Entries by Nick Ball

Flavoursome Fruit This Week – August, wk32-33

The first new season apples and pears, greengages, English plums, and wild blackberries starting in the hedgerows are all signs of late summer, and all signs of changes to great flavour in fruit, if you know where to look! FOR OUR FRUITBOWL, WE WOULD BUY: Plums & Greengages: English plums; French and Spanish gages Melons: […]

Flavoursome Fruit News This Week – July, wk 29-30

Flavour is flowing: new varieties of strawberries and grapes, delicious late-season mandarins, melons and stone fruit at their peak, sublime mangoes and tropical exotica, all await your attention and delight. It’s difficult to know where to start….! FOR OUR FRUITBOWL, WE WOULD BUY: Stone fruit: apricots, peaches, nectarines and greengages Melons: Spanish melons, particularly Charantais […]

Grapes with Flavour

In stores, there are some lovely sweet, crisp new season grapes from Mexico, Egypt and Morocco such as Flame Seedless and Early Sweet. However, with the exception of Brazilian Vitoria (in M&S, Morrisons and Waitrose), there has been a lack of black varieties with real flavour. Change is upon us, as varieties such as Sable […]

Fruit News This Week – June, wk25-26

The heat-wave in the south may be over, but the sun is still shining in fruit stores across the country. Think homegrown summer fruits in abundance: strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, the cherry season just starting, gooseberries, currants and even a few UK blueberries coming through. Then, there are lashings of Mediterranean cherries, apricots, peaches and […]

Grappling with Grapes

We are at a funny old time with grapes with the big switch from southern to northern hemisphere supplies still not complete. Hence, red grapes are predominantly stored Crimson and Scarlotta from Chile, with some new season Flame from Egypt; black grapes are current season Mexican Summer Royal, and green grapes are tail-end Thompson from […]

Citrus in Summer

It is often said that eating citrus in summer is somehow unnatural, but it takes a long memory to remember a time when they were only available in autumn and winter from the Mediterranean harvest. Thanks to excellent southern hemisphere production, there has long been continuity pretty much throughout the year. By mid-June, all citrus […]

Peach Promise

It will be 40oC in Badajoz next week, just right to give a wonderful boost of sunshine to peaches and nectarines in the area. In UK, we never quite get the same intoxicating Mediterranean mix of heat, sunshine and beautifully aromatic stone fruit, but the next best thing is imminent. Summer peaches and nectarines come […]

Exotic UK

If you visit SE Asia in June, you cannot help but notice the fruit markets groaning with a huge and delightful exotic choice. It’s one of the intoxicating pleasures of travelling in the region, but is it possible to experience such intoxication at home? The answer is ‘with some difficulty’. However, with some careful searching, […]

Berries in June

We are not far from the peak UK season for berries and are already at the point where practically all strawberries in stores are from domestic growers. So, with the myriad of varieties on offer, it is worth considering the differences and at least being aware of the choices available: Strawberries: All strawberries are now […]