Depth of flavour abounds if you know which fruit to buy: the Autumn harvest! Lovely apples and pears from British orchards; exotic mangoes, cherimoya and persimmon from Spain; sweet sticky Turkish figs and tangy, fresh Mediterranean satsumas and clementines. Fill your fruit bowl!
FOR OUR FRUITBOWL, WE WOULD BUY:
- Figs: Delicious Black Bursa from Turkey;
- Apples: A wealth of fresh British fruit;
- Pears: Delicious Concorde, Comice and Abaté Fétèl
- Satsumas: Okitsu from Spain;
- Mangoes: Spanish Osteen
- Persimmon: Fuyu or Sharonfruit from Spain
Figs: Soft, sticky, delicious Black Bursa figs from Turkey are in all stores and at good prices as the season continues. To get the best eating quality, buy them loose, so you can gently select those with the perfect velvety tenderness. In pre-packs, look for a good, uniform, dark colouration as patches of green indicate some immaturity.
Apples: Everyone has a favourite variety among the main ‘year-round’ apples, which are gradually switching to new season European supply. Most Gala and Golden Delicious are now ‘local’ in a European sense, with Braeburn and Granny Smith gradually changing from predominantly South African and New Zealand sources.
Of other homegrown varieties, all supermarkets offer something from British orchards. In particular, look out for Cox’s Orange Pippin, Worcester, Delbard Estivale (in M&S and Waitrose), Sweetie (in Tesco) Egremont Russet (in Waitrose) and Zari (in Asda and Sainsbury’s).
Pears: While European pears have been on sale for some weeks, the season doesn’t really get exciting until Abaté Fétèl, Comice and Concorde start, which they now have! Look out for both as they are delicious (Comice to be eaten soft; Abaté and Concorde either crisp or soft).
Satsumas: The early Iwasaki and main-season Okitsu Spanish satsumas are delightful easy-peelers: plump, sweet and juicy, with their acidic tanginess: not to everyone’s taste, but so refreshing.
Mangoes: The last hurrah of summer mangoes are becoming available in some supermarkets: the delicious Osteen from Spain (so far seen in Sainsbury’s). This is a great variety with a lovely flavour, so is well worth trying. It benefits as well from being grown nearer to UK than any other mango sold through the year, so can be nicely matured on the tree before harvest.
Persimmons: Early persimmons from Spain, a variety called Fuyu, and more mainstream Sharonfruit, are becoming widely available. This is the start of the main persimmon season for us, which will last until early January. These are deliciously sweet and tasty fruit which can be left to soften or be eaten when still firm.
Grapes: The premium grapes with flavour that have been so good this season from Spain are pretty much over. Cotton Candy is still available in some stores, and Waitrose continue with the tasty black Brazilian grape, Vitoria. Otherwise, the ‘sweet n’ crisp’ varieties continue to satisfy from Greece, Italy and Spain.
Kiwiberries: These are a great snack-fruit and perfect for the school or work lunchbox. Grown in the UK (though Lidl sell Nergi from France), they are literally like mini kiwifruits, but with smooth skins which can be eaten whole.
Blueberries: For UK supermarkets, the European blueberry tap has largely been turned off. Blueberries are now mostly from the fresh seasons in South Africa and Argentina, with some supplies, interestingly, from Zimbabwe (in Waitrose). How things change!
Melons: More or less all melons are now coming from Brazil as the Spanish season fades. Of note is the Matise (aka Sweet Snowball) which is an Ivory Gaya melon sold by Waitrose and Tesco. It is a beautiful looking fruit, reliably sweet, with quite soft white flesh.
Peaches and Nectarines: Peaches and nectarines continue to be available from Spain, but the choice is predominantly of the more dense late-season varieties.
Plums: Most plum varieties are the late season types such as Angelino: sweet, but not necessarily succulent.
Avocado: While Waitrose are still selling the green-skinned Ryan, there is pretty much a choice of one avocado, the redoubtable Hass, on supermarket shelves. These are mostly from Chile, but also from Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Dominican Republic.
Cherimoya: This is a very popular fruit in Spain, and for good reason as it is full of flavour and sweetness. The Spanish season has started, but where on earth can you buy them in an average British town? If you are lucky, Asda may have some on sale, otherwise, find a local green grocer or ethnic grocery: it’s worth the effort!
Mandarins: Southern hemisphere Orri and Nadorcott are still the main choice of mandarin available, and quality should still be good. However, the first Spanish clementines, such as Clemenrubi, are starting to appear, so expect a change to a lighter sweetness and flavour.
7th October, 2017
©Good Fruit Guide 2017. Information and data published on www.goodfruitguide.co.uk must not be reproduced or copied without permission of the editor. 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.