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October 2011 – Market Report

pumpkins and squashes in a basket

A milder than usual October has extended the season of much of the produce this year. An overlapping of the seasons has meant there is lots to choose from this month.
The market at the moment is filled with lots of oddly shaped pumpkins and squashes, so there is no better time than now to try out the various varieties that abound. Crown Prince or Potimarron would make a good starting point or for something a bit different try spaghetti squash. We also do a mixed box of squashes and boxes of beautiful mixed gourds (remember though that the gourds are not edible and are just for display).
New Covent Garden Market is a kaleidoscope of colour at the minute, cauliflowers are not just white but purple and yellow. Mixed bags of rainbow carrots as well as yellow, white and purple baby carrots, all create a wonderful picture sat alongside golden and candy beetroot (also comes baby bunched). Romanesco cauliflower is also stunning at present. Swiss and rainbow chardcavalo nero and kale are still great buys along with cime di rape and brussel tops which have just started. Mixed colour aubergines and borlotti beans have made an appearance too.
The spanish season is now well under way with peppersauberginescourgettescucumbers and most tomatoes now coming from there. Prices should ease.
Onions and potatoes are all pretty cheap with truffle potatoes back in stock as well as smoked and purple garlicCrossnes have just started but are a bit pricey. Jerusalem artichokes are getting cheaper all the time.
The warmer weather has proved a bit of a problem for mushrooms though this year, with only a small amount of cepes coming through, still lots of chantarelle and girolle though. For those with deep pockets white truffles with their wonderful fragrance are also available to order.
Salads are predominately still coming from the UK and I am pleased to see that castelfranco (the prettiest salad around!)and puntarelle have started early this year and should now carry through until April at least.
Surprisingly berries have all been pretty good, with english strawberries and raspberries still the pick of the bunch. Blueberries though have been arriving from further afield Canada, Argentina and Uruguay to name just a few places.
Apples and pears are now coming from closer to home with coxesrussets and spartans being the best bet on the apple front and the kent comice being my pick of the pears.
Fragola grapes have now finished but musket grapes will still be around for a bit. Baby kiwis have made an appearance although they are never around for too long.
Lemons and limes are down in price. Spanish satsumas and italian leafy clems are super sweet.
Seasonal chestnutswalnutscobnutsquinceskaki (persimmons) and custard apples are now all available.
Finally here are a few dates for this months diary:

  • its apple day on October 11th.
  • British summer time ends on October 30th and the clocks go back an hour.
  • October 31st is also Halloween, so don’t forget to order your pumpkins (please mention carving when ordering) in plenty of time.
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