We've had the first whiff of spring, with early batches of wild garlic and asparagus. Agretti, blood oranges, nasturtium root and Gariguette strawberries are among other seasonal highlights for March.
Fresh from Rungis
Our buyer Nick says: "Despite the UK and northern Europe being lashed by storms like Doris, further south the growing weather has been more favourable and our salad and spinach suppliers are now able to supply more quantities, which means the prices are beginning to come down! We've seen some early in the season produce to remind us that spring is around the corner like French white and green asparagus as well as the Spanish and also some "plein champ" or field grown tomatoes from Provence.
The wild garlic leaves or bear's garlic in French "ail des ours" is available and some Gariguettes strawberries from Brittany. Colourful cocktail on the vine, heritage and beef heart tomatoes. Most French apples are still good, but some varieties are now finished like Rubinette and from further afield there are golden and black pearl plums from South Africa."
Other lines include: rose garlic; baby veg; chervil root; watercress; nasturtium root; Belle de Fontenay potatoes.
Fresh from Milan
Our buyer Tess says: "Produce is starting to come in as expected - so hopefully things are back on track. Starting this week the first wild asparagus, beautiful red green mizuna and the weird and wonderful ponzino lemons! The first proper black camone tomatoes are in as well, and lovely fragrant herbs are back. With the temperature going up, spring is definitely on the way!"
Other lines include: blood oranges; agretti; broad beans; radicchio; peas; artichokes; aubergines; cime di rapa; tropea rosso onions; courgette flowers; and leafy lemons.
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.
Gaëlle says: "The main salad and veg lines available are peppers, courgettes, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies and more ... A few novelties have just started such as early potatoes from Morocco, asparagus ( French and Spanish ) and Spanish leeks. Spanish citrus are coming to an end, but strawberry volumes are increasing and the first Charentais melons have started this week. On the French side, it's the end of the Butternut squashes and pumpkins (Portuguese still available ). Cucumbers and tomatoes have just started. All the roots and banana shallots are still available."
We have a few surprises up our sleeve - products you might not expect, such as quails' eggs, which are available by the box.
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EUROPEAN SALAD COMPANY, UNIT C61-64, NEW COVENT GARDEN MARKET, LONDON, SW8 5JJ TEL: 020 7720 7758 ORDERS@EUROSALAD.CO.UK