Flavoursome Fruit This Week – wk 15’18, April

The search for real flavour in fresh fruit can be tricky at this time of year, but with autumnal arrivals from the southern hemisphere and spring fruit gaining pace from north of the equator, there is certainly plenty to enjoy, if you know where to look!


  • Strawberries: Malling Centenary and Driscoll Lusa from UK;
  • Blueberries: Portugueses, Moroccan and Spanish;
  • Raspberries: Driscoll Maravilla from Morocco;
  • Grapes: Sable, Muscat Beauty, Candy Hearts from Chile;
  • Mandarins: Nadorcott and Orri;
  • Satsumas: Okitsu from Peru; Mihowase from South Africa;
  • Oranges: Spanish and Moroccan Navels, Sicilian Tarocco;
  • Pears: South African Packham’s and Qtee;
  • Avocado: Fuerte from South Africa;
  • Figs: Evita from South Africa.

Strawberries: New UK season strawberries are now in most stores and the main varieties, Malling Centenary and Driscoll Lusa, offer good flavour and sweetness. The main varieties from Spain are Fortune and Rociera, but Viva Isabella and Driscoll Marquis will be better to eat.

Blueberries: New season Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan fruit are now in all stores and should be excellent, particularly varieties such Mayra, Blue Aroma and Eureka.

Mandarins: Nadorcott is sold everywhere and is still good, with sweetness dominating as acids fade. The same can be said for Orri (usually sold as a tangerine) and Tangold. Mor from Morocco is the tangerine choice in Sainsbury’s: very sweet, but tough to peel.

Satsumas: Peruvian and South African satsumas, with their delicious tangy, juicy, softness are becoming more widely available (Peruvian Okitsu seen in Tesco; South African Mihowase in other stores).

Oranges: Spanish late navels, such as Powell and Lane Late, are wonderfully sweet and satisfying oranges. In Asda, look out for Moroccan Washington Sanguine, a rare pigmented variety: pigmentation is very slight, but it’s a tasty orange. Sicilian Tarocco (seen in M&S and Waitrose) are still delicious with their sublime taste and texture, with odd tangy one to liven the taste buds.

Grapes: Chilean grapes are the mainstay of supply as the South African season dwindles, but with India providing most of the green grapes. Stand-out varieties are Joybells and Melody (very sweet); Sable, Candy Hearts and Muscat Beauty (great flavour).

Pears: Green Williams, Packham’s Triumph, Abaté Fétèl, Comice, Qtee and Cheeky make-up a good choice of southern hemisphere pears. While European Conference and Rocha will continue through the summer, almost until their new seasons in September.

Packham’s Triumph and Comice are very good soft pears. Abaté Fétèl, usually so good from Italy, has so far been disappointing from South Africa: perhaps the season needs to get going a bit!

Figs: Soft, sticky Evita figs from South Africa are delicious, though a tad pricey at about 50p each – a lovely treat!

Avocados:  Peruvian Hass is now becoming widespread along with supplies spotted from Spain, Israel, Mexico, Columbia and Mozambique. There will be a perceptible difference in density and flavour, with the Peruvian and Mozambican fruit being slightly lighter in taste. For a real alternative, however, try South African Fuerte, the main green-skin variety which is becoming available in many stores, often as a loose fruit.

Apples: Seasonal change is underway: look out for Cox from New Zealand (seen so far in M&S and Sainsbury’s) and Royal Gala from South Africa and Chile. Gala isn’t the most flavoursome of varieties, but is at its best when freshly harvested.

Peaches and Nectarines: Mediterranean peaches, specifically Florida Prince from Egypt, have now started. Once ripened in the fruit bowl, these will be light and sweet.

Plums: End of season plum varieties are never quite as succulent as we expect, but African Delight and Ruby Star are two varieties that are pretty good and are available in most stores.

Mango: New season Keitt from Dominican Republic has been causing some problems with stem-end rot, which will hopefully pass soon (seen in Sainsbury and Waitrose). Otherwise, Kent from Peru and Brazilian Keitt are the main choice. A well ripened Keitt can be quite flavoursome, but nowhere near as enjoyable as a good Nam Dok Mae from Thailand (now in selected M&S stores – £3.50 each!).

Papaya: Small papaya from Jamaica (variety Solo) and Brazil (variety Golden) rarely fail to be really flavoursome, and are available all year round.

12th April, 2018


©Good Fruit Guide 2018. Information and data published on www.goodfruitguide.co.uk must not be reproduced or copied without permission of the editor. 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.