May is upon us and things become much more interesting for me as my daily quest for fresh produce continues. For a starter the English asparagus season is upon us. Quality is really good and there is a plentiful supply that is driving down prices. Wild asparagus is also available to order but beware that it is commanding a very high price.
Jersey Royal new potatoes are now readily available and not as expensive as previous years. Cornish mids are cheaper still and make a nice alternative. Broccoli has now eased in price and cauliflowers are also great value at present. Wild garlic (Ramsons) is still available and both large and baby artichokes are at their best at the moment. Peas and broad beans from Morocco and yellow beans from France make for a colourful mix on a plate!
English salads have started so both quality and price should improve. English tomatoes are also here in earnest with some nice mixed heritage varieties readily available. Our best buy at the moment have to be courgettes really good value. Why not try the yellow ones or the courgette flower as well.
On the fruit side English strawberries and raspberries have arrived and as always are so much more flavoursome than the imported ones. Cherries from France and Spain are also here with peaches and nectarines from Egypt a real find at this time of year. Spanish melons are also beginning to trickle through although our Moroccan charentais are proving to be a particular favourite at present.
One to avoid this month is savoy cabbages expensive and of poor quality, extra fine beans are also not at their best (Peruvian fine a good alternative), purple sprouting broccoli has all but finished and most root veg especially carrots are becoming more difficult. Onions are also getting a bit tricky at the moment although the Spanish new crop has just started although their skins are not set yet. Sicilian blood oranges have now finished, we will see them again next year.
Lastly its elderflower time again, so don’t miss out on them. We have a limited supply available so pre ordering is a must.
Two bank holidays this month so remember to stock up!