Fruit News This Week – wk 48

Week 48, 2015


  • Grapefruit – Sweetie from Israel; Florida Pink from USA
  • Apples – Rubens, Tentation, Pirouette and Zari from UK
  • Pears – Comice and Sweet Sensation, Rocha, Concorde and Abaté Fétel
  • Lychee – from South Africa and Madagascar

Grapefruit: Delicious, succulent Florida Pink are the least bitter true grapefruit on sale (in M&S, Waitrose and Tesco), but have been joined by Sweetie from Israel (seen in M&S), also low in bitterness and with a distinct green peel.

Also available are Sunrise and White Marsh Seedless from Israel, both high quality fruit. Star Ruby from Spain (in Lidl) is likely to have higher levels of bitterness.

Apples: My favourite apple, Rubens, has recently won the National Fruit Show award for best apple variety 2015 (in Asda and Tesco). Also available are other lovely, new varieties grown in England such as Tentation (in M&S), Pirouette (in Waitrose) and Zari (in Sainsburys).

Empire from USA are deliciously sweet and crisp (in Morrisons and Tesco).

Pears: Soft pears, Comice and Sweet Sensation (a blushed Comice), and crisp pears such as Concorde, Abaté Fétel (Lidl & Sainsbury) and Rocha are ample choice of some wonderful varieties available right now. Taylors Gold, a tasty russet pear is also in some M&S stores.

Lychee: There are not many fruit that beat a good lychee for flavour, and the southern hemisphere season is just starting from South Africa and Madagascar: excellent!


Grapes: There is a large choice of black, red and green varieties, but be aware that grapes are currently in four camps: stored grapes from Europe and Israel, stored grapes from USA (in Asda, Morrisons and Tesco), new’ish season grapes from Brazil and Peru, and the first arrivals from South Africa and Namibia.

Cotton Candy, Sweet Celebration, Jack’s Salute, Sweet Mayabelle and Krissy are all the next generation varieties gradually coming onto the market, some with interesting flavours and textures: look out for them!

The stored grapes will have lower acids and could taste sweeter, probably slightly bland, with the stems looking a little ‘tired’. The berries, however, should still be firm.

Avocados: Spanish green-skinned, Fuerte and Bacon give a refreshing alternative to the tasty, nutty Hass, which are currently from Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

Oranges: Spanish Navelina oranges are now widely available and the early season ‘tang’ is diminishing. If you see variants such as Fukumoto and M7 (Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose), these will have a greater depth of flavour.

Mandarins: Supplies of Spanish Clementines are now mainly Clemenule, the dominant 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.

Clemenvilla, also from Spain, is becoming more widely available. This is a lovely intense, sweet fruit with quite dense segments. It is well worth persisting with the slightly tougher skin.

Strawberries: Fortuna from Egypt and Jordanian Monterey will gradually take over from the glasshouse-grown Elsanta from UK and Holland.

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: The South African season has started with African Delight and Suplum41, but the vast majority of available plums are the rather dense, crunchy Angelino from Spain and Italy.

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.

Cherimoya: An easily overlooked fruit, Cherimoya, currently from Spain, is actually full of flavour, but not easy to find. Try independent ethnic grocers or Asda, the only supermarket to have regular stocks.


©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.


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