FOR MY FRUIT BOWL, I HAVE BOUGHT:
- Mandarins: Orri from Spain & Israel;
- Oranges: Tarocco from Italy;
- Grapes: Black grapes from South Africa and Chile;
- Blueberries: From Morocco and Spain;
- Mango: Kent from Peru;
- Plums: African Delight and Ruby Star from South Africa;
- Pears: Abaté Fétèl and Packham’s Triumph from South Africa;
- Satsuma: Queen from Spain.
Mandarins: Mandarins from Spain, Morocco and Israel are still good: Nadorcott and Tangold are the main varieties, with Orri (often sold as a Tangerine) being the best choice. The season is drawing to a close, so expect to notice the lack of acids in the taste which emphasises the sweetness and flattens the flavour.
Oranges: Oranges continue to be very tasty, primarily from Spain with Lane Late navels. For a great juicing orange, try Salustianas, but for sublime flavour and sensual eating, the Sicilian Tarocco is still worth getting.
Grapes: Grape choice is diminishing slightly as the South African stocks dwindle, but more is expected from Chile in the next week or so. The green grapes are predominantly Thompson from Chile and India, with Crimson being the main red grape: good, but not exciting. Taste and sweetness are probably best in the black varieties: Sable, now also from Chile, Adora and Sweet Joy.
Blueberry: Morocco and Spain now dominate supplies of freshly harvested blueberries: there really isn’t much need to buy the end-of-season fruit from Chile. Look out for Mayra, First Blush and Eureka, among others.
Mango: Peruvian Kent mangoes still dominate the availability and are still good.
Plums: Ruby Star and African Delight are the plums to seek-out: both from South Africa and both representing the last of the succulent plums of the season. A sign of the season entering its late stages is Angelino on the shelves (just seen in Waitrose): a very common late variety which is firm-fleshed. There will be other late varieties coming soon, usually a slight improvement on Angelino.
Pears: The new season from South Africa is well underway, but will share shelf-space with European pears for some time yet. Look out for Abaté Fétèl and Packham’s Triumph which have newly arrived.
Satsuma: Oddly, I haven’t really taken noticed the very, very late season satsuma on sale in Morrisons. Queen satsuma has been available for the last few weeks and is an oddity as satsumas normally end in January. This fruit has a wonderful flavour, is easy to peel and is very sweet: try them before they disappear with the season.
NEW THIS WEEK:
- Grape grown in Chile – Arra Passion Glow, a new red seedless variety;
- Pears from South Africa – Abaté Fétèl and Packham’s Triumph adding to fresh season Williams;
- Strawberries from UK – the first of the season in Tesco, variety Malling Centenary & Driscoll Lusa
- Yellow Kiwi grown in South Africa: variety Skelton, seen in Waitrose.
OTHER FRUIT ON SALE – ON THE APP:
UPDATE of OTHER FRUIT TYPES:
Cherry Update: Stocks of cherries from Chile and Argentina continue, but there is no guarantee of great eating quality at this late stage of the season. If you really want cherries, its best to pay for a chance of decent quality in Waitrose and M&S.
Melon Update: General quality of melons from Central and South America remains good with some reasonable eating quality across all varieties. Pick of the bunch remains the Ivory Gaya (Matice in Waitrose, Sweet Snowball in Tesco) and Piel de Sapo which have greater reliability. As a sign of the coming season changes, Piel de Sapo from Senegal are now on sale in Waitrose.
Peach & Nectarine Update: The southern hemisphere season is on its last legs – really only the firm, late season varieties are available. Look out soon for the first Egyptian peaches – light and tangy.
Raspberry Update: Quality remains good from a variety of sources, mainly Morocco and Spain, but also including Portugal, Kenya and South Africa.
Strawberry Update: It’s late March and the British strawberry season has started. Most supplies are still from Spain and Morocco, without particular stand-out eating quality, so let’s hope there is some sweetness and flavour in the first local fruit (varieties Malling Centenary and Driscoll Lusa seen so far).
©Good Fruit Guide 2019. 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.