In November the market starts to flood with flame-orange Satsuma’s and are joined by the equally brilliant Leaf Clementine’s. Although they may have a greenish tinge to their peels, this doesn't necessarily mean they're under-ripe.
Believe it or not we are still on local Essex Raspberries and Strawberries which are still full of flavour and natural sweetness. They will be gone by the month end though so if you plan on doing any preservation now is the time!
November is the best time to buy Cranberries, before the Christmas rush forces up prices. They keep brilliantly in the freezer, and of course can be made early into fresh cranberry sauce. Frozen cranberries are also always in stock as well if you prefer.
At this time of year the Southern Hemisphere season gets underway with the possible reappearance of Peaches and Nectarines towards the end of the month. They will be somewhat pricey compared to the summer but the quality should be ok after giving them time to properly ripen.
Lychees make a welcome come back and Figs should start the month well, but may become short towards the back end of November.
White Seedless Grapes can often start off with varying quality and Red Seedless supplies will be erratic too.
Williams Pears will continue to arrive in good condition and English Comice begins to soften up and develop good taste.
Rhubarb returns to the market — forced, but it doesn’t mind really. That said the price is fairly high, but the colour and flavour is well worth the money.
English Pumpkins should still be available for a couple weeks, but the deeply flavoured Muscat from France and the Crown Prince grown here in the UK remain the foodie’s choice for best flavour. Mixed Heritage Squashes continue to take the starring role. Expect colourful Harlequin, Acorn and Spaghetti Squash. Butternut squash will be deep orange and very sweet when slow roasted.
Celeriac and other root vegetables usually continue to excel throughout the month, but severe weather can halt the harvesting of earth-stored roots.
We will be saying a fond farewell to our English Lettuces and will have to wait for their return next year. Frisee, Oakleaf, Lola Bionda and Lollo Rosso will be mainly coming from Provence and are of very high quality.
If you want to add some colour to the plate don’t forget about Rainbow & Swiss Chard. They are a both a great choice for your menus and often overlooked!
Brussel Sprouts and Brussel Tops are of course always good quality in November and December.
British weather doesn't become too harsh our Spinach will continue to be
good. If we experience some hard frost we'll have to call in Italian and French
reinforcements, obviously at extra cost.
Brassiccas are the stars of the vegetable world in November. Cavalo Nero (Black Cabbage) and Savoy Cabbage will be wonderful, Green Kohlrabi, Curly Kale, and Broccoli should also be excellent.
Romanesco is still looking really good and are a great alternative to cauliflower and/or broccoli. Also we will be able to get a hold of Purple and Yellow Cauliflowers if that’s your thing. They make a very interesting soup or puree or cauli cheese as well.
Local Sweetcorn will be coming to an end so we will have to rely on Israeli Corn.
English Beetroot will not have had time to deteriorate in storage, so will be sweet and delicious.
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