Market Report - May


Fresh from Rungis:

Our buyer Nick says: "Frisée from Spain is still good; French Perle du Nord mark has just started. Other salads and spinach are coming from northern France, too. Round globe Calico artichokes are from Spain still but we'll see French starting soon.

Baby artichokes from Brittany began end of April. Blette or Swiss chard is from southern France. Long, leafy celery will soon arrive from near to Paris - in the meantime we have Italian. Watercress is good now but will soon get patchy. New season radishes started from near Paris in April - the bigger, black, red, green and blue meat radishes have come to an end. Crosnes have also finished until autumn, but beetroot (purple, golden and candy coloured) continues into summer.

Ratte potatoes and purple Vittlelottes are still available, but Jerusalem artichokes (Topinambourgs) are finishing up. Excellent green (the more classic in France), white and wild asparagus will be in season now for the summer. Yellow beans are great quality but very expensive. Green cauliflowers have not been around recently and purple are scarce and pricey. However, this is a very exciting time for garlic - not just the wet (fresh) garlic with leek-length stalks in 10 kg bunches, but also wild garlic leaves and beautiful garlic flowers with a delicate flavour which look stunning in salads or as garnish."

"The winter fruit like apples and pears are ending from Europe. The Tout Miel mark clementines end in May. Muscatel grapes too are now coming from Chile and seedless crimson grapes from SA. Summer fruit is coming into season from more local growers. The famous Gariguette strawberries, and now Mara des Bois wild strawberries and Tulameen raspberries are French. Lovely, pink-tinged apricots and cherries from Spain are available and Moroccan peaches, nectarines and melons are here now, with Spanish starting soon."

Fresh from Milan:

Our buyer Tess says: "We've got the first apricots in - a little pale at the moment. Blood oranges will start tailing off. It's only Tarrocco now. The first borlotti have started. Red rose Trevise has finished. It's the start of mad courgette season. For tomatoes, you've still got Camone and Marinda. The Zebrinos and Torpedinos are starting. We are waiting for the Costoluto Liguria. The purple Tema artichokes are finishing. The spiky ones are still about. The first melons have started - summer is on the way somewhere! We've got the start of the baby watermelons and the rough skinned melons are in - we are just waiting for the smooth to start. The big kilo bunches of white asparagus from Bassano are proving popular."

ESC Direct: 

Our buyer Gaelle is available on +33 789 866 675. She says: "FRANCE: Around a month's delay on crops from Brittany, such as artichokes. Most heritage vegetables are in their last weeks of production. Heritage tomatoes are available but more pricey lately due to lack of sun. Turnip volumes have been extremely short the last few weeks but more volumes expected. Big gap in Romanesco because German hasn't begun. Courgettes from Provence are very affordable, although the Spanish are comparable. Banana shallots are still available - price is low and quality still excellent. MOROCCO: chilies are short, peppers still available, courgettes and tomatoes are over. Melons and watermelons have seen a strong demand but are currently quite short. Box watermelons are available in volumes though. PORTUGAL: Portuguese Muscade is coming to an end, while their Savoy is starting SPAIN: New season peppers are available, and broccoli is good quality. (French will only start in June)." 

Special Orders:

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