Week 27-31 July, 2014.
Leaves: Organic mixed baby leaf from Castleruddery Farm, Co. Wicklow. Also from Castleruddery are lovely peppery rocket, mesclun and ‘Star Grass’ which is super nice wilted and served with olive oil. Wild Wicklow garlic leaf with flowers has sadly finished for the season. Beautiful ‘picked garden cress’ is small leaved and peppery, perfect for a change of menu. For a slightly different cress try Alenois cress – beautiful and peppery, leaves resemble chervil. Mache (lambs leaf) both red and green. Little soft baby leaves including 14 leaf Mesclun mix, 8 leaf baby mix, baby spinach, baby beetroot leaf, red chard, mustard frisee, mizuna, dandelion, tat-soi, broad leaf rocket and wild rocket. Extra blond frisee is a perfect decorative leaf for all summer salads. Large leaf spinach in 5kg looks superb as does watercress in bunches. There is also beautiful whole salads available from our organic growing partners, Castleruddery Farm and Spring Cottage Farm – red or green oakleaf, butterleaf and bronze butterhead.
Organic Irish Vegetables: The season has started properly now with our amazing organic grower partners, Castleruddery Organic Farm and Spring Cottage Organic Farm. Some of the features are: Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Cavolo Nero, Purple Russian Kale, Green Summer Cabbage, Broad Beans, Nasturtium flowers and leaves, Borage, Nettles. Soon we will also have garden peas and new to us a Chinese green called Kai Lan which is a bit like sprouting broccoli . Please ask for a calendar and to get on the growing program.
Herbs: Young wild nettles in small quantities (pre order) Sorrel and Verbena are back. Wild mountain herbs should be starting over the next couple of weeks.
Wild Mushrooms: Girolles are now in full swing with great value. Mousserons are also available. We expect Pied de Mouton (Hedgehogs) to start in July and last for the rest of summer season. Summer Truffles have been fantastic this season and are available on pre order.
Cultivated Exotic Mushrooms: Eryngi back in 2kg boxes, Shimeji, Yellow or Grey Oyster, Paris Brown, Pied Bleu and Shitake
Baby Vegetables (in Bunches of 12s or punnets): Baby Beetroot (different colours), Baby aubergine (long thin, practically seedless), Red or Savoy cabbage, Carrots with leaf, Cauliflower, good value Patti pan, Round or long courgettes, leeks & peppers: red, green, yellow or mixed. Baby fennel has started again – beautiful white heads.
Fruit: Peaches and Apricots are the stars of stone fruit this month. Plums have started but are a few weeks away from full season. Strawberry from France: Gariguette are coming to the end but Mara des Bois with their wild strawberry scent are in full season. Fresh green almonds are also in full season. Rhubarb is abundant and really good value this season. Other berries, like Tulameen raspberries are also in full season but we have two weeks till Gooseberrries arrive.
Vegetables: Fresh Borlotti beans are now available. New season vegetables include: fresh baby onions (red and white are just two varieties, both great for salads), tiny new leeks, & carrots. Asparagus sadly has finished for the season. Good prices on Feves (broad beans) and fresh peas. Parisienne carrots (old variety- orange round/short) as well as Carrots ‘des Landes’ (new season carrots). All specialty tomatoes have commenced – Bulls Heart, Black or Lemon tomatoes to name a few. Superb plum tomatoes on the vine from Provence are available and lovely small or cherry tom on vine (good value too) Coeur de boeuf (slightly green and red at the moment). Bunched round pink and red radishes. Sicilian round Aubergines. Superb large size globe artichokes and beautiful bunched Baby Violet artichokes. New season celery and courgettes – round green too. Fresh wet garlic. In potatoes try the AOC Noirmoutier in 5kg or mid size Bayard in 12.5 kg. First new season pink potatoes are to start in 2 weeks.
Poultry: Duck from Des Dombes Salt Marshes is really fantastic quality and perfect size with a super yellow skin. Poulet Jaune des Landes, Black Leg Chicken, Pintade (Guinea Fowl), free range Coquelet and Squab pigeon, Young farmed rabbit, whole, saddles or legs. Canettes and canetton readily available. All guaranteed with label rouge cert. We also have Irish Free Range chicken availale whole or in cuts like supreme.
Comeragh Mountain Lamb: We are delighted to have started working with the Award Winning Comeragh Mountain Lamb from Waterford. The first new season ‘milk fed’ lambs will be available from late July. We currently offer whole lamb only but this is a really superb producer.
Dairy: The gem of this month has to be fresh young goats cheese from herds grazing on spring grass. Amoung the AOC cheeses in season are Banon, Blue du Vercours, Brie de Melun, Brillat Savarin, Camembert au Calvados, Chabichou au Poitou, Fourme d’Ambert, Langres, aged Mimolette, Pecorino (Italy) and Valencay. In Irish cheese try the fantastic aged Coolatin Cheddar made by Thomas Burgess near Shillelagh, Co Wicklow, and the award winning Kilrea and Knockadrinna Snow Goats from Helen Finnegan. In blue we now stock another international award winning cheese, Bellingham Blue from Co. Louth. As an alternative to Italian Parmesan why not use Bill Hogans fabulous Desmond or Gabriel hard cheese from West Cork. Fivemiletown Creamery have brought out a new cream cheese which is proving to be extremely popular. It has great colour and a softer consistency than industrial cream cheeses but has a very competitive price point. New to us this summer is Knockalara Sheeps cheese from Waterford. This is a perfect summer cheese – young with a lovely citrus tang and a crumbly texture reminiscent of young Mediterranean cheeses. For a really beautiful cheese board we recommend trying Killeen Goats cheese from Galway.
Larder: Amazing new vintages from Cellers Augustus – particularly the 2010 Chardonnay and the super Spanish white Xarel-Lo as well as their always fantastic Cabernet Merlot blend – ask us for details.
New season Bourbon Madagascar vanilla pods are in. These vanilla pods have been left to mature on the tree, growing to 18 cm long to insure superior flavour and quality.
New season Hojiblanco and Arbequina extra virgin single estate olive oils from Spain have just arrived in. Also just in traditional aged Balsamic vinegar Pedro Ximenez.
Why not try our great new range of Spanish Olives – many different varieties available in 3kg tins – all in brine to give you maximum flexibility to season and spice as you like. Amazing large gordal Seviliannes, tiny Arbequina and Manzanilla, beautilful black Empeltre olives. Either plain or stuffed with garlic, anchovies or pepper (just the gordals available stuffed).
Do not forget our range of truffle products : white and black truffle in sunflower or olive oil , truffle in balsamic vinegar, brushed summer truffles in 200gr tin, truffle juice or high quality black truffle paste will definitely add value to your dishes.
Summer holidays invites to indulgence. Max Felchlin and a family company from Schywz in Switzerland and have been producing amazing couverture chocolates for over 100 years. They have a full range of chocolates and fillings with price points to suit all needs. They are the only company producing chocolate from wild cocoa, sourced in Bolivia and it is incredible!
Spanish Charcuterie is back in stock. For simple but highly appreciated tapas dishes, ask for our sliced chorizo, salchichon, ham or cured loin. Paleta iberico shoulder or typical Spanish barbecue sausage ‘Longaniza’ are available as well. Also in new from Spain this season doc La Mancha Saffron is almost 50% less expensive than last season and is available in 4g tubs – in stock now.