Fruit & Vegetable Market report [JULY]

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06/07/2017 - 10:38

Is July the best month? London has been sweltering and the market is bursting with choice.

Fruit brings lashings of colour. English cherries are on good form. Not the cheapest, but top quality.

English cherries at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

Homegrown strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries also here - both green and red for the latter.

It’s still a touch early for English plums. Expect the first Discovery apples next month.

Fruit from further afield includes excellent stone fruit from France, Spain and Italy: flat and round peaches and nectarines and apricots. Melons are also in their prime.

Apricots at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

Melons at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

Figs are also worth a shout - French black figs have started, which are second to none.

Figs at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

For British veg, you’ll find courgettes and marrows.

Courgettes at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

Marrows at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

Runner beans, peas, bobby beans and broad beans, too.

Runner beans at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

This is peak time for British-grown edible flowers, salads and herbs, such as frisee lettuce, violas, Buckler-leaf sorrel, lemon verbena, ruby frills mustards and many more. Leeks are looking good, too. 

Leeks at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

Here’s a snapshot from the stand at P&I. British-grown Chantenay carrots are always popular, along with purple sprouting. Local broccoli and cauliflower is available, although can be erratic. New potatoes are being harvested now.

English crops at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

For kale, only the Molyneux Kale Company (read more from my trip to this grower here) can supply at this time of year using their own heritage varieties - otherwise it’s imports from further afield.

For something more offbeat, how about this pristine and local pak choi from Lancashire?

Pak choi at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

Asparagus is all but over, but there are still trickles such as this purple variety from the Wye Valley.

Purple asparagus at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

Continental specialties include celeriac, aubergines, watercress, round courgettes, black radish, purple garlic, yellow beans, artichokes and the first Muscade squashes of the season.

Muscade squashes at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

This unusual plant is tenarumi, often wilted down to serve with pasta in Sicily.

Tenarumi at New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable Market – July 2017

July is a poor month for wild mushrooms. Morels are all but over (“Get them now or wait until spring” says The Mushroom Man). There are some trompette, plus girolle and mousseron from Bulgaria.

See you in August - plums and apples coming up! 

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