Fruit News This Week – wk 50

Week 50, 2015


  • Lychee – from South Africa and Madagascar
  • Mandarins – Clemenvilla from Spain
  • Pears – Comice, Concorde, Abaté Fétel and Rocha
  • Oranges – Navelinas from Spain, especially Fukumoto and M7
  • Persimmons – Roja Brilliante from Spain and Triumph from Israel

Lychee: What better fruit to titillate the taste-buds? Lychee, mainly from South Africa, are delicious (best value in Asda (£0.83/100g), Morrisons (£0.84/100g) and Sainsburys (£1.00/100g))!

Mandarins: Clemenvilla from Spain is becoming more readily available (often sold as a Tangerine). A beautiful looking mandarin with lovely, dense flesh and deep, sweet flavour – slightly difficult to peel, but well worth the effort.

Clemenules from Spain and Morocco are reliably sweet, succulent and easy to peel, and great value in many stores (e.g. £2 for 2kg in Asda).

Pears: Spoilt for choice of pears in December, there are at least 12 different varieties on sale, with my favourite soft pear being Comice (or Sweet Sensation, a red-blushed version), and favourite crisp pears (which will also soften to a fine texture) being Concorde and Abaté Fétel. Portuguese Rocha is another lovely, sweet pear to be eaten crisp or soft.

Oranges: Spanish Navelina oranges are in their prime. If you see variants such as Fukumoto and M7 (Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose), these will have a greater depth of flavour.

Persimmons: The Spanish Rojo Brilliante, is the main variety: sweet and delicious, whether eaten soft or hard. The flatter Israeli Triumph are just coming on to the market.



Apples: We have the most amazing choice of apple varieties in December, probably more than at any other time of year. In supermarkets, 30 were counted last week, of which 20 were grown in England, and there will be more in independent stores. The most in a single, large supermarket was 14 varieties (Asda and Waitrose).

Picking a favourite is a personal choice, but I will always reach for a Rubens, Tentation, Empire, Jazz or Egremont Russett, as I pass the fruit bowl.

Grapefruit: Delicious, succulent Florida Pink (in M&S, Sainsbury, Waitrose and Tesco) and sweet Sweetie from Israel (seen in M&S) are the most interesting grapefruit for those that don’t like the bitterness. Otherwise, Rio Red and White Marsh Seedless from Israel are high quality fruit.

Plums: South African Flavorosa, African Rose and Suplum41 are more widely available. Let them soften and they will be far more succulent than Angelino from Spain and Italy.

Mangoes: The choice is limited to Brazilian fruit at present. Kent and Keitt are the varieties and in the peak of their season, so should ripen well, though not famous for flavour (more so for sweetness).

Cherimoya: Looking for flavour with a difference? Try Cherimoya from Spain (in independent ethnic grocers or Asda).

Melons: All melons, whatever the variety, come from Brazil at this time of year. A notable exception is Charantais, normally the tastiest melon, now available from Senegal in some M&S Food stores.



©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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