With the uncertainty over Brexit and tougher lockdown restrictions throughout the hospitality industry, it is like trying to navigate your way around a SAS assault course blindfolded when penning our January market report.
One standout product in January is Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb. This truly majestic product always adds a vibrant and tasty addition to any seasonal menu.
The product is traditionally grown and picked by candlelight, the long and somewhat laborious task of “forcing” originated back in the 1800s to provide extra fruit throughout the winter months.
Let’s start off by saying we at Total Produce have been full of admiration for the way you in the hospitality industry have worked through a minefield of constantly changing restrictions this year. Well done! We know it has been extremely hard.
Your resilience can only be admired! December will look somewhat different from previous years but please allow us to separate the mistletoe from the holly in order to give you the very best and worst of what the final month of the year has to offer.
Seasonally speaking, November can be a bit “as you were” from last month with roots and brassicas firmly embedded on many Autumnal menus. This may be the case but there is still a delightful profusion of offerings to keep the seasonal vibes running through any menu adjustments.
Two key things to look out for this month are the transition on to Southern Hemisphere fruit and a full changing of the guard in the salad world.
It’s time for Halloween so Pumkins and Squashes are aplenty. October truly is the month of hearty earth warming cuisine. The type of dishes you enjoy after a long autumnal walk with your cheeks having a rasping glow shimmering off them.
New season Belgium Conference Pears have started. It may be worth mentioning that Conference Pears are a harder fruit. Store at room temperature but do not wait until the product is too soft as the flesh wil have a woody texture.
English Plums are now available and will be with us throughout August! We should also see Victoria’s Plum next month. With availability low on European stone fruit this year we have seen prices rising daily for Peaches, Nectarines, and Apricots, still taste fantastic and well worth paying that little bit extra!
New arrival this month is the English Cherry. The amount of flavour and Juice you get from these small fruits is just incredible! Make sure you try out this local gem of a stone fruit whilst you can.
Plenty of Lemon and Lime available at the moment which is probably due to the Pubs and restaurants still being shut.
Summer is here!
Home-grown Iceberg, Little Gem, Cos and varieties of ‘fancy’ lettuce are now available, all of which are excellent quality.
All varieties of melons will be Spanish: Cantaloupe, Galia, Water, Honeydew and Piel de Sapo.
Ever popular Conference Pears are at the end of their season, to be followed by Packham and William varieties.
South American Satsumas are superb quality at the moment - a must-have for any fruit basket. Raspberries are becoming more difficult to find good quality until the English start at the end of the Month. This will then be followed by Blueberries later in June.
The only word we can think of that describes February 2020 perfectly is wet. Storm Ciara and storm Dennis have hit the country hard this month which will have an impact on local crops going forward.