Market Report - UK seasonal update 15 August 2016

The Staff Canteen


This week's market report from Wild Harvest features dark trompette, mirabelles and black cabbage as well as a whole host of other fruit and vegetables currently in season which you can see below:

After 17 years of happily skipping between fridge and spreadsheet I allow myself the odd bit of pretentious babble in this bi-weekly forum.

On that note (although I’m sure I’m not the first to describe it) the autumnal goodies flowing through our New Covent garden premises got me thinking about how each season’s offering can relate to an age of man/woman.

Spring - Innocent and pure flavoured new growth. Full of the optimism of childhood.

Summer - Overtly sexual. All the hormone driven colours and aromas of adolescence.

Autumn- Fully mature and slightly gothic, debauched and complex. The pungent strength of maturity and middle age.

Winter- Only the tough make it through on what they have been wise enough to stash away in less harsh times. The simplicity of a tenacious old age.

Enough day dreaming.

Here’s what’s great to eat right now.

Wild Mushrooms & Truffles

Dark Trompette

Girolles continue from Russia & Scotland. Buy Russian if baby sized is your bent, Scottish for flavour and bite.

The dark trompette of death mushroom has joined the party. Excellent to dress plates with or bring interest to terrines. Good specimens are hailing from Romania.

Also from Romania we are seeing pied de mouton aka hedgehog mushrooms now. If you crave that cep like meatiness and want more flavour than a king oyster can muster this should be your shroom of choice.

Summer truffles are still excellent, although prices are starting to rise as availability drops off in preparation for what will hopefully be a baton hand over with their fresh autumnal cousins in September.




Just when I had soft fruit written off until next year we started getting Charlotte strawberries over from France. I thought I had found my berry for life in the mara des bois variety.

These take the biscuit. Like the mara they have bred into them the wild strawberry floral notes, but a Californian strain of genetic material make for all the best characteristics you’d expect from a basic strawberry. I’ve just bought 1Kg for my family, as like us humans they are here for a good time not a long time.

The dainty golden globes of mirabelles have joined greengages, bolstering our plum offering.

Whilst 90% of this French regional speciality are destined for preserves and eau de vie we welcome the crop that is left fresh.

Here’s a list of more good fruits before I start losing readers:- 

  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Charentais melons
  • Muscat grapes
  • Tomato varieties galore
  • Cob Nuts


Black Cabbage

Black cabbage (cavolo nero is infinitely more sexy a title) has hit the markets. Along with plants such as rainbow chard and coloured cauliflowers in our arsenal we are ready to offset rich game.

Chervil root has started, but we are keeping that in reserve. You can only push the seasonal offering so far and it’s hot out there.

Red meat aka watermelon radishes however would sit nicely on a late summer plate.

That’s it. Here are some bullet points highlighting just some of our seasonal vegetable highlights:- 

  • Norfolk foraged sea aster, purslane and arrowgrass
  • Fresh coco & borlotti beans
  • UK peas & broad beans
  • A full range of baby and fully grown exotic carrots and beets
  • Small and large fresh artichokes
  • Sweetcorn
  • Wood sorrel


We are all set to harvest the bounty from the glorious 12th’s shoots. Young grouse represent a soft start to the game season this week. Although the scope of wild animals really opens up in September, we will be dropping venison and wood pigeon into the mix before then. Their pest status in the UK allows an open season.

The relative animal welfare levels of eating a wild animal over an intensively farmed one make this a category I’m always happy to buy into.

Game is also local, lean, seasonal and delicious.

The rest of our offering lends itself to feathered or furred game garnishes and sauces. Whether it be fruit, vegetable or fungus based.

Call in on 020 7498 5397 to speak to the team about what other treats we have in store for you today. Visit the website here.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th August 2016

Market Report - UK seasonal update 15 August 2016