Welcome to our September crop report.
As the heat of summer begins to wane and the days grow shorter, we can feel the shift in the air.
It’s a time of transition, as we bid farewell to the local bounty of the season and welcome in ingredients from farther afield. But fear not, for this is an exciting time for culinary exploration.
The heartier, more robust flavors of regional produce will soon make their debut, paving the way for a rich tapestry of autumnal themed menus.
So let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the delicious possibilities that lie ahead.
Blackberries and blueberries are quintessential late-summer fruits.
These two seasonal gems are at their best this month and arriving from Fife and Perthshire respectfully.
Cherries unfortunately came to an end last month, so please keep in mind products will now be imported and prices will rise.
Plums have, so far, been in great supply this year.
The headliners of course are Vics but please look out for the seriously underrated Marjorie seedlings arriving, which eat incredibly well.
Damsons, ideally suited for cooking, are a great shout this month. This classic hedgerow fruit with a distinctive flavour and extremely high sugar levels is bang in season. It’s ideal for creating a range of flavoursome jams or preserves.
Orange supplies will be limited with a price premium until the Spanish season starts up in 6 weeks. This is due to the ongoing orange juice concentrate shortages in North and South America.
On the apples front, the arrival of Braeburn and Cox Pippins are always a great indication of Autumn sweeping in. Dependable, packed with flavour and both can be adapted to a multitude of recipes.
Brassicas are a fantastic option this month offering terrific value and quality.
Kale, savoy cabbage, broccoli and sweet stem broccoli, more commonly known as tender stem are all worthwhile considering.
The Spanish winter season is fast approaching with the real possibility of produce arriving by late month.
However, with the much-reported scorching heat around Europe, we have seen an increase in the cost of Spanish onions and this is likely to continue through the month.
The somewhat overlooked globe artichokes are at their best this month. These can be utilised to suit a wide range of dishes and if you haven’t seen it, take a look at a recent artichoke dish from Chef Daniel Galmiche.
Summer squashes are super versatile, have a hint of autumn and do keep a lighter feel on the dish. Fresh sweetcorn will still be available although it will come to an end by mid-month.
Parsnips, cauliflower, carrots and the sensational heritage carrots will all be available throughout the month.
Farmers have begun to harvest main crop new potatoes which give a wonderful earthy flavour. Using these early varieties for mash is an absolute no-no this time of year.
However, early reports suggest that crops are looking good with decent volumes forecast. Prices have levelled out although they remain firm and we fully expect this to continue for the remainder of the year.
The supply of whole head lettuce such as iceberg, cos, lollo, oakleaf, frisée and little gem is in good shape.
In short, product will be arriving from Holland and by mid-October product will start to become available from Southern Europe and North Africa.
By the end of the month, the gradual transition over to winter salads will begin with pockets of Spanish tomatoes becoming available.
The Moroccan tomato season was a washout last year, quite literally, with the unexpected thunderstorms destroying many crops, so we may see products arriving from Egypt to ensure a better supply chain.
Early reports are intimating volumes are in good shape and prices will remain firm throughout the season.
Tomatoes, cucumber and peppers are all arriving from Holland and remain in good supply.
At Their Best
- Heritage Carrots
- Summer Squash
- Turkish Figs
- Tender Stem Broccoli
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