Entries by Nick Ball

Gala Performance

The first apples from the new southern hemisphere season are appearing in shops. Royal Gala is always the earliest to arrive, so, with shelves still full of British, French, German and Italian Gala from the harvest last August, is there a difference? Argentinian organic Royal Gala in Sainsbury’s was the first that I’ve seen on […]

Fruit News This Week – wk 10

Week 10, March 2017 Spring is a time of blossom, and blossoming forth. This is perhaps the single most important event affecting the fruit we eat over the summer, particularly as it happens while the weather can still be inclement. A poor or uneven blossom, or bad weather soon after, can have a major impact […]

Plumbing The Depths

I would blame nobody for being confused by plums on sale at the moment. There are more than 10 different varieties on sale, mostly from South Africa, at prices that vary from 70p to £3.49 a pack. In terms of season, we are probably past the height of the offer from South Africa, but there […]

Fruit News This Week – wk 09

10-A-Day, now there is a challenge, even in my household! To make it easier, why not just follow the Good Fruit Guide and eat fruit with fabulous taste? FOR MY FRUITBOWL, I WOULD BUY: • Grapes: Sable, Muscat Beauty and Cotton Candy from South Africa and Chile; • Mandarins: Nadorcott, Tangold or Orri from Spain, […]

Fruit News This Week – wk 06

In the depths of winter, any changes in the fruit world are happening far from our shores, but change there is! Think citrus in the Mediterranean or grapes and stone fruit in South Africa, as the harvest moves on to mid/late season varieties, some with wonderful depth of flavour. There is always something changing, and […]

Fruit News This Week – wk 04

These lovely crisp, cold winter days can be more ‘hot soups and mugs of cocoa’ than fresh fruit, but then a good crisp apple or pear, or a satisfyingly sweet orange would not go amiss, nor a nutritious banana on-the-hoof. And, once cosily tucked away at home, there are some deliciously flavoursome exotic delights to […]

Fruit News This Week – wk 50 – Christmas Fruit

Christmas Fruit – Week 50, December 2016 The choice of  fruit for the Christmas table is becoming clear as shops sell the latest seasonal offerings from around the world. There are some wonderful options, both for the painfully stretched budget or to spoil yourself a little. Why not try something a bit different? FOR MY […]

Fruit News This Week – wk 48

Week 48, December 2016 What is it about Christmas? Wednesday, the last day of November, mid-morning and not one parking space in Waitrose: chaos at the tills, and no better elsewhere. Everyone will be back nearer the time for their Christmas fruit & veg! In the meantime, my attention turns to apples: there is something […]

Braeburn: the greatest apple variety?

I remember when Braeburn was first becoming established from New Zealand, when it was regarded as an almost perfect apple. It was firm, crunchy and sweet, with a great acid balance and a lovely flavour.   Then it spread around the apple-producing world without much control; the uniformity of quality was lost and several variants […]

Fruit News This Week – wk 46

Week 46, November 2016 Asda aisles: ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ blaring out and it only just feels like winter has started! Well, one thing is for sure, the Christmas mandarins have started from Spain: Clemenules are in all stores, deliciously sweet and the archetypal Clementine, which will take us through to January. More fruit news for […]