It's getting chilly in the UK, but European Salad Company import direct from the sunny south of France and Italy. There's a dazzling range of produce coming over from their wholesale markets - see below for the full run-down.
Fresh from Rungis
Our buyer Nick says: "All of our lettuces are now coming from our growers in Provence. They are outstanding quality .The Lollo Rosso is a bold, dark red colour. Spinach is also coming from our growers in the south with its big, dark green leaves, bursting with nutrients and vitamins (as well as flavour!). Apples and pears are all available and in full season. The wax-tipped Passe-Crassane pear will be along soon. Wet walnuts are ending now but there are lots of dry available. Chestnuts are in full swing - lots of whoppers about.
Wild mushrooms are now all available: cepes, morelles, girolles, pied de mouton and pied bleu, pleurotes (oyster), chanterelles (yellow and grey) and trompettes de la mort.
French figs are coming to an end. French Charentais too are over, so just waiting for the imports to come in soon from Martinique & Guadeloupe. There are air freight mangoes to be found but they're not abundant. Spanish leafy clementines are good to buy now." Other items spotted at Rungis include Espelette peppers, violet haricots, baby celery, Einset grapes, fresh yuzu and golden kiwis.
Fresh from Milan
At this time of year, Milano market is at its best. We can offer a wide range of tomato varieties,including San Marzano. Most are from sunny Sicily. This is citrus time, and we can get unusual lines such as cedro and bergamot. We have three types of aubergine, including Violet. Spiky artichokes are in full swing. From the chicory family, we have two types of puntarelle - hearted and non-hearted, plus radicchios - including our new mixed boxes which give you the best of all worlds with Castelfranco, tardivo, rose and more. Monks' beard (a.k.a. agretti) will start mid month. For something unusual, we have serpent squash from Sicily. Other lines include borage, rocket, oregano and basil.
If you are not aware already, ESC Direct is our bespoke, whole-pallet only wholesale service. Gaëlle - our ESC Direct buyer - sources direct from Brittany, Provence, Spain, Morocco and elsewhere. Produce is collated and quality-checked by our Rungis team, before being delivered throughout the UK, bypassing the London markets if clients are based outside them. Produce lines include chillies & sweet peppers, courgettes, tomatoes & aubergines as well as artichokes, cauliflowers, broccoli, banana shallots & sweet potatoes. If you have any queries, ask Gaëlle - who will find nearly anything in season!!
Gaëlle says: "Pumpkins - (the little Muscade de Provence - 3 in a box) French are still available, but Portuguese is also starting. Moroccan tomatoes have started today. Spanish are also available including Spanish Heritage tomatoes, which will be ready soon. French coloured cauliflowers and Spanish cauliflowers are in full swing. Artichokes - baby bunch & Globe are coming from Spain. Lots of beautiful baby veg and coloured beets, flat, coco and Moroccan green beans and Spanish garlic & red onions."
Rapeseed oil is one of our new lines, which also include cooking wine (red and white) and more flavoured vinegars, include champagne, tarragon and walnut.
Our cold pressed rapeseed oil is from Hill Farm in Suffolk. This type of oil is increasingly popular as a sustainable, British product. It has half the saturated fat of olive oil and is high in Omega 3, 6 and 9 and Vitamin E. Its high burn point of 220ºC makes it fantastic for roasting and frying and its delicious nutty taste and beautiful golden colour make it ideal for dressings, sauces and marinades.
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EUROPEAN SALAD COMPANY, UNIT C53-54, NEW COVENT GARDEN MARKET, LONDON, SW8 5BH TEL: 020 7720 7758 ORDERS@EUROSALAD.CO.UK