Week 46, 2015
FOUR FRESH FRUIT with FABULOUS FLAVOUR:
- Apples â€“ Tentation from UK, Empire from USA, Braeburn from Slovenia
- Pears â€“ Comice and Sweet Sensation, Rocha, Concorde and AbatÃ© FÃ©tel
- Grapes â€“ Sable from Brazil
- Avocado â€“ Fuerte from Spain
Apples: Great varieties keep appearing as growers open their cold stores for sales. The latest favourite of mine is Tentation (seen in M&S, soon to be elsewhere), a yellow apple with a wonderful light texture. Empire from USA are worth trying (seen in Morrisons and Tesco): deliciously sweet and crisp, while Rubens (in Tesco) and Zari (in Sainsburys) continue as my favourites of the more specialised varieties.
Braeburn is a lovely variety when it is the right variant, and there is a great example currently available from Slovenia (seen in Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose).
Itâ€™s interesting to look at which organic apples are worth seeking out, as there is a decent range. Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose have the best choice: try organic Pink Lady, Evelina, Kanzi and Braeburn, all lovely varieties.
Pears: Soft pears, Comice and Sweet Sensation (a blushed Comice), and crisp pears such as Concorde, AbatÃ© FÃ©tel (Lidl & Sainsbury) and Rocha are ample choice of some wonderful varieties available right now.
Grapes: Delicious Sable from Brazil is the best of the more widely available grapes on sale (M&S, Sainsburys, Tesco & Waitrose). Otherwise, there is a large choice of black, red and green varieties.
As the choice of varieties is complex at the moment, be aware that they are currently in three camps: stored grapes from Europe, stored grapes from USA (in Morrisons and Tesco) and new season grapes from Brazil and Peru. The stored grapes are likely to have lower acids and therefore be sweeter, possibly slightly bland; and the stems may look a little â€˜tiredâ€™, but the berries should still be firm.
Avocados: Spanish green-skinned, Fuerte give a refreshing alternative to the tasty, nutty Hass, which are currently from Chile and Mexico.
Mandarins: An array of Spanish Clementines are available and in plentiful supply, but for those that prefer the sweetest mandarins, southern hemisphere Nadorcott, Or, Orri, Tangold and Mor are still available in many stores. These are at the end of their season, so have lost much of their acids, but still deliver on sweetness.
Oranges: New Spanish Navelina oranges are now widely available. These are an improvement in eating quality to South African Valencias, Midknights and Deltas, though still have that early-season â€˜tangâ€™.
South Africa oranges on sale are great for juicing.
Strawberries: Elsanta from UK and Holland are exclusively grown in greenhouses at the moment, but Waitrose have the first southern Mediterranean strawberries from Jordan, a variety called Monterey.
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.
Grapefruit: Florida Pink grapefruit are the sweetest on sale (in M&S and Tesco), but Rio Red and Sunrise from Israel are high quality fruit. Star Ruby from Spain (in Lidl) is likely to have higher levels of bitterness.
Mangoes: The choice is limited to Brazilian fruit at present. Kent and Keitt are the main varieties, with Palmer also being widely available. Though none are famous for flavour (more so for sweetness), Palmer usually pips the other two by delivering some fragrance.
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.