With winter ending and spring fast approaching we should be welcoming new produce and new flavours to the menus. This of course is still weather orientated; a mild March can bring produce forward or a cold month would do the opposite. Mothers day appears very late in the month, always a good kick-starter for the trade and a good sign spring is in the air.
Lovely stored Bramley apples from the UK remain good with French braeburn and Granny Smith making up the bulk. Nice Spanish strawberries, raspberries with South American blackberries and blueberries make up the berry selection. Citrus continues to be good from Spain, Morocco and Turkey. Do try the stunning blood oranges whilst available.
Excellent melons to include Galia, Canteloupe, Water and Honeydew all from Brazil are a must. UK forced rhubarb will continue but will fizzle out to be replaced by the more expensive Dutch varieties. Shortages of ginger root have caused price increases – so be wary. Paw paws from Brazil are in plentiful supply – so now is the time to try them. Avocado pears – particularly the ready ripened Haas variety are consistently good.
Potatoes and carrots will see more increases as the stocks start to diminish from a poor years yield. Brassicas still remain good value. Locally sourced kales, cavelo nero and particularly purple sprouting are excellent. Cauliflower prices will stay high although the French are still supplying us with good sizes. Local savoy are starting to show signs of drying up but lovely Portuguese hispi are excellent.
New season Spanish courgettes are top quality and reasonably priced. Other vegetables to consider are local parsnips and celeriac with tenderstem now coming from Africa. We also have a variety of local and foreign baby vegetables. Please ask our sales team for details. Peruvian asparagus is available with forced Wye Valley asparagus just around the corner.
Spanish peppers and aubergines have taken a price rise due to cooler temperatures. Iceberg and exotic salad leaves have improved immensley in quality. Italian raddichio is back to its best both in colour and size. Spanish cucumbers are excellent whilst their celery will start to run short. Tomatoes will continue to come from Spain and Morocco and later varieties of these are looking stunning. Spring onions from the African continent are also looking good.
LOCALLY SOURCED PRODUCE
* Rainbow chard (to order) * Swiss chard *Bramley apples *Baby beets * Baby turnips * Celeriac * Black cabbage * Purple sprouting * Kales * Savoy cabbage * Beetroots
To place your orders please call us on: 01743 46 22 44 (Option 1)
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