleaf European Newsletter # 25

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th March 2011

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Kindly supplied by Oakleaf European

An exciting new take on Live from Rungis

Products to look out for

Gariguette, broad bean, Fashion watermelon, wet garlic and garlic leaf, morel, grapes, spinach, plums, Calico artichoke, oranges.

Fruit and Mushroom

I am not sure how long they are back for, but for this week anyway there are some beautiful Spanish Orri clementine with leaf. Other good citrus includes the villa-late and it should be mentioned that we, and you, are enjoying huge success with the Salustiana orange this year. Grown specifically for its high juice content, the fruit also has a thin skin making it easier to squeeze. The flavour this year is possibly one of the best with little or no sharpness at all. If you have not tried them yet then I strongly recommend you to! Soft fruit continues much in the same vein. Spanish raspberry and blueberry are trying but remain a little tart. Gariguette strawberry on the other hand is superb now but it does depend on the marque and the area they are coming from. Nashi Pear appeared in a very handy small tray so could be worth trying? Pears in general are now changing to Southern Hemisphere with good examples of Beurre Hardy, Comice and red and green William. Baby vegetables are beginning to appear again specifically white and chioggia (candy stripe) beetroot and the first bunched carrots!

Vegetable and Salad

Like the beautiful Orri Clementine, Romanesco Cauliflower are back from Spain and even France. We can't tell how long they will be here but they will be useful for those who have been desperate for them for a few weeks. Meanwhile it's now time to pass onto a more spring-like menu as wet garlic from Egypt arrived last week.. Even if the political climate in the country causes nightmares with the supply! We have been pleased to see this week the first of the baby watercress. Last week saw the start of the growing herbs in pots from Provence. They will be available from now until mid November. Be careful only Basil and Mint are constantly available on the market - the other varieties have to be pre-ordered in advance. Despite the heavy rain in the South of France making picking more difficult, we can now offer the full range of French asparagus from pure white to white &  pink even pink & green. Obviously all sorts of calibres are available and even tips. Large calibres are always the most expensive as they are very popular in France. The season usually runs into June and we will be complimenting this range with more local (UK grown) green asparagus soon. The asparagus from Les Landes is even shorter, usually running to the end of May. All this information is just to make sure you don't miss it!

Dairy

Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. The name "burrata" means "buttered" in Italian. As with other mozzarellas, Burrata owes its existence to the water buffalo, which was brought to Italy from its native Asia sometime in the 1400s. Water buffalo milk is richer and higher in protein than that of cows, yielding 1.6 times more cheese. It lacks the yellow pigment carotene found in cow's milk, giving mozzarella di bufala its pure white colour. Burrata was first made around 1920 on the Bianchini farm in the town of Andria in Murgia, a small area in the Apulia region. In the 1950s, it became more widely available after a few of the local cheese factories - notably Chieppa - began producing it. It is generally believed that factories found it a way to utilize the ritagli ("scraps" or "rags") of mozzarella. Established as an artisanal cheese, Burrata maintained its premium-product status even after it began to be made in a number of factories. It became more widely available outside its native Apulia in the early years of the twenty-first century. Burrata starts out much like mozzarella and many other cheeses, with rennet used to curdle the warm milk. But then, unlike other cheeses, fresh mozzarella curds are plunged into hot whey or lightly salted water, kneaded and pulled to develop the familiar stretchy strings (pasta filata), then shaped in whatever form is desired. When making Burrata, the still-hot cheese is formed into a pouch, which is then filled with scraps of leftover mozzarella and topped off with fresh cream (panna) before closing. The finished Burrata is traditionally wrapped in the leaves of asphodel, tied to form a little brioche-like topknot, and moistened with a little whey. The asphodel leaves should still be green when the cheese is served, to indicate the cheese's freshness. More recently the cheese is often sold in a plastic bag or container filled with water to aid preservation We only work with one artisan producer namely Sapori dell Antica Murgia and we only receive one delivery a week from them, so it's best to pre-order.

Featured Fruit Products

Turkish morel have been flown in this week. Quality is very good as the mushrooms are lovely and dry resulting in a distinctive sound when they are handled. Fashion seedless watermelon, so famous in the Spanish season, is arriving from Senegal. It has a lovely deep red flesh with very few seeds. Wild garlic leaves are packed loose in 1kg trays or in 200g punnets for better control of the product. A versatile leaf that requires just a little imagination for numerous uses. Kiwai, or baby kiwi, are available from both Chile and New Zealand. The fruit has little or no hair and can be eaten whole.

Featured Vegetable Products

Pictures sometimes talk more than words. Just to show the distinctive colours available; here is the pure white asparagus.     Here is a white & pink asparagus which has been close to breaking the mound of earth it grows in. This is what causes the colour on the top of the spears. White & pink green is an asparagus that has broken through the mound and started to photosynthesise. Everyday  we discover new things. This week we found these nice turnip called Tokyo in a bunch of 3 heads. They are grown in Italy.

Special points of interest

  • Vacherin Mont d'Or is about to finish - they only make so many in the autumn and once they are sold that's it
  • Guinea fowl - now in its main season
  • Burrata now available in two sizes
  • Butter prices - these are out of our control but we are very aware of them and are trying to help where we can
  • Mixed cheese boards - growing more popular each week

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th March 2011

Market Report Sponsored by Oakleaf European Newsletter # 25

IN ASSOCIATION WITH