Entries by Nick Ball

Beautiful Bursa Figs – How to Buy Them

While figs are available most of the year from around the world, they tend to be a rather expensive delicacy. However, September is the time to take advantage of the huge supply of Black Bursa figs from Turkey. Bursa figs are wonderful fruit, especially when they are perfectly mature: plump, soft, sweet and full of […]

Flavoursome Fruit This Week – August, wk 34-36

Scrumptious Discovery: There is a distinct mellowing in the air as we enter late summer, with nothing more evocative of the season than the first English apples in the shops. The soft, perfumed Discovery are all but past, but other early varieties such as Delbard Estivale and Scrumptious are here to tempt us with fragrant […]

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 […]