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May 2011 – Market report

closeup of strawberries

The glorious weather we have had recently has made it a fantastic start to the British produce season. Although they are crying out for some rain at the moment you won’t be seeing me do a rain-dance for them. Long may it continue.
English asparagus are everywhere in the market and it is absolutely superb this year. There is so much of it around that prices are set to remain really low. It is available in all sizes from the very thin to the thicker ‘select’. Personally, I prefer the thinner stuff but please remember to specify when ordering. As well as the usual green asparagus there is also the purple variety which is sweeter, less stringy and can be eaten raw. French white asparagus is also available as is wild asparagus, though a bit more pricy.
Jersey Royals have now dropped in price. Cornish mids have also now appeared, cheaper than the jerseys and some say tastier. Italian fresh peasbroad beans and yellow beans are now available as are the wonderful French globe artichokes and baby chokesCourgette flowers from west Sussex are available again. They really are stunning and the best you can get. Swiss chardrainbow chardspring greens and savoy cabbage are your best bet for greens.
On the mushroom front, look no further than the strangely shaped morels, they are coming down in price daily and are bang in season. English peppers grown in Essex are now readily available and once again as good as I’ve seen them. Heirloom tomatoes make a welcome return and come in 3kg and 5kg boxes this year. All our English salads have now started. Cosiceberglittle gemslollobiondooak Leaffrisse and raddicchio.
Lemon and lime prices are on the up a little and blood oranges are now finished for the year. Wild garlicblack cabbagekale and barba di frate (monk’s beard)are also almost done.
Potato prices continue to creep up slowly as we get towards the end of last year’s stock. White cabbage is also expensive as are cauliflowers due to supply shortages.
The English strawberry season has started with a bang, quality is superb and the signs are that this will continue for the whole season. The garden of Kent is also sending us wonderful Fraise du Bois much earlier than previous years. For something different on the berry front why not try strasberries and pineberriesStrasberries are a cross between raspberries and strawberries whilst pineberries look like strasberries but are white. English raspberries have also now started.
Blueberriesblackberries and red currants are also reasonably priced for this time of year. Cherries have now started to flood the market. Spanish, French and even some English abound. Galiacantaloupe and watermelons from Spain are really sweet at the moment. Why not try one of our yellow, yes I said yellow watermelons for a change? More honey-flavoured than the norm and well yellow. Weird! 
Nectarinespeaches and apricots as well as nespole are all arriving from Spain and are improving daily. One smell you can’t fail to notice as you walk down buyers walk is the sweet smell of Alfonso mangoes which are now in season. If we continue with the weather we are having in the UK, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these mangoes being grown locally!
It is also that time of year when the elderflower is in bloom. Please get your order in early as we need 24 hours notice on this. We have also started a full range of organic producedairy and bread. Please email us for a produce and price list.
Enjoy the last bank holiday for a while on 30 May, which also happens to be the same day as the famous Gloucestershire Cheese rolling. Sounds like fun. 
As always don’t forget to follow my latest updates on Twitter @eurofrutta

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