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November 2010 – Market Report

closeup of leafy italian clementines

November is not my favourite month of the year when it comes to fruit and vegetables. The summer has long gone and the quality and quantity of local produce diminishes.
We still have a plentiful supply of English apples to choose from (take your pick from these four we think RussetCoxBraeburn or Royal Gala). We also have some wonderfulMelinda apples from the Val di Non in Italy that proved such a success last year. If you have never had these before then you must, huge and expensive but probably the best apple you can get in the world at present. There are also some pears from the same area but they can’t match our own English Comice and Conference that are ripe and ready to eat now.
European peaches and nectarines are now finished and they are now arriving from South Africa. They are good but expensive. Grape prices are also on the up. Turkish figs have now finishing up and will be replaced by the much more expensive and less tasty Brazilian ones. Satsumas and Clementines are the best bet at present, with our Sicilian leafy clems the sweetest options. Custard apples are plentiful as are Quinces and fresh cranberries are also in stock. A sure sign Christmas is not far away!
English raspberries will be ending shortly along with the Dutch strawberries that we have been selling. Spain and Egypt will be the main exporter of these now.
The price of lemons has dropped significantly recently with the arrival of the Spanish and Turkish crop, but the shelf life of these early varieties is not too good so beware.
French globeartichokes are coming to the end of their season so prices are high and supply is short. Salads have also increased in price as they are now arriving from further afield. Italian roquette is cheap at the moment but that also reflects the poor quality of it as production moves from the north of Italy to the south. Fortunately we have the best growers in Italy sending us the roquette so quality is always superb.
Still great value are all our British rootvegetables. As they come into contact with frost the flavour actually improves and they get sweeter. The brusselstops that we plugged last month proved a real winner and still represent excellent value for money. Joining them this month are our turnipstops, which are my favourite of all the greens. Nutritionally they are one of the best things to eat, packed with vitamins and iron. Absolutely wonderful!
Our MarisPiperchippingpotatoes are at their best now but English mids are now finished and we have moved on to the French crop now. Crones have now dropped in price and make a great seasonal treat.
English Romanesco is also wonderful at present as are the JerusalemArthichokes and chervil and parsleyroot.
We now also stock many varieties of heritagepotatoes (Highland BurgundyBritish QueenSalad BluePink Fur AppleArran VictoryRosevalDunbar RoverChampion,FortyfoldRed King EdwardYukon GoldShetland BlackRed Duke Of YorkRatteMr Littles Yetholm Gypsy, and Peachbloom). Give us a call for the complete list and prices.
From Sicily we have some wonderful cherry vine and plum tomatoes, bursting with flavour. Round violet aubergines are also available and make a nice change from our usual ones. Soon to arrive are the sweet Sicilian juicing oranges that we had all winter last year.
Don’t forget November the 21st is stir up Sunday, the traditional day for everyone in the family to take a turn at stirring the Christmas pudding whilst making a wish. Not forgetting that it is always stirred from east to west in honour of the three wise men.

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