Market Report - UK seasonal update 21 November 2016

The Staff Canteen


This week's market report from Wild Harvest features trompettes, bergamot oranges and oca tuber as well as a whole host of other fruit and vegetables currently in season which you can see below:

Wild Mushrooms & Truffles

Saffron milk cap, Wild Harvest
Saffron milk cap, Wild Harvest

We have some strange seasonal twists to report as Jack Frost starts to close down the European wild mushroom season. 

The odd microclimate in Bulgaria is throwing up small amounts of mousseron. This delicate fairy ring fungus is predominately a spring treat, but Bulgarian weather patterns do not play by the rules. 

We also expect some saffron milk cap action. The fine Latin name for this much sought after specimen is Lactarius Deliciosus.  We’ll be careful to sound out infestation levels before buying as bugs find them as delicious as humans. 

Some fresh morels are being harvested in the US. I’ve heard of Mexican product this early, but never North American. Perhaps a shipment or two is finding its way across the border before Mr Trump can build his wall. 

Fresh cep supply is sporadic, and we are looking to South Africa now for crops of any significance. 

Trompette quality is glorious from Turkey. 

Autumn chanterelle & pied de mouton are still flowing. 

European girolles are on their last legs and agents are starting to sell the American crop. These are almost a different species, and if you must use them expect higher water content and forget about garnish friendly sizes. I have just ordered a pallet of frozen girolles, blast frozen in peak condition to see us through till the summer. 

The truffle situation is equally in flux. From the look of recent specimens the autumn season is on its last legs. Spain, France and Italy will be selling winter truffles next week. Let’s see if the same conditions which brought about the premature demise of the autumn season, will bring winter truffles of note on early. We normally sit out the first couple of weeks until the nose builds. If we are forced to do this we may have a gap in fresh supply. Good job I’ve just invested in a pallet of truffle sauce. 


Bergamot Orange, Wild Harvest
Bergamot Orange, Wild Harvest

We have called on the first bergamot oranges for mid next week from Italy. A Wild Harvest favourite. The oils in the skin are used to flavour Earl Grey tea amongst other things. 

Muscat grapes are still about, as are English apples. 

Clementines both off and on the leaf are excellent. 

Comice pears are delicious as are Turkish quince. 

Our forager has started to pick medlars. This unique fruit is the scourge of a quality controller. They only becomes usable raw once they have been bletted (allowed to rot). Before then they are acidic and crab apple like. 

Fresh chestnuts complement our extensive preserved range. 

Our fruit offering is bolstered with exotic fruits from outside Europe to provide variety through the winter months, as soon it’ll be all about citrus from our continent. 

Call me impatient (or anything else you’d like to call me for that matter), but I’ve started to think about Seville orange ice cream, forced rhubarb cakes and blood oranges paired with charcuterie a good month or so before the seasons will allow. 


For sure we sell Quinoa in various forms, but our South American inspired range doesn’t end there.

Thankfully the French have embraced and (more  importantly) grown some exotic roots from Peru so we don’t get air/sea miles guilt when offering them. 

The oca tuber provides psychedelic colour and a yam like waxy consistency.

The oca’s gentler hued cousin the capucine tuber has a stronger mustard like flavour profile. 

In a similar vein to the French name for a spud, they call the yacon tuber poire de terre (pear of the earth).

These sweet roots contain a sugar which us humans can’t digest, making it ideal for those with diabetic issues or weight watchers.

Healthy bacteria in our digestive tract can make use of this sugar, another health benefit in eating this root which can sit on both savoury and sweet dishes. 

The range of root vegetables available goes on and on. Jerusalem ‘chokes, crosnes, chervil and parley roots, carrots, beets, alliums, radishes, potatoes, turnips and then some. 

Temperamental purple sprouting broccoli has seen its longest run of excellence that I’ve been witness to. 

Both Swiss and rainbow chard are in good shape. 

Cavolo nero supply is sticky, but I’m sure this is just due to a temporary source nation switch. 

That’s it for now as I don’t fancy rattling on about Brussel sprouts or kohlrabi, and I’m sure you have something else you should be doing.

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.

>>> Read more from Wild Harvest here

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st November 2016

Market Report - UK seasonal update 21 November 2016