Technically, it's spring already - although don't put away your winter jumper quite yet. But some homegrown highlights are already here, such as Jersey Royal potatoes, very early asparagus and foraged wild garlic.
This pic shows the smallest grade - chats. Mids and ware also available. But prices are always high this early. Cyprus new potatoes are also in fine fettle.
The first cuts of UK asparagus are always sold on the Market for charity. The main season is a few weeks off yet and highly dependent on weather. (When warm, asparagus can grow several inches per day). On the Market you'll find cheaper 'grass' from the Continent - purple, white and green.
Wild garlic is now widely available. I just love this ingredient - so versatile and subtle in flavour.
Other British-grown options include roots (carrots; turnips; swede; beets) and all the brassicas. Kale and purple sprouting are a good call at this time of year. Aren't these stunning? Savoy for sale at wholesaler E A Williams.
This is the famous January King.
Peas and broad beans are in, mainly from Italy and Spain. These were the best of the bunch on my visit - Spanish sold by S Thorogood & Sons.
Other Continental specialities include radicchio, agretti, puntarelle, rocket, aubergines, round courgettes, salsify, radish, sand carrots and baby bunched veg. Wonderful colour on these Tropea onions from Italy.
This is an excellent month for all varieties of artichoke. Note the tiny 'carciofini' - a delicacy often eaten whole.
Citrus from Southern Europe is abundant: late season Nardacotts, leafy lemons, bergamots, kumquats (pic below) and more. Blood oranges are still in season.
Here's expert buyer Marcus Rowlerson from Le Marche assessing the quality of the clems.
Other fruit worth considering are lychees, mangoes, pineapples, figs and pomegranates.
Premium strawberries such as Gariguettes (France; Portugal) and Candonga (Italy) are tasting very good; the soft fruit season in Spain is now building up momentum.
Wet garlic is another must-buy.
Wild mushrooms include Morels, Girolle and Trompette.
See you in April for next month's report. Any questions or comments - just drop us a line.