Fruit News This Week – wk 45

Week 45, 2015


  • Apples – Empire from USA
  • Pears – Sweet Sensation, Rocha, Concorde, Abaté Fétel and Comice
  • Grapes – Sable from Brazil, Scarlotta from Spain & Italy, Scarlet Royal from USA
  • Mandarins – Nadorcott from Australia and Chile

Apples: Empire apples from USA are just starting after a seasonal gap (seen in Sainsburys and Tesco): deliciously sweet and crisp.

Pretty much all the standard retail range of varieties is now from Europe with the exception of Pink Lady, which are still from South Africa, and Australia (the ‘original’ Pink Lady).

Rubens (in Tesco), Zari (in Sainsburys) and Estivale (in M&S) continue as my favourites of the more specialised varieties.

Pears: Sweet Sensation is starting to appear (seen in Sainsburys) which further adds to a wonderful range of pears, along with the delicious Concorde (in M&S, Tesco & Waitrose), Comice (most stores), the fragrant Abaté Fétel from Italy (Lidl & Sainsbury) and Rocha of Portuguese fame (all stores).

South African Forelle is still on sale in M&S, and Ya pears from China are worth trying (usually in Sainsbury and Asda).

Grapes: Delicious Sable from Brazil (M&S, Sainsburys, Tesco & Waitrose) is the best grape on sale, while the red grape Scarlotta is the best of the remaining European grapes.

Tesco and Morrisons are selling Californian grapes, which offer a decent eating experience: the fat green Autumn King, sweet red Scarlet Royal (sometimes a little astringent, but generally good) and black Autumn Royal with its sublime texture.

Mandarins: For those that prefer the sweetest mandarins, southern hemisphere Nadorcott is still available in most stores. The new Spanish Clementine season is well underway, but sweetness has not yet developed to the same extent.


Oranges: Choice is about to improve as the new Spanish Navel season starts (first arrivals of Navelina have been seen in Lidl and Sainsburys). Otherwise, all oranges are South African Valencias, which are great for juicing, but rarely the best for eating (though Midknights and Deltas are better selections).

Strawberries: These are exclusively grown in greenhouses at the moment, either in UK or Holland, variety: Elsanta.

Blackberries: While there are still a few English or Dutch blackberries on sale, most retailers have now switched to a variety called Tupi from Mexico and Guatemala.

Avocados: New season Spanish fruit are appearing, mainly the green-skinned variety, Fuerte, a nice alternative to Hass.

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: Although the vast majority of available plums are the rather dense, crunchy Angelino, it is possible to find varieties with greater succulence: look out for September Yummy and Metis Tonic from Spain and Italy, or Marco from Israel.

Grapefruit: The first Florida Pink grapefruit are in M&S and Tesco, so expect them to appear in other stores soon. These are delicious tropical grapefruit, sweet and low in acid.

Other red grapefruit on sale are Sunrise from Israel, which is also a high quality fruit.

Mangoes: The best mango available is Palmer from Brazil, which is very slightly fibrous, but has good flavour.

Kiwi: While fruit from New Zealand and Chile still predominate, the new season kiwis from Italy and Portugal are becoming more widely available. A new yellow-flesh variety called Soreli, with an unusual flavour, is also starting (seen in M&S and Sainsburys).


©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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