Fruit News This Week – wk 09

10-A-Day, now there is a challenge, even in my household! To make it easier, why not just follow the Good Fruit Guide and eat fruit with fabulous taste?

Grapes: Sable, Muscat Beauty and Cotton Candy from South Africa and Chile;
Mandarins: Nadorcott, Tangold or Orri from Spain, Morocco and Israel;
Oranges: Tarocco blood oranges from Italy & Spain, particularly Ippolito;
Figs: Baby Ronde de Bordeaux and Evita from South Africa;
Plums: South African FlavorKing.

Grapes: Grapes from Chile are now supplementing stocks from South Africa, adding to the great choice of varieties at the moment. My favourites for flavour are: Sable (most stores), Cotton Candy (M&S, Sainsbury, Waitrose) and Muscat Beauty (seen in Morrisons), with most of the rest being satisfyingly sweet.
Oranges: This is perhaps the best time of year for oranges: Sicilian blood orange, Tarocco (M&S, Tesco, Waitrose), are sublime of texture and taste, particularly Ippolito; and Spanish navels, Lane Late and Navellate are sweet and flavoursome.
Mandarins: Lookout for Nadorcott, Tangold or Orri which are full of flavour and a good balanced sweetness, from Morocco, Spain and Israel. Murcott is available in Asda, normally a very sweet, dense mandarin, though samples tasted have be quite tangy so far.
Lychee: The main southern Africa lychee season is over, but a variety called Red McClean is still available for that lovely fragrant flavour (seen in M&S, Sainsbury’s & Tesco).
Figs: A real favourite of mine, though somewhat expensive, are the delicious baby figs, Ronde de Bordeaux from South Africa (Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s), also as variety Evita.
Satsumas: The late maturing Queen satsumas, the result of a natural ‘sport’ on a branch of a satsuma tree, looks quite different, but has excellent taste (seen in Morrisons, Sainsbury’s & Waitrose).
Grapefruit: Sweet, juicy Florida Pink Ruby Red is my clear choice of best grapefruit (Israel is the other good source at present).
Plums: South African plums are good value and plentiful. Standard varieties are Laetitia and Fortune which should be fine, if left to soften properly. However, for better flavour, look for Flavorking, the bubble-gum plum, on sale in most stores (though avoid the small ones); or try one of the newer Ruby varieties.
Peaches & Nectarines: Peaches and nectarines from South Africa are plentiful, now supplemented by fruit from Chile. Varieties are mostly of mid-season harvest, so should deliver good sweetness and flavour.
Mangoes: Practically all mangoes on sale are from Peru with a choice of one variety, Kent. It is not the most flavoursome, but the fruit should ripen reliably and have good sweetness.
Melons: Through-out the winter, we get all our melons from Brazil, but the season is now drawing to a close due to heavy rains, so you will see many more from Costa Rica and Honduras. With luck, we may start to see Charantais in Sainsbury’s from Senegal.
Pears: The arrival of freshly picked Williams Bon Cretian (aka Green Williams) pears from South Africa signals the start of the southern hemisphere topfruit season. These will be delicately flavoured and juicy pears, to be eaten soft, which should have a fragrance now lacking in the remnants of Italian stored fruit.

©Good Fruit Guide 2017. 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.

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