April's market menu

April is a wonderful month when we start to see a lot more interesting fruit and veg, although sometimes the beginning of the new season starts with some higher prices. We will expect to see Local Asparagus at the start of the month from New Home Farm in Ardleigh, Essex and it is a must for all menus! We will also see the return of the Local Essex Strawberries from mid-month from the same farm which are all greenhouse grown, but the flavour and aroma is very good for this time of year.

Then there is the amazing Baby Veg from Nurtured in Norfolk, the quality is very good and the range of availability is enormous. There are Carrots, Leeks, Turnips, Fennel, Courgettes, Purple Beetroot, Candy Beetroot, Golden Beetroot & Rainbow Carrots

The lines that are no longer from nurtured but available to pre order from another supplier are Aubergines,  Red Cabbage and Cauliflowers.

If we are lucky with the weather, we should see English lettuces near the end of the month. We have also been told to expect local lettuces by the end of the month as well. Varieties including Lollo Rosso, Lollo Bionda, Oak Leaf, Baby Gems and possibly radicchio will be available.

Jersey Royals are likely to be available throughout the month but will only become reasonably priced towards the end. Their quality is always very good in both Mids and Wares and availability increases drastically by the end of April.

Dutch Aubergines are rarely anything other than excellent. Their price is as high as their quality in March but in April they should start to creep back down.  

New season French Turnips are a real April treat.  

Spanish Onions are coming to the end of their season and will start to deteriorate in quality. English Onions are better in quality and flavour at this time of year. Chilean Onions will start as well but will come in at a high price although the firm, fresh, large new season bulbs have a great flavour.  

Don’t bother to order Brussel Sprouts though. If there are any, they’re likely to be of poor quality. Spring Greens are great quality though and a special treat.  

Hispi Cabbage is available most of the year but it’s not until the English crop is ready in April that the price becomes very good value for money. 

French and USA Apples begin to suffer from ageing and we will turn to Chile and South Africa for our supplies. Coxes fade from the scene too but the Royal Gala are not a bad alternative.  

Melon prices can reach ridiculous heights in April as supplies become short. Citrus is also between seasonal hemispheres which will also affect the pricing.  

Blood Oranges can last through April but there are no guarantees as they can finish before the end of the month. 

Quality problems are likely in Grapes. White Seedless usually suffer very badly but some good Chilean fruit may arrive. This just means that the prices can rise on the better quality fruit. 

A good choice for your menus is our English forced Rhubarb. It is definitely worth a try as it is sure not to disappoint.

Dutch Peppers monopolise the market and as usual they take advantage of the situation by putting prices up, however the quality of them is really unbeatable.

Wonderful locally foraged Essex Wild Garlic will continue to be a great menu choice throughout the month.

In Mushrooms, Fresh Morels are the fungi stars. They should be available throughout the month, followed much later by the first Fresh Ceps of the season. St Georges are supposed to appear on April 23rd but often don't arrive until early May. Pre-ordering is essential though for all wild mushrooms.

Micro Herbs, Sea Vegetables and other Specialty Garnishes are becoming more and more popular. We go to our local farm, Nurtured in Norfolk every day to collect the freshest herbs. Their range is massive and is ever growing as the weather starts to warm up. For ideas, new products, and up to date availability please feel free to ring us, or send an email request to sales@angliaproduce.com or visit their website www.nurturedinnorfolk.co.uk

IMPORTANT INFORMATION 

Please be aware we are STILL dealing with a very unstable market with crop shortages and high prices that are fluctuating daily.