Beans – Runners & Broad in season

Beans – Runners & Broad in season

Broad Beans Broad beans are Believed to of originated in the Mediterranean and now grown in temperate regions across the globe. They have been an important staple for millennia as shown by archaeological findings at iron and Bronze Age settlements. Types of vetch, broad beans have the Latin name vicia faba, and are related to alfalfa and peas. Being a nitrogen fixing plant, they are perfect for enriching the soil in which they are planted. Cultivated broad beans commonly fall into two classes; Windsor and Longpod. Windsor varieties have four or five beans per pod and considered to have a finer flavour. In comparison, Longpod are more durable to different climates and contain eight beans per pod. Broads can be simply boiled, buttered and served however, they are much more versatile having a particular affinity to pork- based meat dishes including pancetta, bacon and chorizo. Popular in Spain, Habas fritas which is roasted or deep fried broads are a deliciously addictive bar snack. Runner Beans A known food crop for well over 2,000 years, runner beans are native to cool, high-altitude regions of Central America. It wasn’t until the 17th century that the vegetable was brought to the British Isles as a decorative plant by a gardener to King Charles I called John Tradescant before being used as a food staple in Britain. The variety, Phaseolus coccineus has long been the favourite due to its fast growing nature and beautiful flowers however; most of the beans grown in the UK for commercial use are Scarlet runners. Pods are usually green in colour however, there are a few very rare varieties...
Minus 8 Vinegars & Verjus

Minus 8 Vinegars & Verjus

Minus 8 produce a selection of vinegars and verjus that top chefs have been using since 2001. Since we established our links with the Rungis Market we have had extremely positive feedback from those who have ordered from the Minus 8 collection. Minus 8 Origins. The name Minus 8 originates from the temperature at which the grapes are picked. Grown on a family owned and operated 100 acre vineyard in Niagara, Canada, the grapes benefit from the regions warm summers and cold winters. The grapes are picked well past their normal harvest in the winter months when the temperature drops to at least -8⁰C.  Over the autumn, the grapes oxidise on the vine and they start to dehydrate which adds to the complexity of the flavour through the concentrations of the acids, sugars and flavours in the grape. When the temperature is -8⁰C or below the water within the grape begins to turn into ice inside the fruit which leaves the acid, sugars and most importantly the flavour in a liquid form making them perfect for pressing. The grapes are picked by hand, usually at night as the temperature is at its lowest before being pressed immediately at freezing temperatures which extracts the purest of juices resulting in a dark, raisin colour with a soft sweetness and fruitiness. Similar in body to a balsamic vinegar and in depth to an aged sherry vinegar, Minus 8 vinegars starts with a variety of up to 8 different varieties of red and white grapes, turned into wine which is then slowly fermented. Blended using the solera method where batches from previous years...
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-...

New Potato

We are pleased to be stocking the all new Jazzy Potato, the Jazzy is a waxy, set-skinned potato that looks fantastic and is great value. Jazzy is a versatile potato that can be boiled, steamed, crushed or roasted. The Jazzy is grown by a group of five farmers based here in Cornwall, Norfolk and Lancashire. The Jazzy is available through-out the year meaning that you can get a constant supply all year. Tweet...

The tunnels are coming…

Like a giant Meccano set, our poly tunnel frames have emerged from a huge pile of jumbled metal into these solid looking structures and the guys who have been putting them up assure us that there are no left over bits! Within a few weeks these will be full of heritage tomatoes, herbs, salad leaves and Mediterranean vegetables like peppers and aubergines. We can’t wait…...