Quince Charming. The best of seasonal produce.

Quince Charming. The best of seasonal produce.

Quince Now in Season Quince is a pome fruit belonging to the same family as apples and pears. The shape resembles that of a lumpy pear but this is pretty much where the similarities stop. Immature fruit have a green, hard exterior however, once ripe, it has a bright yellow peel with firm, strongly perfumed white flesh. When eaten raw in some cultures, the flesh is hard, sour and astringent but once gently cooked the fruit can become a tasty and distinctive addition to both sweet and savoury dishes. Cooking with Quince Cooking the fruit turns its flesh from a white to a deep red colour. Containing a high level of pectin, makes it perfect for making jams, jellies and other preserves including membrillo, a Spanish quince paste often served with Manchego cheese and cheese biscuits. Added to a traditional bramley apple crumble, gives it a spicy, fragrant dimension to the classic dessert. Alternatively, in fowl and meat dishes, the tart flavour counteracts the greasiness making the meat very rich especially in stews. Native to Caucasus and Iran where they still grow wild today, it was known as the ‘Pear of Cydonia’ and is one of the earliest known grown fruits used for human consumption. In Greek Mythology, known as ‘golden apples’ and were known as the fruit of love, marriage and fertility often given to the bride as a wedding gift to sweeten her breath. After making its journey across the Mediterranean regions, it wasn’t until Edward I ordered that quince trees be planted at the Tower of London that they could be found in England around 1275....
Oranges: Blood & Seville The Best Seasonal Citrus

Oranges: Blood & Seville The Best Seasonal Citrus

The start of the year has seen the arrival of two very popular but two very different oranges arrive in the fridges. Each has a very unique flavour profile and appearance. Both the Blood and the Seville orange are always in high demand at this time of the year. Blood Oranges Originating in Spain and Sicily with varieties including Moro, Sanguinello and Tarocco blood oranges may also be known as Sicilian Blood Oranges with the Arancia Rossa di Sicilia or the Red Orange of Sicily having Protected Geographical Status. However different varieties can be found throughout the world including Southern Italy and California. Unlike regular varieties, blood oranges are only available for a short season usually from December through to May during the Mediterranean fall and winter although this varies slightly depending on the variety. Similar in both texture and taste to a regular orange, blood oranges have earned their name due to the distinct vivid red colour of their flesh. They get their blood red colour from a family of antioxidant pigments known as anthocyanin with the main compound being Chrysanthemin. The anthocyanin will only develop during the night when the temperature is low causing the characteristic colour of the flesh. Anthocyanin is commonly found in many flowers and fruits however; in citrus fruits it is very uncommon with blood oranges being the exception. There can be colouring on the rind of the orange dependent upon the variety.  In comparison to regular oranges, blood oranges are known to have a slightly tougher skin making them harder to peel. It is their citrus undertones coupled with the distinct raspberry-...
English Forced Rhubarb

English Forced Rhubarb

Forced Rhubarb now in stock This week saw the arrival of the first crop of English Forced Rhubarb. Although the uses of rhubarb are thought to date back much further, the earliest record of rhubarb being used is approximately 2700BC. It was used at the time to treat a variety of different ailments including lung, liver and gut problems as a form of drug. Being referred to as Rhacoma root, Marco Polo is attributed to bringing the then thought as drug, rhubarb to Europe in the thirteenth century. Being a plant which is native and extensively used in Persia and Syria where it grows along the river banks, the first plants grown in Britain were not seen until the sixteenth century for pharmaceutical purposes. It wasn’t until the late eighteenth century that rhubarb was first used in English culinary adventures most likely in an attempt to get the benefits of the drug into the body quicker. Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb Yorkshire forced rhubarb became a national institution during the Second World War when the government controlled the price. They did this so the rhubarb was financially within the means of the mass public. In turn, it became part of the staple diet and as production increased year on year, the forced rhubarb industry became one of the largest providers of employment in the Yorkshire area. Although the fleshy stalks of rhubarb are treated as a fruit despite their tart flavour, botanically, rhubarb is a vegetable related to sorrel. In the United Kingdom, rhubarb grows in two crops. The first crop is known as forced rhubarb and is usually available from...