Market Report 22.2.19

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Tomatoes - believe it or not - are a highlight. Clued-up chefs, caterers and consumers now realise the joys of tomatoes grown through winter. These ripen slowly in lower light levels, developing a firmer texture and unique flavour profile. In Italy, Marinda (pictured) and Camone are key varieties. Other Italian varieties available now include San Mazzano, Sorrentino and Sardinian beef heart and Riccio Fiorentino - bright red ribbed and delicious!

In France, we work with several growers who have mastered winter growing techniques, such as the divine cherry tomatoes from Pomme D’Amour. Rebellion and Marmande are also recommended.
— Our buyers Tess and Andy


Citrus and tomato varieties are competing for supremacy here. It feels like Spring has sprung though still only Feb! Produce from Sorrento is making its way into Milan with the IGP (Protected production) Sorrento lemons!

Asparagus is here, along with Sicilian passion fruit which taste amazing! This week I have also found the amazing VOG Envy apples - sweet, pinky red, from the South Tyrol.

Artichokes are still in abundance, with the towers of Roma artichokes starting to appear. The only question is how big do you want it?

Looking forward to seeing the first bruscandoli, red asparagus and hard-to-find purple kohl rabi! Blood orange and Campari is my new favourite drink.
— Tess, our Italian buyer (07766 654732 /

Tess also recommends: Moro blood oranges, green Marindas, red rose Trevisse, pink raddichio, Yosemite clems (absolute must!), big-hearted puntarelle, cime di rapa, Tropea onions, monk’s beard / agretti, Delica squash, La Costiera lemons.


Loving the courgettes from Provence - white, yellow and green. French white asparagus is excellent. Green asparagus is coming from Spain (loose; 2 kilo boxes). There are Charentais melons and golden Kiwis - the French are very particular about their kiwis. There are really nice big Romanesco. And still raving about the leafy Newhall oranges.
— Andy, our French buyer (07810 504512 /

Andy also recommends: Nardacotts, Portuguese Gariguette strawberries, Passe Crassane and Angelys pears, Turkish quince, Moscatel grapes.


In France, we are expecting less volume in cauli and stronger prices as exports increase. Leeks available with good quality, volume and stable price. Banana shallot price keeps going up. Jerusalem artichoke price is stable for a few weeks, but then less volume is expected. Romanesco is short and very fragile in quality and very expensive. Kale and chicory is full season from Brittany.

From Spain, peppers and broccoli are available. Aubergines are short again and price is going up. Red Spanish Palermo, not available for over a month, is back on the scene but still in small volumes.

From Morocco, the red Kapya and white Kapya are now available again in small volumes. Courgette price is slightly up but still accessible and quality is excellent. Green chilies are now short while red is in volume - prices are similar. Moroccan strawberries and beef tomatoes are now available.
— Gaelle, ESC Direct (+33 789 866 675 /