Market Report 1.3.19

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Our highlight this week? Every kind of ASPARAGUS you can imagine …. white, purple, green, asparagina. We supply French, Italian and Spanish grass. Contact our buyers - details below - for more info.


In Milan it felt like we’d jumped a season to early summer. But in the far south it’s a different kettle of fish with extreme winds and rain - impact will show in the coming weeks.

This week sees more tomato varieties - bright but tender riccio fiorentino, striped zebrino, the delicious little vine tomatoes they affectionately call ‘snack’ tomatoes.

Asparagus everywhere. I’m looking forward to white Bassano - highly prized and grown only in one small area for a short season. We’re also not far away from the wild hops bruscandoli - sometimes confused with wild asparagus.

On the radicchio front, the long awaited mixed mini boxes are on the way.

Give Perlina aubergines a try: skinny little purple ones. Italians like them cut in half sprinkle with Parmesan, put both sides back together and wrap in prosciutto then bake - delicious!
— Tess, our Italian buyer (07766 654732 /

Tess also recommends: peas, broadbeans, agretti, broadleaf rocket, Candonga strawberries, Moro blood oranges, green Marindas, cardoons, red rose Trevisse, pink raddichio, Yosemite clems, puntarelle, cime di rapa, Tropea onions, Delica squash, La Costiera lemons, Rainbow chard.


Our correspondent in Provence, Hugh Watascorcha, tells us that the weather is bringing on some lovely products.

Most notable is beautiful green asparagus from the small commune of Pertuis. Famed for his quality and beloved of Michelin star chefs, asparagus has been a tradition in Pertuis since the 19th century. White French asparagus is also flooding into the market, all grades available. Call for prices.

Tomatoes of all shape, colour and size coming in from Provence, lovely courgettes of all colour and mixed boxes of aubergines available.

First of the season wet garlic from Egypt has hit town.

Hot off the press! French Gariguette strawberries have started. Only 1.8kg trays for now, but punnets won’t be far behind.
— Andy, our French buyer (07810 504512 /

Andy also recommends: Newhall leafy oranges, Piel de Sapo melons, Charentais melons from Reunion, Morels from China.


From France, we’re expecting less volumes in caulis in next weeks as so much crop was cut after the warm weather. Leeks are still in season, with similar volumes, quality and prices. Banana shallot price stays strong. All root vegetables, including Jerusalem artichokes, are available and prices stable. Romanesco is still short from Brittany. Savoy cabbage available.

From Spain, Romanesco quality is excellent but volumes shorter and prices very expensive as the French is scarce. The red Spanish Palermo is beautiful currently. Spanish courgettes are available and great quality, a bit more expensive than Morrocan but will take over soon.

From Morocco, courgettes will be out of season within a few weeks. The red chilies are getting shorter, and we expect the price to keep going up in the next weeks. White kapya are still short and expensive.
— Gaelle, ESC Direct (+33 789 866 675 /