Peaches Nectarines Apricots seasonal stone fruit

Peaches Nectarines Apricots seasonal stone fruit

Peaches & Nectarines A peach is a stone fruit from a fruit tree of the rose family. Peaches are grown throughout the warmer temperate regions of the Southern and Northern hemispheres. Believed to be native of China, the peach tree spread west through Mediterranean countries before later being found in other parts of Europe. From as early as 1600, the fruit was found in Mexico as the Spanish explorers took the peaches to the New World. It wasn’t until the 19th century when large-scale commercial peach growing began in the United States. Prior to this, the cultivation and selection of new varieties of peaches were largely confined to the gardens of toe nobility. Over the centuries, the practice of grafting superior strains into hardy seedling rootstocks took the peach from an often poor quality product to a high quality, delicious and juicy fruit known today. Peaches that are cultivated are divided into either clingstone or freestone, dependant on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not. Occasionally, fruit can be found which is partially clingstone and freestone thus these are called semi-free. Clingstone peaches are preferred for canning whereas freestone for eating fresh. Both clingstone and freestone peaches can have either yellow or white flesh. Although, taste can vary greatly, yellow- fleshed peaches generally have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness which is historically favoured by those in Europe and North America. Yellow-fleshed peaches are especially high in vitamin A. The white-fleshed in comparison, are typically very sweet with little acidity and are most popular in Japan, China and neighbouring Asian countries. Although commercially regarded as different fruits, nectarines...
Beetroot – Hard to “beet” this amazing root!

Beetroot – Hard to “beet” this amazing root!

The beetroot or beet is the taproot portion of the beet plant and is also known as table beet, red beet, golden beet or garden beet.  All of these names are several cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris which are grown for their edible taproots and leaves known as beet greens. Beetroot is classed as one of the most environmentally friendly crops as it rarely needs treatment with pesticides. Beets evolved from the wild seabeet which is possibly the reason why it was originally prized for its leaves and not for the roots. The beet leaves were used primarily for medicinal properties to cure problems such as a fever or constipation Beetroot Discovery. The word “beet” is believed to of first been mentioned in an Assyrian text around 800BC. It was described as growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and being offered to Apollo, the sun god in the temple of Delphi by the Greeks. By the turn of the nineteenth century, beetroot was widely consumed across with English recipes suggesting pickling beetroot and Southern European and Mediterranean recipes using both the root and the greens. Beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions in the Middle Ages in particular illnesses relating to blood and digestion. The Italian Renaissance humanist writer and gastronomist Bartolomeo Platina recommended eating beetroot with garlic to nullify “garlic-breath”.  Other uses apart from medicinal purposes include using the root of a beet as a food colouring to improve the colour and flavour of sauces, desserts, jams, jellies, tomato paste, ice cream, sweets and breakfast cereals amongst others and of course as a...
Strawberries – A taste of summer.

Strawberries – A taste of summer.

Strawberries are one of the fruits we associate most with summer time. We now have a good supply of English (from Oak Church, Kent) & Cornish strawberries arriving fresh in our fridges every day. The strawberry season traditionally ran from June to August, however the season has now been extended through the use of poly-tunnels. Cornish Strawberries. The Cornish strawberry season much like Cornish asparagus season is one of the highlights of the culinary calendar. Our main sources of Cornish strawberries are Mitchell Fruit Gardens & Trevaskis Farm. Strawberries have been growing on at Mitchell Fruit Garden since 1977, this family run business has evolved from only growing outside to mixture of glass/poly tunnels and outside plants with hedge to prevent the wind and a remote controlled irrigation system. Also a family run business Trevaskis Farm produce a wide range of seasonal berries and vegetables as well as running a large restaurant and farm shop. Varieties of Strawberries There are over 200 different varieties of strawberry available throughout the world. For those looking for a specific type of strawberry we would recommend signing up to out Rungis email for access to some of Europe’s  finest varieties such as the Mairs des Bois strawberry and the Gariguette strawberry both famous for their flavour and aroma. You may also recall we have stocked some more unusual strawberry varieties such as the Pineberry, Strasberry and Bubbleberry. Strawberry Combinations. When people think of combining strawberries, combinations that typically spring to mind are cream, sugar or champagne. How ever recently there has been an increase in pairing the strawberry with black pepper or balsamic vinegar. The...