Is July the best month? London has been sweltering and the market is bursting with choice.
Fruit brings lashings of colour. English cherries are on good form. Not the cheapest, but top quality.
Homegrown strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries also here - both green and red for the latter.
It’s still a touch early for English plums. Expect the first Discovery apples next month.
Fruit from further afield includes excellent stone fruit from France, Spain and Italy: flat and round peaches and nectarines and apricots. Melons are also in their prime.
Figs are also worth a shout - French black figs have started, which are second to none.
For British veg, you’ll find courgettes and marrows.
Runner beans, peas, bobby beans and broad beans, too.
This is peak time for British-grown edible flowers, salads and herbs, such as frisee lettuce, violas, Buckler-leaf sorrel, lemon verbena, ruby frills mustards and many more. Leeks are looking good, too.
Here’s a snapshot from the stand at P&I. British-grown Chantenay carrots are always popular, along with purple sprouting. Local broccoli and cauliflower is available, although can be erratic. New potatoes are being harvested now.
For kale, only the Molyneux Kale Company (read more from my trip to this grower here) can supply at this time of year using their own heritage varieties - otherwise it’s imports from further afield.
For something more offbeat, how about this pristine and local pak choi from Lancashire?
Asparagus is all but over, but there are still trickles such as this purple variety from the Wye Valley.
Continental specialties include celeriac, aubergines, watercress, round courgettes, black radish, purple garlic, yellow beans, artichokes and the first Muscade squashes of the season.
This unusual plant is tenarumi, often wilted down to serve with pasta in Sicily.
July is a poor month for wild mushrooms. Morels are all but over (“Get them now or wait until spring” says The Mushroom Man). There are some trompette, plus girolle and mousseron from Bulgaria.
See you in August - plums and apples coming up!