Fresh from Rungis:
Our buyer Nick says: "All salads and spinach are in plentiful supply, good quality and reasonably priced. Coming from southern France and Spain, the only problems have been transport-related in northern France. Mâche is good quality and reasonable too - but prices will be going up soon. Watercress has been affected by the cold and loose is tricky, but pre-packed is fine. Blette (Swiss Chard), radishes and some baby veg have been scarce and prices have risen due to the cold. Artichokes are good quality and plentiful and Jerusalem artichokes and Ratte potatoes from Le Touquet are all still excellent. There's some wet 'n' wild garlic starting, too (wet from Egypt)."
"Some unusual tomatoes are available already: dramatic-looking Noire de Crimée, Coeur d'Antan, yellow plum tomatoes from Provence and lovely Blue Raf and pink Rosa de la Reina from Spain. We have some huge blueberries - surprisingly tasty for the time of year! Portuguese Gariguette strawberries and the first French started on the last day of February. Also Italian Golden kiwi and the little pineapple-coloured strawberries called pineberries or Fraises ananas in French."
Fresh from Milan:
Our buyer Tess says: "We started March with an amazing array - dominated by artichokes, citrus, and tomatoes, and the staples are still going strong. There are some additions to the tomato range with new season sun black Camone, Zebrino Torpedino, the big ribbed Costaluto and the stunning red Riccio Fiorentino tomatoes. Citrus is still strong with the Moro blood oranges abundant and dark inside, the Yosemite clems still deliciously sweet and very moreish!"
"The end of Feb saw the first blood Tarocco with a proper red blush. They are sweeter than the Moro. Other new arrivals include Italian asparagus; green, red, and wild; and Candonga strawberries, bringing the taste and smell of summer! Next month should see the long awaited Ponzino lemons, white asparagus, bruscandoli (wild hops), and possibly the first fruit towards the end of the month."
Our buyer Gaelle is available on +33 789 866 675. She says: "As a result of the cold, there's a shortage of most goods. The French auction has offered about a third of the usual volumes on items such as cauli, savoy, leeks etc... Volumes will likely stay low and the prices will stay high. Root vegetables and banana shallots are all available and prices are unchanged. From Spain, cauli, heritage tomatoes, romanesco, aubergines are currently hard to get with high prices. Peppers, broccoli, asparagus, courgettes, artichokes are available. From Morocco, we are still expecting shorter volumes in tomatoes, as well as red and white kapya, which are almost non-existent. The courgette quality is excellent - prices have been affordable and good volumes, as well as red chillies. The novelty from Morocco is the Nadorcott clémentines, which are just starting. Portuguese and French Muscade are still available. USA sweet pots are short."
We also import a wide range of quality dried, tinned and dairy goods including cheese, yoghurt, oils, olives, spices, Boiron fruit purees and more. See here for extra info. These vine leaves are essential for handmade dolmades.
EUROPEAN SALAD COMPANY, UNIT C61-64, NEW COVENT GARDEN MARKET, LONDON, SW8 5JJ TEL: 020 7720 7758 ORDERS@EUROSALAD.CO.UK