Week 18, 2016
The pace of change in new season fruit picks up in May, most notably with mangoes, top fruit and stone fruit.
Itâ€™s an exciting time for mango-lovers with the Indian and West African seasons in full swing, as well as varieties from Thailand, Brazil and the Caribbean. For flavour, head for Asian groceries selling delicious Alphonse, Kesar and Badami, though among the supermarket offerings, you will find satisfaction with Thai Nam Dok Mae, Brazilian Palmer, and Amelie from Burkina Faso.
News of other fruit: more and more peaches and nectarines are coming available from Spain and Morocco, while the US cherry season has also started; several more varieties of apples are available from the southern hemisphere, such as Smitten and Cox from New Zealand and Braeburn from South Africa; Sungold yellow kiwifruit have also arrived from New Zealand, and the sweet blackberry variety, Driscoll Victoria, is available in several supermarkets, grown in Holland.
FOR MY FRUITBOWL, I WOULD BUY:
- Alphonse or Kesar Indian mangoes
- Amelie mango from Burkina Faso
- Nam Dok Mae mango from Thailand
- Abate Fetel, Concorde or Forelle pears
- Smitten apples from New Zealand
- English strawberries, particularly Driscoll Lusa, Flair
- Blueberries, particularly Blue One, Rocio, Celeste
- Satsumas, Mihowase or Okitsu
Mangoes: Indian mangoes are in Asian groceries with a choice of Alphonse, Kesar and Badami. These are all delicious, though my favourites are Alphonse and Kesar for their silky orange flesh and beautiful flavour. Badami is a very perfumed mango with light yellow flesh.
Otherwise, if you shop in supermarkets, try Thai Nam Dok Mae (M&S and Asda), Brazilian Palmer (occasionally seen in Lidl and Tesco) or Amelie from Burkina Faso (in Lidl and Tesco).
Pears: Crisp, sweet Forelle from South Africa and Chile have been seen in M&S and Sainsburys, along with Concorde pears (also in Sainsburys). Both are delicious, the latter are a crisp or soft pear. Also try Abate Fetel (now in many stores) from South Africa, Argentina and Chile. They donâ€™t quite match the Italian original, but are still decent â€˜crisp or softâ€™ pears.
Apples: Our great choice of apples is still dominated by northern hemisphere stocks, but the deliciously crisp Smitten from New Zealand is an alternative to enjoy (M&S, Waitrose and Morrisons).
Satsumas: When they are sweet, I really enjoy the bland juiciness of Satsumas: the season is now well under way from South Africa.
Strawberries: All mainstream supermarkets have English strawberries, which have the great advantage of short lead-times from farm to shelf, making them several days fresher than those from Spain.
Blueberries: There are some lovely blueberries on sale in all stores, all from Spain or Morocco. There are many varieties, so choice is difficult, but you canâ€™t go wrong with Rocio and Blue One.
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.