June is one of the most exciting months in the fruit and vegetable calendar. Once the local Essex Asparagus finishes, we will switch to the very nice Norfolk Asparagus. It is one of the highlights and even though its season officially ends on the 21st of June, last year we had it right to the end of the month!
There are lots of local products in the warehouse now that are of amazing quality including; Baby Carrots, Baby Leeks, Baby Fennel, Baby Turnips and Baby Beets (Candy, Golden and Purple) from Remfresh Farm in Ardleigh, Essex.
There are also plenty of local salad leaves from Kent in the house like Lollo Rosso, Lolla Bionda and Oak Leaf.
Soft fruit will try hard to steal the limelight. Cherries from France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey reach their best in the first half of the month and then later, scruffy but very tasty English Cherries make their debut.
Local Strawberries and Raspberries are very good from New Home Farm, in Ardleigh Essex. With their lovely Blueberries soon to follow.
Grapes can be a problem but in recent years supplies of Californian have started early and then have been followed shortly by the Israeli and Cypriot crops. Citrus fruit from our hemisphere will end allowing in supplies from South Africa and South America. The same applies for Apples.
Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots should start to come down in price and will taste wonderful too. Lychees will finish but Rambutans will become available!
English Peas will be the pick of the market and are just begging to be pureed, blanched and if you’re so inclined spherified. Home produced Broad Beans are a must too, as the first of the season are the sweetest.
English Swede should be left off June menus as the crop becomes unacceptably bad. The new season Spanish crop is viewed by most as too expensive. French Turnips though are a more than adequate alternative. Parsnips can become hard to find too.
Tomatoes are at their best, but really tasty ones are hard to find even amongst the mountains of French, Dutch and English fruit available. Other suggestions based on flavour are Cherry vine, Italian Plum and Vine Tomatoes but my favourite would have to be the 3Kg box of Heritage Tomatoes.
As for your fish dishes, Samphire is always a good choice in June. The quality is guaranteed to be superb and also requires little to no prep.
Shallots can be difficult to find until the new season bulbs reach us late in the month. Sweet English Onions are a great alternative if the shallot price goes sky high.
Watercress and Spring Onions will be at their best.
Jersey Royals will continue to be great value for money and will still be superb quality. Washed mids will be of good quality also, though they will be Israeli. Then early July we will see the new crop English come in.
Nurtured In Norfolk products are going from strength to strength, and they are always coming up with new and wonderful garnishes and trying out new things. The range is massive and can be found on their website just click the blue link above. The range is absolutely mind blowing!