Market Report - UK seasonal update 5 May 2015

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th May 2015

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

This week's market report from Wild Harvest features wild asparagus, potted lemon verbena and French wet garlic as well as a whole host of other fruit and vegetables currently in season which you can see below:

Wild mushrooms and truffles

St George MushroomsMorels continue from Turkey and St Georges are coming from Bulgaria, which is where our mushroom hunting eyes are focused. Bulgaria needs more sun to encourage both a glut of St Georges (driving prices down) and the third classic springtime wild mushroom, mousseron. Summer truffles are in abundance now from Italy and France and quality is on the way up, prices are also coming down.

Fruits

As well as being based in London’s New Covent Garden Market we now have the luxury of daily contact with trusted buyers in Rungis. This allows us to track closely seasonal developments both sides of La Manche.Inca aka Heirloom tomatoes Our tomato offering has swollen well beyond the fun and affordable Inca aka heirloom mix. Talking of fun the trademarked smallest tomato in the world or tomberry is about to hit our shores from the clever Dutch any day now. As stone fruit supply moves with the sun from Morocco to Spain we begin to dip our toes in the water. We start with yellow peaches and apricots. My advice is unless you are cooking with them wait for two weeks for the Iberian sun to do its delicious trick when cherries, flat and white peaches and nectarines are sure to join the party. White strawberries or pineberries are now coming across from Holland. These pineapple flavoured lookers were saved from extinction by Dutch farmers in 2003. Clementines also cling on and gariguette strawberries are excellent and keenly priced.

Vegetables

Alain Ducasse’s tea trolleyStable spring weather has given us steady crops of English asparagus and wild garlic, driving prices down. We are starting to see flowers and even seed pods on our wild garlic and leeks; sure sign of the march to Summer. Also wet garlic supply has moved from Egypt to France. We have supplied the rich yet clean scented lemon verbena or verveine in various forms for years. To ensure freshness we are now selling it potted, which reminds me of Alain Ducasse’s amazing tea trolley where herbs are cut at the table for postprandial infusions. The rather anemic green thing pictured on a bed of yellow beans is a bunch of wild asparagus. I think we need two weeks for these to mature and become affordable but they’re great for garnish.Potted Lemon Verbena Which brings me nicely on to foraged goods. We are close to the high point of the UK foraging calendar, temperatures are high enough to encourage growth but mild enough to prevent burn out or bolting. Here are just a few of the wild crops we are proud to supply at the moment:
  • Wild garlic
  • Sweet cicely (fantastic natural sweet partner to rhubarb)
  • Nettles
  • Pennywort
  • Sea purslane
  • Sea beet
  • Alexanders
  • Chickweed
French Wet GarlicI won’t hide the fact that radishes are challenging to supply, as it’s all about the crunch which fades overnight. The chirpy multi-coloured bunches on offer right now are worth the fight. Cut baby poivrade artichokes have also started at affordable rates. As usual, this is just a small selection of what we have on offer. 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 4th May 2015

Market Report - UK seasonal update 5 May 2015

IN ASSOCIATION WITH