Week 13, 2016
More new fruit has arrived this week to signal the continued seasonal change. Most notable is the increasing choice of English strawberry varieties and the start of European blackberries. There is also an interesting black seedless grape from India, Flame and Sable grapes from Chile, and South African Gala apples.
FOR MY FRUITBOWL, I WOULD BUY:
- Concorde pears
- Fuji, Jazz or Empire apples
- Nam Dok Mae mangoes
- Fuerte avocados
- Murcott or Golden Nugget mandarins
- Tarocco or Lane Late oranges
- African Delight or Southern Belle plums
- Viva or Driscoll Lusa / Magdalena strawberries
- Sable, Muscat or Black seedless (Jumbo) grapes
Pears: My favourite fruit purchase this week was new season South African Concorde pears (Taste The Difference, Sainsburys), which were lovely to eat when crisp or soft.
Apples: New season Gala from South Africa are starting to appear (spotted in Tesco and Asda) which are lighter in texture than the English / European alternative.
Fuji (from China in Morrisons), Jazz and Empire apples would be my personal choice of this weekâ€™s apples, particularly US Empire, which has the high level of crispness needed for this variety (in Morrisons and Tesco).
Mango: The delicious Thai mango, Nam Dok Mae is consistently in larger Asda and M&S stores: well worth the Â£2.50 per fruit!
Avocado: There is nothing wrong with the widely available, and very tasty, Hass avocado, but I just like the lightness of texture of green-skinned Fuerte, usually available in Waitrose from Israel.
Mandarins:Â All the late season mandarins continue to deliver good sweetness, but given the choice, I would pick up Golden Nugget (Asda) or Murcott (occasionally in Morrisons, Waitrose and Tesco): there is something about their densityâ€¦…
We are still waiting for widespread availability of new season southern hemisphere Satsumas. Coming soon!
Iâ€™ve seen Spanish Ortaniques on sale (in Asda and Lidl), which are the very last mandarins of the season: very juicy, sweet and slightly tangy, but not easy to peel!
Oranges: Italian Tarocco blood oranges and Navel oranges, such as Lane Late and Navelate, are delicious.
Valencia Lates are now available in most stores: great for juicing, but with more tartness and chewiness than Navels.
Plums:Â For a late plum variety, African Delight from South Africa is pretty good: very sweet and not too dense. Iâ€™ve also had some good samples of Southern Belle, which are softer and more juicy, if you let them ripen.
Most stores are now selling Angelino plums, which are the traditional end-of-season variety. These will be dense, even slightly crisp to eat, but should have good sweetness.
Strawberries: I find it difficult to advise on buying strawberries, but Iâ€™ve found the new season English fruit to be good, particularly Driscoll Lusa and Driscoll Magdalena. While Viva from Spain and Morocco has some consistent sweetness.
Grapes: Asda are selling â€˜new seasonâ€™ Flame from Chile, which are not exactly newly harvested, just being sold as South African stocks of red grapes dwindle (most Chilean grapes are sold to North America and Asia).
There is still quite a range of other varieties on sale, but I would select South African Sable (now also from Chile) and Melody, Indian Jumbo (or â€˜Black Seedlessâ€™) or Chilean Muscat. A punnet of any of these will not last long! (Availability: Sable and Melody in most stores; I spotted Jumbo/Black Seedless in Asda and Tesco; Muscat in M&S and Waitrose).
Grapefruit: The Florida Pink, Ruby Red, is sweet, juicy, flavoursome, and still available in most stores at decent prices, though, strangely, not at Waitrose.
Blueberries: All blueberries should now be from Morocco and Spain.
Raspberries: Most raspberries are now from Spain, Morocco and Portugal, with odd samples still from Kenya and South Africa.
Blackberries: Most blackberries are still coming from Guatemala and Mexico, but the first Spanish fruit are on sale in Asda. These were variety Lochness.
Peaches & Nectarines: The northern hemisphere peach season has started with Egyptian Florida Prince. However, all nectarines on sale are still from the southern hemisphere and are mainly late season, quite dense varieties.
Spanish nectarines are available in Europe and will shortly arrive in UK.
Â©Good Fruit Guide 2016. 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. Â 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.