Eat the seasons
You might complain about the never-ending rain or say it’s too hot when the sun finally shines but if it’s one thing that this great island does well, it’s seasons. Believe it or not, Britain has the perfect climate to produce some of the world's finest produce and with 2/3rds of consumers say they are looking for more seasonal produce when dining out, it really is time to reap the benefits of including seasonal produce on your menu.
Long summer days are reflected in this month’s offering of light, fresh produce so whether you’re looking for omega rich mackerel, juicy tomatoes or tangy gooseberries; this month’s seasonal array is particularly mouth-watering.
June produces some the best-flavoured soft fruits in the world and with sales of home-grown berries increasing 130% over the last four years the demand for summer fruits shows no sign of fading. As well as gooseberries, blueberries and raspberries all come into the spotlight this month with their unique flavour and unwavering quality hard to beat by imported counterparts.
Soft and juicy
Of course, the real star of June’s show is undoubtedly the strawberry. A season as short and sweet as the British summer, nothing is more quintessentially English than this heart-shaped gem. Predicted to be one of the best strawberry seasons on record, a mild and warm spring has produced larger, sweeter and juicier berries making it one of the stand out tastes of the summer.
Strawberries are incredibly versatile and from a simple smoothie to a luxurious pavlova, their distinctive flavour and juicy tang makes them hard to resist. Good strawberries should be sweet, juicy and plump and there’s nothing more effective than fresh strawberries served with lashings of cream or a simple strawberry tart and vanilla ice-cream.
Strawberries have long been a key ingredient of old fashioned English deserts including summer pudding and homemade trifle and who can resist a scone fresh from the oven with clotted cream and strawberry jam!
Chef's tip! Trying dipping whole strawberries in balsamic vinegar for a taste bud explosion!
Meet the growers
Our growers pride themselves on producing wholesome, high quality produce all hand-picked to ensure our customers are getting the freshest, best tasting produce possible.
Meet Gary Thomas and Rob Kelly from Evesham, Worcestershire. They established their independent business 17 years ago specialising in supplying soft fruit from around the world. Now Red Tractor and BRC accredited, they have a strong UK network of 20 growers from Scotland to Kent, producing 1,500 tomes of strawberries, 300 tones of raspberries as well as blackcurrants, redcurrants and blueberries.
Other picks of the season...
Of course, with all this talk of the sweet stuff, it’s easy to forget your veg which experts claim to reach their best in June. Everything from cabbage, lettuces and spring onions are all fresh, sweet and crunchy – a must for any menu board!
Pop their coat to revel these kidney-shaped gems. Remember simplicity is key and they taste best when boiled and buttered. Broadbeans add colour and crunch to dishes and are perfect in a salad or lightly seasoned for a mouth-watering side dish.
Sweeter and less overpowering than normal onions, spring onions are perfect when eaten raw or lightly cooked. For that extra crunch and zesty colour, their distinctive flavour makes a perfect addition to stir fries, salads and soup.
Versatile and easy to cook, there’s not a cuisine they don't suit. Courgettes are the perfect dress-up veg - add to curries, pasta dishes and stir fries for a juicy and flavoursome addition. And, for something different they also taste great grilled or lightly deep fried making great dunkers for sharing dips.