October arrives with a cascade of autumn fruits and nuts.  Stone fruits give way to juicy Grapes and plump figs.  The English harvest of Apples and Pears changes in variety by the week and the Quince perfumes the arch.  Milky Kent Cobnuts are joined by creamy Wet Walnuts and soon there will be Chestnuts too.  Vibrant autumn colours come too in the orange, yellows, greens and mahogany of Winter Squash and Pumpkins, the reds of early Pomegranate and the first deep orange Persimmons. It’s a very definite seasonal shift but there is much to look forward to in the autumn basket. 

Here is a taster of the things you can expect to find at Puntarelle & Co in the month of October:

English Quince    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

English Quince

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Apples from our favoured farm in Kent include Early Windsor, Greensleeves, Spartan, Orange Pippin, and Worcesters.  They provide us with Pears too, in varieties like Doyenne du Comice, Conference and Triumph of Vienna - an old French variety with red flush, russet-patched skin and smooth, juicy white flesh.  

Knobbly, hard, fuz-covered Quince arrive to scent the arch and mystify those who have never encountered them before.

This month Italian Peaches and Melons are finally edged-out by Fragola Grapes, with their flavours of strawberry/exotic fruits, and the early unwaxed Navelina Oranges.  The start of the new citrus season always excites and zingy Miyagawa Mandarins and Bergamots star this month.

Wet Walnuts    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Wet Walnuts

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

What would autumn be like without milky Wet Walnuts and luscious Black Figs?  They should arrive throughout October from France and Italy.

Look out for the arrival of sweet/sharp, juicy Pomegranates in colours ranging from ivory, through pink to deep red.  And we may see the first Kaki and Italian Persimmons, the latter best eaten when they turn into transluscent deep-amber jelly bombs

Swiss Chard    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Swiss Chard

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Rainbow Chard, Swiss Chard, Black Cabbage/Cavolo Nero, Cauliflowers and crunchy Kohlrabi and creamy Celeriac are star vegetables this month.  And there’s the second growing of the year of Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts seem to appear earlier and earlier each year, so you can expect to see some this month.

Winter Squash and hard-skinned Pumpkins are starting to arrive. 

We have Chanterelles and Girolles from Scotland and expect to have them throughout the month, supplemented by mushrooms from France/Italy.

Coco de Paimpol (fresh Haricot/Coco Beans) are still coming through.

New season Artichokes, bitter-leaved Chicoria and Cima di Rapa arrive and we can expect to have them through autumn.

Appple,Beet&Ginger water kefir    Photo ©  London Fermentary

Appple,Beet&Ginger water kefir

Photo © London Fermentary

London Fermentary News:

There is a real change in the produce coming through our doors in October.  There is no denying Autumn is upon us.  Here is an idea of what you can expect to find in our fridges this month.

Water Kefir flavours for October include:

Apple,Beet & Ginger , earthy flavour and rich in Iron from beetroot, with minimal sugar content!

Pumpkin & Orange  with a hint of cinnamon , perfect Autumn feel. 

Fragola Grape with its strawberry-like flavour

Blueberry & Lavender was an experimental pairing this year but has proved so good that you will find it in our fridges this month.

Blackcurrant which is not only particularly delicious and good for your gut health but is packed with Vitamin C.

Raspberry, a London Fermentary favourite.

Lime Tree Blossom, which proves that this fragrant blossom is good not just for making a tisane.

Fermented Vegetables:

Daikon & Seaweed

Luscious Leeks 

All range of our fermented sauces is currently available too.

Pears with maple syrup and vanilla    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

Pears with maple syrup and vanilla

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

With such an amazing crop of Apples and Pears coming into the arch at this time of year, we have to point you to this simple recipe that is so perfectly seasonal.  You can find a full version in Nigel Slater’s book Tender: Volume II.  It’s delicious but if you want to add a little texture, a scattering of a few toasted almonds is good.

Pears with maple syrup and vanilla

(serves 4)

4 large pears

4 tablespoons sugar

750ml water

4 tablespoons maple syrup

2-3 drops vanilla extract

Peels the pears, cut in half and scoop out the cores.  Bring sugar and water to the boil, add the pears and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until just beginning to feel tender.  Lift the pear halves from the syrup and discard the liquid.

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/Gas 4.  

Place the pears in a shallow baking dish.  Drizzle them with the maple syrup and the vanilla extract.  Bake them for around 1 hour or until the pears are meltingly soft and pale gold here and there.

Serve with or without cream.