After a decent summer, there’s plenty of top class produce around this September. Highlights for British include the start of the apple season, plums and cobnuts. The other big line in fruit is Turkish black figs.
Discover, Bramley and the first Early Windsor are among the apple varieties available in early September. (For more on these fruits, see our Chef’s Corner post from chef Steve Walpole). For plums, it’s Victoria and Jubilee with Marjorie’s Seedling along later. We can also offer damsons from the UK and, if you have deep pockets, Mirabelle plums from France.
Turkish black figs are excellent value. Spanish stone fruit has been a bestseller all summer, but note that now the season is coming to an end for nectarines, peaches, apricots and melons.
Soft fruit on hand includes British strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Currants are Dutch. On the exotic front, we’ve seen the first lychees.
Courgettes and squashes are a best buy right now – mostly UK-grown. Also bobby beans, runner beans and the last harvests of peas, too. It’s also a prime time for potatoes of all kinds and sweetcorn.
For other UK veg, there’s still time to enjoy excellent tomatoes – including mixed boxes of all shapes and colours to brighten up your menus. Bunched beets and carrots are on good form.
Brassicas include broccoli (sometimes Continental), Scottish kale and Cavolo Nero.
For something different, cobnuts are an on-trend ingredient. At this stage in the year, they are fresh and milky – excellent for eating out of hand as well as using in the kitchen. Chesnuts and wet walnuts also available. There are late crops of field-grown rhubarb, too, to liven up any dessert menus.