Week 47, 2015
FIVE FRESH FRUIT with FABULOUS FLAVOUR:
- Oranges â€“ Navelina from Spain
- Apples â€“ Rubens, Tentation and Zari from UK and Empire from USA
- Pears â€“ Comice and Sweet Sensation, Rocha, Concorde and AbatÃ© FÃ©tel
- Grapes â€“ Sable from Brazil
- Avocado â€“ Fuerte and Bacon from Spain
Oranges: New Spanish Navelina oranges are now widely available and the early season â€˜tangâ€™ is diminishing. If you see variants such as Fukumoto and M7, these will have a greater depth of flavour.
Apples: One of my favourite varieties, Rubens, has recently won the National Fruit Show award for best apple variety 2015 (find them in Asda and Tesco). Other great varieties grown in England are Tentation (seen in M&S, soon to be elsewhere) and Zari (in Sainsburys).
Although available from a number of European countries, Braeburn from England is starting to appear on shelves.
Empire from USA are worth trying (seen in Morrisons and Tesco): deliciously sweet and crisp.
Pears: Soft pears, Comice and Sweet Sensation (a blushed Comice), and crisp pears such as Concorde, AbatÃ© FÃ©tel (Lidl & Sainsbury) and Rocha are ample choice of some wonderful varieties available right now.
Grapes: Delicious Sable from Brazil is the best of the more widely available grapes on sale (M&S, Sainsburys, Tesco & Waitrose). Otherwise, there is a large choice of black, red and green varieties.
Be aware that grapes are currently in three camps: stored grapes from Europe, stored grapes from USA (in Asda, Morrisons and Tesco) and new season grapes from Brazil and Peru. The European and US stored grapes are likely to have lower acids and therefore be sweeter, possibly slightly bland; the stems may look a little â€˜tiredâ€™, but the berries should still be firm.
Avocados: Spanish green-skinned, Fuerte and Bacon give a refreshing alternative to the tasty, nutty Hass, currently from Chile and Mexico.
Mandarins: Supplies of Spanish Clementines have settled down to be mainly Clemenule, the main variety for the rest of the year. It should be sweet and satisfying through Christmas and New Year.
Satsumas from Spain and Turkey, variety Owari, will continue through to early January.
A slightly different choice will be Clemenvilla, also from Spain, which is just starting. This is a lovely intense, sweet fruit with quite dense segments, though slightly tougher skin.
Strawberries: Elsanta from UK and Holland are exclusively grown in greenhouses at the moment. Expect Egyptian and Jordanian fruit to be on sale soon, all grown outdoors.
Persimmons: The Spanish season is in full-flow, with all retailers stocking Rojo Brilliante, the main variety: sweet and delicious, whether eaten soft or hard.
Plums: Until the South African season starts, the vast majority of available plums are the rather dense, crunchy Angelino from Spain and Italy.
Grapefruit: Florida Pink grapefruit are the sweetest on sale (in M&S, Waitrose and Tesco), but Rio Red and Sunrise from Israel are high quality fruit. Star Ruby from Spain (in Lidl) is likely to have higher levels of bitterness.
Mangoes: The choice is limited to Brazilian fruit at present. Kent and Keitt are the main varieties, with Palmer available in some stores. Though none are famous for flavour (more so for sweetness), Palmer usually pips the other two by delivering some fragrance.
Â©Good Fruit Guide. Recommendations on fruit varieties and types with the very best taste are personal to the editor of Good Fruit Guide, and do not attempt to be exhaustive or supported by verifiable consumer research. The highlighting of fruit with the very best taste in the opinion of the editor is not intended as a judgement on the taste of varieties and types of fruit not mentioned.