Week 44, 2015
FIVE FRUIT with FABULOUS FLAVOUR:
- Grapefruit â€“ Florida Pink Tropical Ruby
- Apples â€“ Smitten, Rubens, Zari, Egremont Russett
- Pears â€“ Concorde, AbatÃ© FÃ©tel and Comice
- Grapes â€“ Sable from Brazil, Scarlotta from Spain & Italy
- Mangoes â€“ Spanish Osteen
Grapefruit: The first Florida Pink grapefruit are in 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 superseding Star Ruby from South Africa as it’s season ends (so may be lower in acids): both are high quality fruit.
Apples: The standard retail range of varieties is gradually coming from Europe rather than the southern hemisphere, with French Jazz the latest to appear.
Each supermarket has its own favourite of the fifteen or so less common apple varieties from England that are on sale. My pick are Rubens (in Tesco â€“ on promotion), Zari (in Sainsburys) and Estivale (in M&S). If you are lucky, you may even find some Smitten (in Morrisons), a wonderful new variety grown in Kent.
For the purist, Australian Pink Lady apples are in Tesco: this is the â€˜originalâ€™ of the variety which was bred in Western Australia by Prof. Cripps (hence the common name for the variety being Cripps Pink).
Pears: The delicious Concorde (in M&S, Tesco & Waitrose), Comice (most stores), the fragrant AbatÃ© FÃ©tel from Italy (Lidl & Sainsbury) and Rocha of Portuguese fame (all stores) make-up four wonderful pears to satisfy anyone.
Other interesting alternatives are South African Forelle (still on sale in M&S) and Ya pears from China (usually in Sainsbury and Asda).
The perfumed Green and Red Williams from Italy, and crunchy Conference are in all stores and are all new season fruit.
Grapes: Delicious Sable from Brazil (M&S, Sainsburys, Tesco & Waitrose) is the best grape on sale.
Other varieties from Brazil will start to be sold as European stocks dwindle, with Thompson and Sugraone already appearing.
Morrisons are selling Californian rather than Brazilian grapes, which offer a decent eating experience, particularly the green Autumn King and black Autumn Royal.
The red grape Scarlotta is the best of the remaining European grapes.
Mangoes: The Spanish Osteen is the best mango on sale (in Asda, Sainsburys & Tesco), sweet and fragrant.
The main mango supplies are Keitt or Kent from Brazil, but you should also see Palmer from Brazil, which is very slightly fibrous, but has good flavour.
Mandarins: There are some wonderful Okitsu satsumas from Croatia on sale (seen in Asda) and the main season variety Owari is starting from Spain.
For those that prefer the sweetness of Clementines, southern hemisphere Nadorcott is still available in most stores (there are even some Australian stocks in Morrisons and Sainsbury), while the main variety from Spain, Oronules, is just starting.
Oranges: Choice is very restricted while we wait for the Spanish season to start. Nearly all oranges are from South Africa and are mostly Valencia Lates, which are great for juicing, but rarely the best for eating (though Midknights and Deltas are better).
Some retailers still have Navel oranges on sale, which are the best for eating (e.g. Cambria at Sainsbury).
Strawberries: These are exclusively grown in greenhouses at the moment, either in UK or Holland.
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: The long southern hemisphere season continues, but the first Spanish fruit are coming on to the market. Initially these will be green-skinned varieties such as Fuerte and Bacon which will be very different from the nutty, black-skinned Hass: much lighter in flavour and lower in oils.
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.
Â©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.