In our October Crop Report we look at the new lines we expect to see this month, the produce causing us concern and which produce is at its very best.
With the leaves slowly turning and the temperatures dropping, menus will innevitably see more rustic dishes.
October is all about root veg, squashes pumpkins and orchard fruit which is now arriving from our local growers and across the UK.
Warming flavours and vibrant colours, it’s the perfect time to start showcasing the glorious autumnal produce on offer.
So without further ado, let’s get straight into this month’s crop report.
Gently roasted carrots should feature regularly on October menus. This versatile vegetable is at its best this month and has wonderful sweetness.
Parsnips are arriving in good volumes. Normally associated with Christmas, the new season is well underway and you can expect fresh-looking skin with a subtle flavouring.
As already highlighted on our blog, many varieties of Autumn squash are now arriving. Marvellously bright and beautifully varied squash can be used in so many ways. Warming soups, comforting gratins, stuffed, mashed or simply roasted to bring out the lovely caramel sweetness.
Carving pumpkins will also be arriving soon.
Other products worth consideration this month are celeriac, leeks and why not try some parsley root.
With the summer salad season now at an end, we’ll naturally face a few challenges as we transition to the new season.
Iceberg, lollo, oakleaf and cos will move over to the Spanish season, and the Dutch season will also end soon.
That said, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers will soon start to arrive from Spain and Morocco.
Bear in mind that produce arriving from Southern Europe has a more unrefined appearance compared to Dutch products. This in no way impacts on the quality of the produce. The key to a smooth transition and a good supply chain is the weather with extreme temperatures or rainfall effecting supply.
At the moment, however, reports suggest that crops are looking good.
Apples are now starting to arrive in larger quantities. Perfect for sweet and savoury dishes, Discovery, Braeburn, Cox and others are now available.
Pears are at their best this month – we have a few varieties including Conference and Comice pears.
A heads-up about citrus supplies.
As we move from the Southern to Northern hemisphere season, we expect the cost of lemons to rise.
We are also receiving bleak news from our orange growers – supplies are extremely short and prices are high.
This was, in the main, caused by the situation in North and South America, with hurricanes Ian and Nicole along with freezing weather conditions during the winter. As a result, large amounts of the crop were damaged.
Towards the end of October there will be limited Italian blood oranges available, although it will be November before we see a better volume.
Traditionally associated with autumnal menus, quince is now available. Ideally suited for preserves, pastes or jelly and often found on a great cheese board.
At their best
Carrots, parsnips, mixed squash, Swiss chard, quince, parsley root, celeriac
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