Market Report - UK Seasonal update 7 January 2014

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th January 2014

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

In association with

 

Hello Chef and welcome to the first update of the New Year. Those of us lucky enough to be employed in the food business may be feeling a little bruised after the business end of the year. Just a few lines on the seasonal highlights of our mammoth offering. Not that we are supplying mammoths this year as they are proving hard to source. Wild Mushrooms We await a flush of South African cep, which could happen any day or equally not at all this year. Girolles are now coming from Portugal. We have had a hell of a Chanterelle season, and France continues to deliver affordable and nice yellow & grey legged varieties. Pied de mouton are from Portugal and are coming down in price. Small quantities of Trompette from Turkey & the US. Truffles The nose and marbling of Italian & Perigord winter truffles improve as the season gets into full swing. Italian whites are still around, but could end any day soon. Fresh Chinese truffles (Tuber Indicum) are good enough to make a truffle snob sniff twice. Fruits A personal favourite of mine is now in superb shape. The Seville orange. We currently have an organic source from Seville, funnily enough. The season normally lasts throughout January and not much longer. You’d be a fool to ignore marmalade, but this tangy fruit makes a superb sorbet/ice cream or curd tart. Blood oranges have now hit entry level and bloodiness will improve until season close at the end of March. Product is currently a “mixed bag”. Medlars, quince, apples and pears are still strong; as is our broad and exotic citrus offering. If you care to dally with air-freight we have good access to the likes of rambutans, snake fruits, keffir limes and green mangoes. Vegetables Our buyer spotted season best purple sprouting broccoli today, & roots and brassicas are in good nick. The endive and squash families also continue to produce fine specimens. Eyes are peeled for the first cultivated sea kale shoots, which we nag our suppliers for throughout January and tend to appear at the start of February. Baby artichokes are struggling, and my advice is to use globes and trim to size. Prices on the babies are high, and quality up and down like a fiddler’s elbow. Game This category has Wild Harvest written all over it (not literally I hope, unless someone has been inappropriate with a marker pen in the South Downs). As a result 2013 saw a 30% uplift on 2012 across this category for us. We will keep buying birds until the season closes on the 1st of February. Venison and wild boar however is considered a pest, and we will continue to provide wild mammals for hearty dishes throughout February. "The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. Minute by minute they lengthen out. It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change. It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour." - Vita Sackville-West As ever this is only the tip of our produce iceberg, please call our team on 0207 498 53 97 for the full offering.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th January 2014

Market Report - UK Seasonal update 7 January 2014

IN ASSOCIATION WITH