Global Harvest Set Fruit Conserves

Global Harvest Set Fruit Conserves

How It All Started Having had a successful career as a fine food buyer, David Mason founded Global Harvest in 2009, and began producing the artisan products by hand from his own kitchen. Inspired by his fondness for Membrillo, a traditional Spanish paste used to accompany cheeses, David began sourcing the finest ingredients and developing his recipes to produce a more refined texture and intense flavour.   What is Membrillo? Membrillo, or Dulce de Membrillo as it’s referred to in many South American countries, is a recipe of ancient origin and can be date back as early as the 4th century. The original recipe comprises of quince fruits stewed with honey for long periods of time. This preserves the fruit and sets the mixture. In more modern times, Membrillo can be found in kitchens across a variety of cultures, in one form or another. The majority of recipes tend not to differ too far from the original preserving method. In Argentina and Uruguay, the paste is well-set and served with soft cheese to make a popular dessert. In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, Membrilyo is made from guava rather than quince, and makes up part of the traditional Christmas Eve fare. Closer to home, in the French region of Provence, quince cheese or pate de coing is part of the thirteen desserts, also traditionally served to celebrate Christmas. Hungarians enjoy a quince cheese called Birsalmasajt, which is prepared with cloves, cinnamon and lemon zest, and often contains a peeled walnut set within the mixture.   Why Global Harvest? The primary difference between Global Harvest products and their traditional...
Ponthier: Premium Purées

Ponthier: Premium Purées

About Ponthier Based in South West France, Ponthier have been passing on the craft of fruit growing from father to son for over 70 years. Similar to Westcountry, Ponthier was originally run as a fresh fruit wholesaler, selling produce grown on their family farm.  In 1998 the company created the first range of chilled purées and coulis, combining tradition and innovation. Ponthier now exports purees to over 65 countries globally, and its partners include Le Cordon Bleu, The Association of Pastry Chefs and The World Cocktail Championships. Experts in their field Ponthier purées, or fruit ‘pulp’, are made from fruits harvested annually by partner suppliers around the world. Harvesting the fruit once a year ensures that the origin and maturity of the fruit creates the best possible flavour. Each batch undergoes a Brix test, to analyse the sugar levels in the fruit ensuring it is ripe for harvest.  The fruit is then transported under optimal conditions to maintain its freshness. Once it reaches the Ponthier factory it is placed in their temperature controlled storage warehouse, a building large enough to store 5700 pallets of fruit (a full year’s production). The produce is sorted and crushed before pure cane sugar is added and the pulp is refined.  The mixture is then flash pasteurised and immediately cooled, ensuring it is safe and hygienic whilst preserving taste and colour. Each batch is then tasted to ensure a smooth texture, as well as a flavor and colour identical to fresh fruit. About the Products All products are chilled – No defrosting period is required and products can be refrigerated for up to 15...
UK Butter Prices Continue to Rise

UK Butter Prices Continue to Rise

Since the beginning of 2016 UK butter prices have risen over 20%. This is because the cost of cream (the primary ingredient in butter) has tripled in price. It’s no surprise that industry professionals are now warning of shortages leading up to the Christmas period. These shortages could not only affect the price of butter but may well impact the price of other dairy products, including festive favourites such as mince pies. So what exactly is driving prices up?   The UK Milk Crisis The reason we are seeing price increases on dairy products such as butter and cream, whilst the cost of milk remains relatively low, is primarily due to competition for UK milk supply which is falling rapidly. Stuck in a boom-bust cycle, the dairy market has become increasingly volatile. 2016 saw a 10% decrease in production of British milk. Farmers were advised, following a Russian ban on all EU dairy imports, that the UK market was saturated. This drove prices down and led to a surplus of milk. Now plagued by the increasing production costs and ever-growing prevalence of diseases such as Bovine Tuberculosis, producers are struggling to sustain healthy herds and turn a profit, following a poor year financially in 2016. Whilst some dairy farmers are choosing to diversify, most struggle to remain financially solvent with many forced to quit farming altogether.   Supermarket Price Wars The ongoing battle between supermarket giants has further contributed to the plummeting price of British milk. Whilst retailers battle it out for the cheapest price per litre, driven by consumer trends, farm gate prices have fallen as low as...
Vanilla: The Price of Black Gold

Vanilla: The Price of Black Gold

Madagascar is the world’s largest producer of vanilla, exporting over 80% of the global supply. Following a cyclone that devastated the area, the country’s vanilla trade remains unstable, with prices continuing to rise and supply dwindling. Cyclone Enawo hit the Island of Madagascar in March this year, devastating the local area and wiping out up to 80% of the annual yield. This followed two consecutive years of crop failure due to droughts, a consequence of El Niño weather patterns. With emergency aid the primary concern for the country, supply of vanilla has been scarce and production has been slow to restart. There has been global concern over the future supply and quality of the pods during the period of instability. The overwhelming demand for the product, which is 100% natural and appeals to current consumer trends, has seen buyers seeking to secure sufficient stock for the winter period. This additional pressure could compromise overall quality as its sees commercial producers exporting quick cured and even green vanilla pods. These supply and demand issues, coupled with unfavourable currency movements, mean that further price increases can be expected universally across all vanilla products, with vanilla pods seeing the largest increase. Littlepod vanilla paste and vanilla extract are an excellent way to continue to support the REAL vanilla campaign, as it relieves pressure on growers by making use of all pods harvested, regardless of shape or size. The products are versatile, and although prices may increase, will remain a more affordable and sustainable alternative to vanilla pods, without compromising on quality and flavour.  ...
Pineapples – A Fruit Fit for a King (or Queen)

Pineapples – A Fruit Fit for a King (or Queen)

Originally discovered and brought back to Europe by explorers in the 1400’s, pineapples were grown across South America for hundreds of years previously and were a welcomed food source for indigenous tribes. It was in South America the fruit was first referred to as Ananas, a name that, in many European languages, remains the same today. The crop is now cultivated globally, with over 25 million tonnes exported around the world from countries including Indonesia and Costa Rica, which remains the world’s largest producer of pineapples. Born out of necessity, due to increased demands from European and North American consumers, agricultural developments have allowed for flowering of the plant to be artificially induced. This makes way for a second crop of smaller fruits, maximising yield. Pineapple is one of the few fruits that do not ripen after harvest. Once the crop has been cut its colour and flavour will remain the same until it starts to perish. For this reason the crop is cut early and the rich yellow colour is artificially induced before harvest. If left to turn yellow the fruit would bruise more easily during transport, leaving it more susceptible to rotting. A Brief History of Pineapples The name pineapple was originally used to refer to what we now call pine cones. When the fruit was first discovered in South America, by European explorers, it was given the name pineapple in reference to its rough and wood like texture, similar to a pine cone. The fruit earned its scientific name ,Ananas Comosus, from the indigenous tribal languages spoken across South America and was first recorded almost 100...
Kale – A British Favourite

Kale – A British Favourite

A regular in our fridges, Kale has become the mainstay of many British menus. The term ‘Kale’ refers to a cultivar of the Brassica Oleracea Species, however it is more closely related to the wild cabbage than to other cultivated members of the brassica family, such as Calabrese, Cauliflower and Cabbages. Varieties of Kale are classified not only by the colour of their leaves, but also by their leaf shape and stem height. The most recognizable variety, Green Curly or ‘Scots Kale’ is followed closely in popularity by Black Kale (often referred to as ‘Cavelo Nero’ or ‘Tuscan Cabbage’). In 2015 supermarket giant Waitrose recorded a 343% increase on the previous year’s sales of Cavelo Nero. Comparatively, during the same time period, spinach achieved a mere 19% increase. Originating from Asia Minor; the westernmost point of Asia, now known as Turkey, Kale is thought to have been brought to Europe by Celtic wanderers in around 600 BC. In more recent years the leafy green has been championed by British farmers due to its hardy nature. The annual crop has proved resilient in winter and can survive in temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius. The plant is also well suited to a variety of soil compositions, but thrives in the mineral rich soil found in the east of England. Throughout the UK growing season (June to March) the majority of British kale is produced in Lincolnshire, however outside this season it is readily available from European Growers. The composition of Kale is primarily water, carbohydrates, protein and fats. The vegetable also contains, per 100g, more than four times of...
Natural Remedies – foods to cure your ailments

Natural Remedies – foods to cure your ailments

Fruits, vegetables and herbs have been used as natural remedies for as far back as records can be traced. But how many of these traditional cures actually work or have any scientific facts to back them up? Hopefully this list of produce could help ease your constipation or at least help stop your cough. Natural remedies for curing coughs. The nutrients in pineapple juice have been shown to sooth the symptoms of a cough or cold. Juice from pineapples contains bromelain, a mixture of enzymes with strong anti -inflammatory properties. It is thought that pineapple juice has mucolytic properties which aid the break up and dissolve mucus. The leaves in the peppermint plant release menthol which can help soothe the throat and act as a decongestant, which helps to break down mucus. Salt, although not as tasty as the two previous natural remedies gargling salt and water can help to soothe a scratchy throat and relieve the irritation. There are a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in honey. Honey has been shown to be an effective cough suppressant and mixing honey and lemon can ease a sore throat. Natural remedies for a cold. Vitamin C which is found in many fruits and vegetables such as oranges, kiwis and bananas, plays an important role in your body. While consumption of fruits or vegetables high in vitamin C may not cure your cold completely they will help supporting your immune system with the added vitamin The rich orange flesh of the pumpkin is full of beta carotene, which is broken down by the body to make vitamin A. Vitamin A...
Food Art – Playing with your food (creatively).

Food Art – Playing with your food (creatively).

You may have seen our social media channels this week featured some of the warehouse teams experiments with food art. Their creative efforts have inspired us to have a look at the use of food in the art world. There are many chefs who have transformed plating into astonishing food art. A few weeks ago we featured the Dutch artist Stephan Brusch, who makes amazing pop art using the humble banana. History of food art. Artists have used food as a subject through many different art movements.  The Romans and Greeks took pride in realistically depicting food in their art. In Roman paintings a glass bowl of fruit was often included to highlight the variety of produce that wealthy citizens had access to. Archaeologists have discovered images of food on the walls of the pyramids. It was believed that these drawings would nourish them in the afterlife. The renaissance period featured many paintings that incorporated still life food images. Renowned impressionist, Vincent Van Gogh produced many paintings that featured food such as Still Life: Blue Enamel Coffeepot, Earthenware and Fruit, Still Life with Apples, Pears, Lemons and Grapes and Still Life with Lemons on a Plate. French born artist Paul Cezanne adapted the still life genre mixing both traditional and modern approaches. One of the most famous uses of food in contemporary art is Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962). During his life Warhol created a variety of pieces using the Campbell’s soup can as the focus.  The original exhibition featured 32 canvases (510 mm × 410 mm), each featuring one of the different flavours of Campbell’s soup that was available at the time. American...
Carrots – keep calm & carrot on.

Carrots – keep calm & carrot on.

Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, which is native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The carrots is a root vegetable, most commonly they are orange, although purple, black, white, red and yellow varieties exist. It is believed that they were originally grown in Persia for the leaves and seeds. The carrot is one of the world’s top ten most economically important vegetable crops. Worldwide production of carrots (2014) was 38.8 million tonnes. The Chinese produced 45% of this total, cultivating an astonishing 17.3 million tonnes. Countries such as Russia and the United states (both responsible for 4%) are also large scale carrot producers. A history of carrots The familiar orange carrot is derived from the wild carrot, which has white coloured roots. Ancient Greek and Roman writings refer to edible white roots which could be the carrot or possibly the parsnip. The earliest known vegetable, confirmed to be a carrot can be traced to the 10th century in Persia and Asia Minor. It is thought that carrots were originally purple or white with a thin root, at some point a mutation occurred and the purple pigment was removed which resulted in a new form of yellow carrot, from which the orange carrot was later developed. The domestication of the carrot has transformed a relatively small, thin white strong flavoured taproot into a large, orange good flavoured annual crop. Modern techniques have seen the carrot further refined, with the flavour, sweetness, texture and colour improved. Other modern breading techniques have seen a more pest and disease resistant vegetable. Types of cultivated carrots. There are two main types of...
Cherries – luxury seasonal fruit

Cherries – luxury seasonal fruit

Fantastic quality English cherries have been arriving in our fridges in recent weeks. The cherry was first grown in the UK at Teynham in Kent, by order of Henry VIII, who tasted them in Flanders. The word cherry derives from French cerise, Spanish cereza, all originating from the Latin cerasum, both refereing to an ancient Greek region near Giresun, Turkey, which is where it is believed the first cherries were exported from, to Europe. What are Cherries? Cherries, like plums are fleshy drupe or stone fruits of the genus Prunus. Many cherry varieties are members of the subgenus Cerasus, which is distinguished by having smooth fruit with a weak or no groove along one side. It is much easier to divide cherries into two types the sweet cherry and the sour cherry. The sweet cherry is usually larger than the sour variety, and are fantastic eaten fresh or when cooked. The sour cherry is rounder than the heart shaped sweet cherry. The flesh is much softer and are not suitable for eating raw. The sour cherry is normally cooked with sugar to create pies, preserves and relishes. Where do Cherries come from? In 2014 Turkey was the largest producer of sweet cherries, world production was 2.25 million tonnes for which Turkey produced 20%. Other large producers were the U.S.A and Iran. Sour cherry production in 2014 was 1.36 million tonnes, with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey being the largest producers. 2014 was a record year for British cherry production, with 3,500 tonnes produced, this was more than double the previous year. English cherries getting better every year. Traditional cherry orchards in Kent were phased out during...