The Best Fruit for June

Fruit News This June

The best fresh fruit on sale in June

The warmth and freshness of June usually brings out the best in our homegrown soft fruit, though the unseasonally cool weather this year is certainly a challenge for growers. June is the time to expect an abundance of local berries as they reach their natural peak in the year. Elsewhere, in the warmer parts of Europe, the delightful summer exuberance of fruit is unstoppable. Setting the scene are fresh seasons of grapes, peaches, nectarines, apricots and cherries, all of which will become more sumptuous during the month. Then we have the best of the autumnal opulence of the southern hemisphere with citrus, avocados, persimmons, apples and pears; and the best mangoes of the year from India and Pakistan: wonderful!

  • Strawberries: Malling Centenary, Eve’s Delight and many others from UK
  • Blueberries: From, UK, Spain, Portugal & Morocco
  • Raspberries: From UK, Spain & Portugal
  • Pears: Southern hemisphere Taylor’s Gold, Comice and others
  • Apricots: From Spain
  • Peaches & Nectarines: from Spain (improving during June)
  • Mangoes: Indian Kesar; Sindhri from Pakistan; Ataulfo from Mexico
  • Lychee: Mexican Mauritius
  • Persimmons: Triumph from South Africa
  • Satsumas: Okitsu from Peru; Mihowase from South Africa
  • Cherries: From Spain, Turkey & Greece, including Spanish Picota
  • Grapes: From Egypt (improving during June), particularly Sable
  • Avocados: Green skin Fuerte from South Africa, Hass from Peru and southern Africa.

APPLE Update:

Although many apples are still from the 2023 European harvest season, there is a strong presence of new season fruit from South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina. Quality should be excellent as supermarkets will switch from European to southern hemisphere as quality and stock dictates. Particularly look out for Smitten and Envy from New Zealand, from where they both originate.


Now is the time for fresh southern Spanish apricots as June unfolds and the best mid-season varieties become available. The harvest gradually moves north and, by July, will reach France with some wonderful fruit available. As ever with stone fruit, great eating quality is as much to do with correct harvesting and handling as variety, so a lot depends on the skill of retailers and their growers: here’s hoping for a wonderful season!


Hass avocados are now primarily from Peru with good supply from South Africa (also from Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe). Quality should be very good with the peak of the season, but for something a little different, I always buy the green-skin Fuerte when it’s available, usually from South Africa (often in Waitrose stores).


By June, most fresh blackberries are from UK, but Portugal and Spain act as a back-up.  Big, sweet Driscoll Victoria and Midnight varieties are most popular, but the more tangy traditional varieties are used in the ‘value’ packs in many supermarkets.


Blueberries are fantastic in June: great quality, excellent varieties and good values. Morocco, Portugal and Spain are the main sources at the start of June, with early UK production also underway. Although quality should be at its peak, things do go wrong in the supply chain with such issues as over-maturity or over-long storage, so it is always worth checking the berries for signs of wrinkling or mould when buying. I’ve also got into the habit of quickly checking each berry before serving: nothing worse than a soft or squishy blueberry!

CHERRY Update:

Cherries get better as June and the Spanish season progress, with early varieties having been sold and the sweeter, fleshier main-stream varieties becoming available. Prices are also good, especially as retailers sell larger packs, e.g. Santina in Tesco at 1kg for £5.

Towards the end of June, depending on the year, the long-anticipated British season starts. Possibly there will be a delay in 2024 due to the cool weather, but, whatever, these are an absolute highlight of our summer fruit.

Also in June, and worth mentioning separately, is the stalkless Picota cherry from Jerte Valley in Spain which will start to appear. These are always treated as a ‘value’ cherry by supermarkets in UK: great for consumers as they become a cheap and tasty treat!

FIG Update:

June is not a month synonymous with lavish quantities of figs. Early Spanish Colar is often available, but many supermarkets persist with southern hemisphere figs, such as Peruvian Toro Sentado or South African Evita. An abundance of cheap figs will not take place until later in the summer: Turkish Bursa, for example, are best in late August- September.

GRAPE Update:

June is greeted by most grape suppliers with some relief, as the long barren period since the last harvest in the southern hemisphere is broken. By now, there is fresh fruit from Brazil, Mexico and Egypt as new seasons start. For UK consumers, this mainly means Egypt, though there have been some tasty Candy Hearts available from Brazil (as well as the long availability of flavour-packed Vitoria).  

The first grapes from Egypt are early green grapes such as Early Sweet and Prime, swiftly followed by the seedless red Starlight and Flame. These will be very different from the rather insipid tail-end Indian Thompson and Chilean Crimson and Autumn Royal, as they will be slightly less sweet with a distinct acidity present, but also noticeable freshness.

Other varieties will gradually start to appear from Egypt,: look out, for example, for flavoursome Sable to come back onto shelves soon.

Southern hemisphere grapes should fade away completely, and, towards the end of June, expect to see more early grapes from Morocco, Spain and Italy.


The main red variety, Star Ruby, has arrived from South Africa to replace the tired fruit of the Mediterranean season. White Marsh Seedless will also be available. These will have quite a fresh tanginess and vibrancy in eating quality of the early fruit compared to the old, stored northern hemisphere stocks.

KIWI Update:

All change for kiwifruit: with yellow varieties switching to southern hemisphere supply (New Zealand, South Africa and Chile) in May, it is now the turn of the green Hayward kiwifruit as supply from Italy and Greece is diminishing.  It takes a dedicated consumer to tell the difference between the various sources, particularly with Hayward, but rest assured that quality will be excellent. 

The sweeter yellow kiwifruit is mainly the New Zealand Sungold: a very attractive fruit, with juice, sweetness, a slight acid tang and a lovely flavour. Skelton from South Africa and Jintao from Chile are the alternatives which tend to have slightly more acidity.


Loquats are grown in Mediterranean countries and rarely exported in any volume due to their extreme susceptibility to bruise. They are available in some independent grocery stores in June and are worth trying for their unique flavour.

LEMON Update:

Spanish Verna, a thick-skinned, slightly knobbly fruit, dominates on the lemon market, but it is gradually being replaced by the juicier South African Eureka.

New in most stores (though in M&S in the past year or two) are seedless lemons from South Africa. There are various new varieties of seedless lemons growing in both Europe and the southern hemisphere, so expect to see more as time goes by (seeded lemons will eventually be a thing of the past).

LYCHEE Update:

The Mauritius variety of lychee from Mexico in available in most large supermarkets throughout June: a supremely flavoursome fruit.


Orri, Nadorcott and Tangold  from Israel, Spain and Morocco are on their last legs and should really be passed-by for the new season clementines and mandarins from South Africa. These are principally early Oronules and Clemenluz, among others, but will soon be replaced by the mid-season Clemenules. All these are fresh and sweet compared to the flat flavour of the old Mediterranean fruit.

Also look out for the delicious Nova, usually sold as a tangerine on account of its slightly tough peel, but the tastiest of them all.

MANGO Update:

As Indian Alphonse comes to an end, the sumptuous Kesar continues to be the best tasting mango available (mostly in independent South Asian stores, on-line, or occasionally in supermarkets such as Asda or Costco).  The Pakistani Honey mango (cv. Sindhri) will start to appear, and although it isn’t quite at the peak of sweetness and flavour when it first arrives, it will become the best option over the later part of June.

In M&S, Costco and various independent stores, it may be possible to find Ataulfo from Mexico and Mahachanok from Thailand. These are wonderful smooth and sweet varieties with a lovely perfumed flavour.

Of sea-freight varieties, there have been some good examples of West African, Brazilian and Caribbean Kent, Keitt and Palmer on sale as they reach mid to late season. They should be sweet and juicy, though rarely shoot the lights out on flavour.

MELON Update:

Melons in June are all from Spain or Italy and quality and choice should be excellent. The most reliably sweet types tend to be Piel de Sapo and Ivory Gaya melon (aka Sweet Snowball in Tesco; Matice in Waitrose), with watermelon being unlikely to disappoint.

ORANGE Update:

We are at the end of the European orange season, but the late season Valencia Late (along with variants Midknight, Barberina and Delta) will continue on sale for many more weeks while we await fresh Navels from South Africa. The versatility of the Valencia Late is excellent: good eating and excellent juicing, and the abundance of supply from Spain, Morocco and Egypt should make them good value as well.

PAPAYA Update:

Lovely papaya continue from Brazil, mostly Sunrise, but Solo, previously most common variety, is also available in some stores.

The larger papayas, such as the Formosa, also tend to be available in the summer in some supermarkets and independent stores: usually very tasty.


Late June-early July is a great time for Spanish peaches and nectarines. The season is long because of the large difference in latitude north from southern Spain, but we are now entering the peak of season from the south with good quality and decent prices.

Eating quality will only improve as the summer months unfold.

Flat peaches and nectarines tend to be the most reliably sweet. Flat peaches are often heavily discounted, so keep an eye on prices (e.g. 89p for 4-5 fruit, Tesco Clubcard).

PEAR Update:

Larger supermarkets continue with a good range of southern hemisphere pears in June. Look out for Packham’s Triumph, Forelle, Comice, Green Williams (Williams’ Bon Chrétien), Abaté Fétèl and Taylor’s Gold from New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina, all with good eating quality attributes.

Conference is still the most common variety on sale, flying the flag for European pears. It stores very well, so will last until the new harvest in September, though tends to have a shorter shelf-life in the latter months once out of store.


South African Triumph persimmons are to be found in most supermarkets: a lovely sweet and flavoursome fruit. They can be eaten soft or hard, but the flavour flows more with softness, even jelliness.


Physalis is possibly one of the most flavour-packed and vibrant fruit regularly on sale in supermarkets (though not many supermarkets, except Sainsbury’s). It is usually from Columbia and is wonderful when mixed with other berries to boost the impact.

PLUM Update:

Early June is when old season varieties such as Angelino and Flavorfall are replaced with new season Spanish plums. Supermarkets still have plums from the old South African and Chilean seasons, but there is absolutely no need to buy them as June progresses, as there is a plentiful choice from the fresh new varieties.

The very first varieties will tend to be a little sharp and light in sweetness, and some may not even ripen properly (poor quality management), but the situation will change rapidly. Look out for Black Splendor in ripen-at-home punnets, an early variety with beetroot-red flesh, which is juicy and sweet with a distinct acid tang. The choice for premium packs will include such varieties as Suplum41, Metis Oxy Solar and Sweet Moment, depending on the supermarket: all with good eating qualities.


There is rarely much to say about the pineapples sold in UK supermarkets are they are pretty much all the same variety (MD2) from the same source (Costa Rica) and with the same year-round taste and availability. They are generally very good value, and, when quality has been managed well, are reliable and good to eat.

A new variety, however, has appeared on shelves: a so-called super-sweet pineapple, also from Costa Rica. At £2.25, it is materially more expensive (seen in Tesco), but probably worth giving a try.


Similar to blackberries, most raspberries on sale in June come from UK farms, with back-up from Portugal and Spain. This is an excellent time for all berry fruit, and raspberries are no exception. Quality is wonderful, prices are good and choice is widespread, with most being of new varieties which have been bred for sweetness or firmness, or both.

More tangy traditional varieties such as Glen Lyon may be used in the ‘value’ packs, but names such as Driscoll Yazmin, Driscoll Reyna, Yana and Jewel will be most visible.


Satsumas are available through-out June from South Africa and Peru. These are varieties Mihowase and Okitsu (also some Owari), respectively, and are thoroughly enjoyable easy-peeling fruit: tangy, juicy, soft and sweet.


For most people, strawberries in the garden come into fruit in June, which gives an indication of their natural peak season in much of the UK. This is rendered rather irrelevant due to protected cropping and growing techniques, but I often wonder if strawberries actually taste best in June! However, the main point is that now is the time to buy and eat copious amounts of British strawberries.

After many years of mediocre fruit of zero-to-limited sweetness and indiscernible flavour, today’s varieties are at least offering something of both. The best varieties include Malling Centenary and the Driscoll range of varieties (Lusa, Elizabeth, etc), as well as Ania, Sweet Eve and Eve’s Delight among others. They may not be perfect, but there is plenty to enjoy.

©Good Fruit Guide 2024. 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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