In Season: January
The January Fruit Bowl
Surprisingly perhaps, January provides no shortage of options for those compiling fruit bowls, baskets and platters as long as one is prepared to allow one’s carbon footprint to increase a few sizes by venturing further afield for inspiration.
If you’re determined to stick with European produce then there’s a decent selection of Apples and Pears both European & UK crops. Clementines (both leaf and non-leaf varieties) and Satsumas remain of good quality for most of the month. Oranges are usually excellent, with Blood Oranges reaching their peak by mid-month if there’s sufficient frost in the Sicilian growing regions. Italian Kiwis and Spanish Custard Apples will also still be available although in not such abundance perhaps as they were prior to and during Christmas. Israeli Sharon Fruit should still be excellent, as, too, should Turkish and Portuguese Quince.
By January, Dutch & Belgian glasshouse Strawberry crops will have finished, we start the month with Morrocan and Egyptian produce then moving to Spanish when the season starts mid month. Blueberries are from Peru & South Africa, Blackberries from Mexico, Raspberries from Spain and Red Currants from Holland.
For the widest choice of produce, however, one must look to the southern regions of the globe, in particular South Africa and South America. Chilean Cherries will begin the month well, but expect the quality to start tailing-off towards the end. The quality of Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots may be erratic following the Christmas break, but should have improved by mid-month. Cape Plums, which usually start arriving in late December, will have improved greatly by early January. Lychees will be reasonably priced and of good quality particularly early on. South American
Finger (aka “Apple”) Bananas are an ideal size for fruit basket presentations and, although pricey, will add greater substance and variety. Pale-skinned, ivory-fleshed Nashi Pears and Ya Pears (both of which could hold equal claim to be the most attractive of all the pear varieties) will add a touch of real elegance to any display.
Mid January sees the start of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb.
- Jack Lawless