Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Savouring the Season's Finest; FLAVOURS OF THE MONTH

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Savouring the Season's Finest; FLAVOURS OF THE MONTH

Article excerpt


For the home cook, June is the most eagerly awaited month of the year as it forms a sort of culinary bridge between spring and summer. In a world where the seasons are constantly being adjusted by growers who rely on huge polytunnels to get ahead, June sees many of the year's first genuine outdoor-grown vegetables come to market. And whatever the allure of out-of-season or imported produce, traditionally grown fruit and vegetables simply taste better.


The famous English cherry orchards have taken a terrible beating: a survey in 2003 showed that we had only five per cent of the acreage that was being cultivated in 1951. Foreign cherry exporters have taken advantage of this, and in June (the English cherry season starts towards the end of the month) supermarkets start to push foreign varieties.

Find the English fruit, and your patriotism will be rewarded with a delicious sweetness balanced by a fruity acidity. Like so many seasonal delights, it's good to buy them from a market stall or a local vegetable shop such as The Organic Grocer, 17 Clifton Road, W9 (020 7286 1400). Prices are seasonal, but doubtless will be less than the [pounds sterling]18 per kilo that some imported varieties cost.


This year the first ultraearly, polytunnel-grown strawberries hit the shops in April - and they tasted like pallid mush. Weather permitting, by the second week of June real outdoor English strawberries will be on sale and by Wimbledon fortnight the crop will be peaking.

Once the season is in full swing the best place to buy strawberries is from market stalls, or local fruit and vegetable shops such as Two Peas in a Pod, 85 Church Road, SW13 (020 8748 0232). Prices will come down from an early-season peak of around [pounds sterling]9 per kilo.


There's a lot of confusion about sea trout. …

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