Fresh from Rungis
Our buyer Nick says: "The salads and spinach from the south of France are finishing but the north is now in full swing. Italian spinach is finishing soon. The weather problems in Spain are a distant memory for our frisée growers who are now back to producing top produce. Globe and baby bunch artichokes are available now from Brittany before the Spanish Calico have finished, so hopefully there won't be too many problems between seasons this year."
"There are lovely big bunches of garlic and wild asparagus from France available and still plenty of all the sizes of white and green regular asparagus. Also fresh 'wet' garlic and lots of dried from Spain. Spanish yellow and white peaches and nectarines have started as well as apricots with a reddy-pink blush.
Spanish Charentais melons are in Rungis and better value than the French at the moment. Later season apples still available include Fuji, Pink Golden Delicious & Jazz. There are French Tulameen pink and golden raspberries around as well as fraises des bois from France and Spain. There are late frosts in France which haven't affected produce yet, but may do later this month. In Bourgogne they have resorted to putting candles out in their fields at night to stop the cold spoiling their grape vines!!"
Fresh from Milan
Our buyer Tess says: "After an up and down period, there's a promise of summer on the way. Produce has been coming on despite the temperature variations with only some herbs and a few delicates affected. We've had a good run with the asparagus, but now the wild, red and white finally say good bye, along with bruscandoli (wild hops).
Tomatoes are going strong now with the zebrino, camone and torpedinos both back this week. The first taste of summer arrived with the first Italian melons over the last two weeks. This week sees the start of Italian soft fruit; peaches, nectarines, cherries, nespoles etc, with the delicious white peach and flat peach to follow. Also the first big long Italian watermelons, along with very sweet smooth skin melons. Then there are the wonderful citrus trees I have found in full fruit and travelling well back to London. Summer is knocking on the door!"
ESC Direct is our bespoke, whole-pallet only wholesale service. Our buyer sources direct from Brittany, Provence, Spain, Morocco and elsewhere.
Our buyer Gaëlle says: "New season Spanish peppers are now in season. Broccoli is still available and good quality. Note that the French won't start for another month. French courgettes are available, affordable and good quality, but the Spanish are still around and such a good deal. French cauli is currently showing a gap, although the fields of artichokes in Brittany are looking incredible."
"On the Moroccan side, the red chillies have been extremely short for a few weeks. Added to the rough seas from Tangier, those delays have created major shortage on arrivals from Morocco. Watermelon are available in volumes and Galia melon is just starting. The Portuguese Muscade squash is coming to its last weeks, while the Portuguese Savoy is in full season but quite limited this year. It's the last few weeks for Jerusalem chokes and most root veg."
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. Boiron is one of our biggest additional lines. Want a sneaky top tip? They have just released their secrets for creating hassle-free sorbets with their product - see here.
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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