Market Report 30.11.18

Orders or queries? Contact our expert buyers: France (Andy: 07810 504512 /; Italy (Tess: 07766 654732 /; ESC Direct (Gaelle: +33 789 866 675). To subscribe to ESC Market Reports, scroll to the bottom of this page.


Our buyer Andy says: "Most exciting news is the arrival of French white asparagus. Yes, we did say French! Panach' is an exceptional grower: the best varieties, selected for taste, grown using state-of-the-art production techniques. Biological control is done without pesticides. Produce is picked every day at dawn, packaged with care then taken straight to our depot in Rungis. Available in 400g boxes, these really are terrific quality.

Panach’ berries are also still going strong: Tulameen raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and the odd box of Fraises des Bois. Or there are the popular mixed boxes. Truly remarkable produce.

Fresh chestnuts and new crop dry walnuts are available. Exceptional organic walnuts from the Perlim co-op, which represents over 600 small growers in the Perigord region. The Perigord 'terroir' has the optimum climate for top quality walnuts: well-drained, clay limestone soils sheltered in valley and hillsides less than 500m about sea level. Available in retail packets and 5 kilo bags.

Andy also recommends: French girolles (far better than the Eastern European crop), yellow beans from Kenya, extra fine beans from Sacco, cherries from Chile (excellent quality; but pricey), high-end roots (crosnes, capucine tubéreuse, salsify, chervil and parsley roots), endive, pissenlet (a.k.a. dandelion), quince, Tout Miel clementines, vast range of apples and pears.


Our buyer Tess says: "A lovely time in Milan with new items each week. Tomatoes are a highlight this week. These include new season, baby San Mazzano, chocolate Costaluto, chocolate Gencara, Marinda and orange Datterinos. Piennolo hanging tomatoes are unique; you hang them in bunches and let them mature. Italians pick them and use them for sauce. Red kiwis and gigantic Sicilian pomegranates are also something special. Citrus includes: huge Navel oranges, new season vanilla oranges, cedro, bergamot, and mandarins.”

Tess also recommends: fresh peas, Marsala strawberries, Kaiser pears, and black and white truffles, roll on next week! Also available: artichokes (Thema and spikey), aubergines, cime di rapa, punterella, cicoria, chillies, round courgettes, persimmon (a.k.a. Kaki fruit), courgette flowers, fennel, nespole, fresh olives.