Market Report Sponsored by Oakleaf European Newsletter # 29

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th May 2011

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Kindly supplied by Oakleaf European

An exciting new take on Live from Rungis

Fruit and Mushroom

The changes since we last wrote are coming in the soft and stone fruit areas. Cherries are much more affordable with pretty good Spanish red fruit, mostly Brooks and Early Brooks, and darker French offerings such as Earlise and early Burlat hybrids. Eating wise the French does have the edge with a deeper, fuller flavour. Spanish peach, especially white, is getting better each week and the flavour is much fuller. Moroccan yellow peach is good and ripens very quickly. Nectarines are getting larger and white Moroccan and yellow Spanish are both worth considering over the next week or two. Melons are not easy at the moment although some good news would be the re-appearance of the dark skinned seedless Fashion watermelon and some great green Piel de Sapo (frog skin) from Bruño. Orange flesh melon is proving difficult but careful selection is giving us some success . The best apples and pears are all coming from the Southern Hemisphere now.

Vegetables and Salads

Two weeks (known most for bank holidays this year) but more importantly the end of the root season. Beetroots Chioggia, golden and white are now unavailable, or better to avoid. It's the same case for the coloured carrot as purple, yellow and white are mainly non available or coming from Holland. Jerusalem artichokes are still around but are not in their best condition. The Brittany Savoy cabbage campaign is now definitely finished and Portuguese substitutes are ok but only arrive once a week. Brittany Cauliflower will also be coming to an end shortly. Wild asparagus has been around for a week and we can supply it in a handy 1kg box. Artichokes are great value with many varieties in the middle of their season so definitely a product to use and abuse at the moment. Our favourites are still the green Calico and the baby violet in bunches, while today saw the first Camus from Brittany. The end of April is also the season of the new potatoes from the different islands on the French Atlantic coast. Varieties as Alcamaria and Sirtema are much appreciated for their hazelnut flavour. This morning we were thrilled to see the first boxes of Linzer Delicattesse, a variety of potato grown in Provence. The Linzer is the smallest variety we can offer during the year.

 Featured Fruit Products

It would be easy to devote all this section to strawberries. Mara des Bois (left) are a full flavoured cross with a wild strawberry, while Clery are great "˜round' fruit. Gariguette are better now, wild strawberries from Spain are consistently colourful and now we can offer the first English varieties too! When's Wimbledon? Great Piel de Sapo melon (Senegalese). Deep red Fashion watermelon mean Spanish fruit is just around the corner. A small quantity of good Mousseron is arriving from Spain. The selection in general remains limited with morel being the best of a small choice.

 Featured Vegetable Products

Wild asparagus (strictly speaking cultivated like wild strawberries are) resembles ears of corn. Tiny new potatoes from Provence. Linzer Delicatesse has a flaky skin making it a classic new potato. Bunched baby artichoke are great and are superb value at the moment. Camus artichokes are the first of the Brittany season and are used particularly for their hearts.

Featured Dry Product - Bourbonnais Chicken

At the gates to the Auvergne region lies the province of Bourbonnais and here over the last 20years some local farmers have been reviving an old breed of chicken. The Bourbonnais came from a cross in the nineteenth century between the white hen of Bourbonnais and East Brahma rooster, which produced a heavier more succulent bird .The standard of the bird was recognised in the 1920s by the poultry companies, and appellation of origin (AOC) in1961, but then the breed fell into obscurity for nearly thirty years. The birds are all raised in open barns set in areas of  5 -10 m² per chicken for over 100 days, where they feed on local grasses and vegetation, their diet is also supplemented with milk which gives its flesh a unique marbling affect , and a very soft ,fine texture. They are a stunning addition to any menu and well worth a look.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th May 2011

Market Report Sponsored by Oakleaf European Newsletter # 29

IN ASSOCIATION WITH