The Wellington Weekly
New season Dutch White Currants have now arrived in the market. Botanically speaking, the white current is essentially a much paler version of Red Currant, only sweeter in flavour. Many possess a very pale-pink, almost coral-like translucency (which is perhaps not best reflected in the accompanying photo), whose surfaces glisten like the candlelit pearls draped below the pleated ruff of some aristocrat in an Elizabethan portrait. Available in 125g punnets which, it must be said, won’t be cheap, but they are amazingly beautiful to behold.
Last week I announced the arrival of English Green Gooseberries; this week it is my pleasure to herald the arrival of Dutch Red Gooseberries. Red Gooseberries are often regarded as being sweeter than their green cousins, but I think it’s more a case that they’re less tart - which, in culinary terms, isn’t necessarily the same thing. It does however mean that their flavour is perhaps less robust if being used for cooking and therefore may be better suited as purely a dessert fruit. They’re fairly diminutive in size and available in 125g punnets, and which are likely to set you back quite a few quid. However, one should be mindful of the fact that, as with the aforementioned White Currants, their season is restricted to just a handful of weeks, so they’ll only be around in limited numbers for a relatively short time.
In the next week or two we are expecting the arrival of English Apricots, Yes, you heard me correctly, English Apricots - from Essex, to be more precise. Who’d have thunk it, eh? I did get the opportunity of sampling a few last year and I must say was rather impressed with them, but I won’t make any further comment until I’ve had the chance to try this season’s offerings.
The overall volume of Lemons has greatly increased since last week with the simultaneous (it would appear) arrival in the market of Spanish, Egyptian and Turkish new season crops. This welcome occurrence should, of course, mean the equally welcome occurrence of prices starting to fall as a consequence.
During my last visit to the market a few days ago, I encountered some rather fetching new season English Bunched Heritage Carrots, with each gathering including examples of Orange, Yellow and Purple varieties. From the picture provided, you will have doubtless gleaned that they’re not exactly of uniform size or shape. To be scrupulously fair, though, is it not the case that one of the main principles underlying the movement towards the use of heritage/heirloom produce was for Nature to be allowed as much free reign as is practicable?
Also just in season are English medium-sized Bunched Red Beetroot, as well as medium-to- large English Golden and English Choggia (Candy) Beetroot.
All our Celery is now new season British.
I’ve been reliably informed that Cavalo Nero (Black Cabbage) is now back to normal volume levels after several weeks of difficulty.
Curly Kale, too, is now more plentiful. In addition, a few other Kale varieties (such as Red Russian and some Variegated types) are expected to soon start to trickle-in.
New season English Kohl Rabi has just started, and if you’ve never prepared or even tasted whole roasted or braised Kohl Rabi, then give it a go, because you’re in for a treat if you do. It can also be prepared and cooked like most other cabbages (which is essentially what it is), and works particularly well in slaws due to its firm texture. Please remember, also, that the leaves and stalks are also edible and both can be either briefly sautéed, steamed or stir-fried.
Our standard Washed Mid Potatoes are now exclusively home-grown Cornish, which are consistently of a size and shape that most people envisage when they have occasion to contemplate a perfectly-formed new season spud, All that aside, they also happen to taste really, really good. What’s more, although quite creamy in texture, they possess enough
floury-ness to make them suitable for roasting as well as steaming or boiling.
English Monks Beard has just arrived in season and in the market, but with limited space available at this time I’d like to explore it and its uses further next week. In the meantime, I’ll tantalise you with just a snapshot
Wild Mushrooms available in the market at present are Bulgarian Girolles and Canadian Morelles.