Week 04, 2016
FRESH FRUIT with FABULOUS FLAVOUR:
- Mandarins â€“ late Clementines from Spain and Morocco
- Oranges â€“ Tarocco and Moro blood oranges from Italy
- Grapes â€“ South African Sable
- Lychee â€“ from South Africa and Madagascar
- Pears â€“ Comice, Concorde, AbatÃ© FÃ©tel and Rocha
- Peaches & Nectarines â€“ peak season from South African
Mandarins: Nour from Morocco, Orri and Tangold from Spain, and the early Nadorcotts are a treat for those looking for depth of flavour in their Clementines.
Also, try these if you see them: Spanish Clemenvilla, still lovely, dense and sweet; Tacle, an Italian variety in M&S; and Queen, a Satsuma hybrid seen in Morrisons and Sainsburys.
Oranges: This is always a great time for Mediterranean oranges, and they get better in late winter and early spring. Look out for the new season blood oranges from Italy: Moro, and especially, Tarocco (seen in M&S and Tesco).
Spanish Navellates have good sweetness, while Salustianas are ideal for juicing, and Seville oranges are now available for homemade marmalade (seen in Sainsbury, Tesco & Waitrose).
Grapes: Namibian and South African grapes predominate, and the best for flavour is the black grape, Sable. This is now widely available, and on promotion in Sainsburys at Â£1.50/400g â€“ a bargain (also at Asda, Waitrose and Tesco at Â£2.00/400g).
Lychee: Probably the most delicious fruit on sale, lychees are still good from South Africa and Madagascar. The best prices are: Lidl (Â£3.99/kg, loose), Asda (Â£5.00/kg), Tesco (Â£5.30/kg, 500g pack) and Morrisons (5.89/kg).
Pears: My favourite soft pear is Comice (or Sweet Sensation, a red-blushed version), and the best crisp pears (which will also soften to a fine texture) are Concorde, AbatÃ© FÃ©tÃ¨l and Portuguese Rocha.
Peaches & Nectarines: Most peaches and nectarines are in peak season from South Africa, so should deliver on sweetness and flavour (if the retailer is taking good care!).
Apples: At last count, 29 different varieties of apples were available from UK supermarkets: what a fabulous choice!
For flavour, I will always reach for a Rubens (Sainsbury, Tesco), Empire (Morrisons, Tesco), Braeburn, Jazz or Egremont Russett, as I pass the fruit bowl.
Persimmons: The Spanish Rojo Brilliante, is still available: sweet and delicious, whether eaten soft or hard. The flatter Sharon fruit is also widely available from Spain and Israel.
Plums: Similar to peaches and nectarines, plums are in peak season from South Africa. FlavorKing is probably the pick of the bunch, but there is plenty of choice. Let them soften properly in your fruit bowl to get the best sweetness and succulence.
Cherimoya: Looking for flavour with a difference? Try Cherimoya from Spain (in independent ethnic grocers or Asda).
Avocado: Choice of variety has just been doubled by the introduction of Pinkerton (seen in Lidl, Sainsburys and Waitrose) from Israel: a green-skin fruit and a good alternative to Hass.
Figs: Itâ€™s an expensive time of year for figs, but there are some lovely varieties available from South Africa, including the baby Ronde de Bordeaux (seen in M&S and Morrisons).
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.