Girolles     Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    OCTOBER   September ended on a fungi note with Chanterelles and Girolles from Scotland and Porcini/Ceps from Italy and France.  We also saw Muscat Grapes and the first Quince from France, Fragola Grapes from Italy, and English Sweetcorn, Squash, Runner Beans, Apples and Pears along with the last of the plums.  

Girolles

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

OCTOBER

September ended on a fungi note with Chanterelles and Girolles from Scotland and Porcini/Ceps from Italy and France.  We also saw Muscat Grapes and the first Quince from France, Fragola Grapes from Italy, and English Sweetcorn, Squash, Runner Beans, Apples and Pears along with the last of the plums.  

  Violet Radish    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   Right now, produce coming through our doors is bathed in autumn oranges, browns, yellows and greens with splashes of purple.  Root vegetables are becoming more abundant.   As I write on the 6  th   October I see:   British grown  Turnips,   Swede ,  Beetroot ,  Heritage Carrots ,  Parsley Root, Celery , and  Parsnips.   We also have French  Jerusalem Artichokes .  From France too, we have  Long Black Radish ,  Watermelon Radish  and the spectacular  Violette Radish .  There is French  Salsify .  Greens include UK grown  Romanesco ,  Cauliflower , heads of  Broccoli  as well as  Purple Sprouting Broccoli  and  Black Cabbage  (Cavolo Nero),  Kale  and  Rainbow Chard .   Brussel Sprouts  and  Brussel Tops  are here already.    From Italy, the cold weather bitter greens are arriving,  Puntarelle  (Catalogna),  Chicoria  (Catalogna Naturala), and  Cime di Rapa  (Rapini)  There’s an increasing variety of UK grown  Autumn Squash  coming in now, including  Red Kuri (Onion Squash)  and we have  Spaghetti Squash  from France. We also have  Delica Pumpkins  and  Ironbark Pumpkins  from Italy.    Watercresss  from our Sussex Farmer continues to arrive and we have English  Wet Walnuts .   Potato  varieties are increasing.  This week we have two waxy-fleshed favourites: English  Pink Fir Apple  and  La Ratte  from France.  We also have  Rose Lautrec Garlic  and new season  Smoked Garlic  from France.   English  Leeks  and crunchy  Kohlrabi  are in.  The mild start to autumn means we still have Italian  Borlotti Beans  and English  Runner Beans .  English  Aubergines  too.  From Scotland we have  Chanterelle Mushrooms  and  Girolle Mushrooms  and this week there are  Porcini/Ceps  from both Italy and France.    There are beautiful  Muscat Grapes  and  Chasselas Grapes  from France along with a particularly sweet seedless white/blush grape from Italy.   From our Kent farmer this week come  Cox Apples,   Red Windsor Apples  and  Comice Pears .   We have  Citrus  varieties  Miyagawa  (Satsuma/Mandarin cross) and  Bergamots  again this week.  From France there are  Black Figs  and large  Quince .   Pomegranates  this week are the ‘White’ variety from Sicily.  The seeds of this type are a delicate pink.      Persimmons  are here.  This week from Spain.  We have early  Radicchio Treviso  (a long early Radicchio),  Castelfranco  and  Escarole  too.

Violet Radish

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Right now, produce coming through our doors is bathed in autumn oranges, browns, yellows and greens with splashes of purple.  Root vegetables are becoming more abundant.  As I write on the 6th October I see:

British grown Turnips, Swede, Beetroot, Heritage Carrots, Parsley Root, Celery, and Parsnips.  We also have French Jerusalem Artichokes.

From France too, we have Long Black Radish, Watermelon Radish and the spectacular Violette Radish.  There is French Salsify.

Greens include UK grown Romanesco, Cauliflower, heads of Broccoli as well as Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Black Cabbage (Cavolo Nero), Kale and Rainbow ChardBrussel Sprouts and Brussel Tops are here already.  

From Italy, the cold weather bitter greens are arriving, Puntarelle (Catalogna), Chicoria (Catalogna Naturala), and Cime di Rapa (Rapini)

There’s an increasing variety of UK grown Autumn Squash coming in now, including Red Kuri (Onion Squash) and we have Spaghetti Squash from France. We also have Delica Pumpkins and Ironbark Pumpkins from Italy. 

Watercresss from our Sussex Farmer continues to arrive and we have English Wet Walnuts.

Potato varieties are increasing.  This week we have two waxy-fleshed favourites: English Pink Fir Apple and La Ratte from France.  We also have Rose Lautrec Garlic and new season Smoked Garlic from France. 

English Leeks and crunchy Kohlrabi are in.

The mild start to autumn means we still have Italian Borlotti Beans and English Runner Beans.  English Aubergines too.

From Scotland we have Chanterelle Mushrooms and Girolle Mushrooms and this week there are Porcini/Ceps from both Italy and France.  

There are beautiful Muscat Grapes and Chasselas Grapes from France along with a particularly sweet seedless white/blush grape from Italy. 

From our Kent farmer this week come Cox Apples, Red Windsor Apples and Comice Pears

We have Citrus varieties Miyagawa (Satsuma/Mandarin cross) and Bergamots again this week.

From France there are Black Figs and large Quince.

Pomegranates this week are the ‘White’ variety from Sicily.  The seeds of this type are a delicate pink.   

Persimmons are here.  This week from Spain.

We have early Radicchio Treviso (a long early Radicchio), Castelfranco and Escarole too.

  Pumpkins and Squash    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   It’s approaching mid-Autumn, so,  what produce can we     expect to see during the rest of October?     Mainly British grown  Turnips,   Swede ,  Beetroot ,  Heritage Carrots ,  Parsley Root, Celery , and  Parsnips .    The  Jerusalem Artichokes  and  Salsify  too may move to home grown.  English  Leeks  and crunchy  Kohlrabi  throughout the month.  We may see the mild turnip variety  Tokyo Turnips .  Greens like  Romanesco ,  Cauliflower ,  Broccoli ,  Black Cabbage  (Cavolo Nero),  Kale, Rainbow Chard ,  Brussel Sprouts  and  Brussel Tops  should be plentiful and  Savoy Cabbage  may join them.   From Italy, the cold weather bitter greens  Puntarelle  (Catalogna),  Chicoria  (Catalogna Naturala), and  Cime di Rapa  (Rapini).  A greater range of  Chicories  should arrive.   Curly Endive , broad-leaved  Escarole , cream/yellow and red speckled  Castelfranco , delicate pink and vibrant red  Radicchio  to add an extra touch of bitterness to our autumn/winter diets.   Autumn Squash  will continue and, as this is the month for harvesting long-keeping  Pumpkins , we will see more varieties joining the  Delica Pumpkins  and  Ironbark Pumpkins  coming in from Italy.    Watercress  from our Sussex Farmer will continue as will the English  Wet Walnuts .  We should see  Fresh Chestnuts  arriving.   Potatoes  are becoming more varied now, though we will have waxy-fleshed favourites  Pink Fir Apple  and  La Ratte  as much as possible.    We will have  Rose Lautrec Garlic  for a while longer and new season  Smoked Garlic  from France.   From Scotland  Chanterelle Mushrooms  and  Girolle Mushrooms .  Although we have both French and Italian  Ceps/Porcini  this week, we expect to French Ceps to take over mid-month.     Fenland Celery  should appear late in the month.  French  Muscat Grapes  and  Chasselas Grapes  will continue into October.   The weekly-changing selection of English  Apples  and  Pears  from our Kent farmer will continue through October.    Citrus  varieties  Miyagawa  (Satsuma/Mandarin cross) and  Bergamots  will be joined by other early varieties like  Mandarins .  We will have  Quince  throughout October and those coming in from France may make way for English grown fruits.  We are buying Sicilian ‘White’  Pomegranates  right now but the deep red varieties will take over later.     We will have  Persimmons  from Italy mid-month and the harder  Kaki  fruits should arrive from Spain soon.  We expect to have  Salsola , also known a  Saltwort  or  Land Seaweed .  We discovered this succulent plant, which is of the same family as Agretti but a little finer, last year.  It’s a salt tolerant plant which is considered one of Japan’s oldest vegetables where it’s known as Okahajiki.  Salty and succulent, it is delicious raw or quickly blanched. 

Pumpkins and Squash

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

It’s approaching mid-Autumn, so, what produce can we expect to see during the rest of October?  

Mainly British grown Turnips, Swede, Beetroot, Heritage Carrots, Parsley Root, Celery, and Parsnips The Jerusalem Artichokes and Salsify too may move to home grown.  English Leeks and crunchy Kohlrabi throughout the month.  We may see the mild turnip variety Tokyo Turnips.

Greens like Romanesco, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Black Cabbage (Cavolo Nero), Kale, Rainbow Chard, Brussel Sprouts and Brussel Tops should be plentiful and Savoy Cabbage may join them. 

From Italy, the cold weather bitter greens Puntarelle (Catalogna), Chicoria (Catalogna Naturala), and Cime di Rapa (Rapini).

A greater range of Chicories should arrive.  Curly Endive, broad-leaved Escarole, cream/yellow and red speckled Castelfranco, delicate pink and vibrant red Radicchio to add an extra touch of bitterness to our autumn/winter diets.

Autumn Squash will continue and, as this is the month for harvesting long-keeping Pumpkins, we will see more varieties joining the Delica Pumpkins and Ironbark Pumpkins coming in from Italy. 

Watercress from our Sussex Farmer will continue as will the English Wet Walnuts.  We should see Fresh Chestnuts arriving.

Potatoes are becoming more varied now, though we will have waxy-fleshed favourites Pink Fir Apple and La Ratte as much as possible.  

We will have Rose Lautrec Garlic for a while longer and new season Smoked Garlic from France. 

From Scotland Chanterelle Mushrooms and Girolle Mushrooms.  Although we have both French and Italian Ceps/Porcini this week, we expect to French Ceps to take over mid-month.  

Fenland Celery should appear late in the month.

French Muscat Grapes and Chasselas Grapes will continue into October. 

The weekly-changing selection of English Apples and Pears from our Kent farmer will continue through October. 

Citrus varieties Miyagawa (Satsuma/Mandarin cross) and Bergamots will be joined by other early varieties like Mandarins.

We will have Quince throughout October and those coming in from France may make way for English grown fruits.

We are buying Sicilian ‘White’ Pomegranates right now but the deep red varieties will take over later.   

We will have Persimmons from Italy mid-month and the harder Kaki fruits should arrive from Spain soon.

We expect to have Salsola, also known a Saltwort or Land Seaweed.  We discovered this succulent plant, which is of the same family as Agretti but a little finer, last year.  It’s a salt tolerant plant which is considered one of Japan’s oldest vegetables where it’s known as Okahajiki.  Salty and succulent, it is delicious raw or quickly blanched. 

  Fiery Suzy Sauce    Photo © Puntarelle&Co Ltd    NEW in the Fridge:  Fiery Suzy Sauce   For those customers who like their sauces extra hot (yes, that’s you Susan) we have developed a new fermented sauce which we are calling  ‘Fiery Suzy’ .  Made from  hot, hot, hot  Scotch Bonnet chillis and a few other good natural ingredients, we think this will hit the spot.  Pick up a jar from our Ferments Fridge tomorrow and let us know what you think.

Fiery Suzy Sauce

Photo © Puntarelle&Co Ltd

NEW in the Fridge:  Fiery Suzy Sauce

For those customers who like their sauces extra hot (yes, that’s you Susan) we have developed a new fermented sauce which we are calling ‘Fiery Suzy’.  Made from hot, hot, hot Scotch Bonnet chillis and a few other good natural ingredients, we think this will hit the spot.  Pick up a jar from our Ferments Fridge tomorrow and let us know what you think.

  Quince    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands   Fragrant Quince will be with us right through October.  If you’ve never cooked quince before you may be surprised at how unyielding they are but their cooking is well worth the effort.  Its raw flesh is off-white, hard, dry and astringent – not at all suggestive of what it tastes like cooked.  This is an easy recipe for poached quince which brings out their unique flavour – apple and pear mixed with exotic guava and pineapple – that you can keep in the fridge, submerged in the juice, for at least a week.  If you pot up into sterilised jars it will keep for several months.  Poached quince is delicious served with yogurt for breakfast or with cream for a pudding when it’s particularly good paired with ginger biscuits.   Poached Quince   400g (14oz) caster sugar 1.2 litres (2 pints) water 1 kilo (2lbs) quince ½-1 vanilla bean 2 slices of lemon  Bring sugar and water to the boil in a large pan to dissolve the sugar.  Reduce to a simmer.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar syrup.  Add the bean pod and the two lemon slices.  Quarter, peel and core the quinces and slice the quarters into inch thick wedges.  Add the wedges to the syrup as you work.    To keep the fruit submerged in the syrup while it cooks, cover the surface of the poaching fruit with a round of parchment paper and weigh it down with a saucer.  Simmer slowly until the quince are tender (45 -60 minutes).    Serve at room temperature or cold from the fridge.

Quince

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Fragrant Quince will be with us right through October.  If you’ve never cooked quince before you may be surprised at how unyielding they are but their cooking is well worth the effort.  Its raw flesh is off-white, hard, dry and astringent – not at all suggestive of what it tastes like cooked.  This is an easy recipe for poached quince which brings out their unique flavour – apple and pear mixed with exotic guava and pineapple – that you can keep in the fridge, submerged in the juice, for at least a week.  If you pot up into sterilised jars it will keep for several months.  Poached quince is delicious served with yogurt for breakfast or with cream for a pudding when it’s particularly good paired with ginger biscuits.

Poached Quince

400g (14oz) caster sugar
1.2 litres (2 pints) water
1 kilo (2lbs) quince
½-1 vanilla bean
2 slices of lemon

Bring sugar and water to the boil in a large pan to dissolve the sugar.  Reduce to a simmer.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar syrup.  Add the bean pod and the two lemon slices.  Quarter, peel and core the quinces and slice the quarters into inch thick wedges.  Add the wedges to the syrup as you work.  

To keep the fruit submerged in the syrup while it cooks, cover the surface of the poaching fruit with a round of parchment paper and weigh it down with a saucer.  Simmer slowly until the quince are tender (45 -60 minutes).  

Serve at room temperature or cold from the fridge.