Market Report - UK Seasonal update 6 December 2013

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th December 2013

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

In association with

Dear Chef, Welcome to the wonderful winter Wild Harvest update. We love this time of year, as the cold nights close in and the Perigords pop up, it’s time for a wander around our warehouse. Wild Mushrooms Both our contacts in South Africa are primed to buzz us as soon as they see a cep flush. Prices for wild mushrooms remain keen for this time of year due to mild weather in Europe. Our outstanding Mushroom mixes this week include: WILD AND CULTIVATED MIX Chanterelle Jaune King Oyster Shemeji Pied de mouton Trompette Chanterelle Gris WILD MIX Chanterelle Jaune Girolles Pied de mouton Trompette Chanterelle Gris Chanterelle Jaune Providence Girolles from the US Pied de Mouton from Spain Trompette from Macedonia Chanterelle Gris & Jaune from France Vegetables No real shift here from previous weeks’ updates. As a reminder, here is what we had to report last week: •         Jerusalem chokes and their milder helianthes cousin. •         Funky carrots, radishes, turnips and chards. •         Unusual squash remain strong. •         Purple sprouting broccoli •         Cima di rapa still good •         Lots of unusual members of the chicory family •         Beets and roots, clever Dutch and English flowers and shoots. •         A fine range of alliums and spuds a plenty. •         The mighty Alexander, a favourite and oft neglected part of our foraged line. Cook the stems and use the leaves and flowers for garnish. Flavour profile akin to celery, asparagus and parsley. Here’s a link to a nice piece written on Jersey. Also notable - crosnes (aka Japanese artichoke) prices have come down and mild conditions mean that our mighty offering remains intact. Truffles White trufflles continue and prices have yet to rise. Patches of Autumn truffles remain. Now to my favourite truffle, Tuber Melanosporum. The white Italian truffle does have more guaranteed potency, and works better for certain food pairings. When the Perigord region in South West France has a strong season however, black winter truffles from there are unbeatable for my palate. Conditions are right for a great crop this year. We will only turn to Italy for Melanosporum if the quality proves superior or we hit a supply issue. A good Perigord has a nice regular shape and is golf ball sized. The contrast in the marbling is as strong as a zebra’s stripes. The aroma which (in the hands of a clever chef) turns into a flavour is animal, earthy, sweet and intense. Perigord truffle growth can be encouraged almost to the point of farming by planting oak and hazelnut trees, and inoculating them with fungal spores. The season runs from December to March in a good year, and the next bit I’m putting in small print as it’s not particularly commercially savvy. They are at their very best in early February, when only the very well to do can afford them. Enough on the info. When are we getting some? Our suppliers are telling us not ripe, wait a week. We may dip our toe in next week to check marbling and nose for ourselves. Caviar Promotion for Holiday Season And finally whilst other suppliers may be ramping up caviar prices for Christmas and New Year, we will be discounting our consistently excellent farmed oscietra to encourage decadence. Call in on 020 7498 5397 to see what’s new today. And don’t forget, to get this newsletter into your inbox every week email [email protected] to sign up. Have a great week.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th December 2013

Market Report - UK Seasonal update 6 December 2013

IN ASSOCIATION WITH