Sometimes even the experts are stumped. Here's Les, one of the regular buyers, hunting for background info on some of the first dazzling clementines to hit the market.
Gorgeous, aren't they? (In case you wondered, their green colour is entirely natural. However, the uniform orange we've become used to is not!)
The sight of this citrus is a sure sign of autumn, as are these beautiful chestnuts in the shell.
English apples and pears are abundant. Varieties at time of writing include Cox, Early Windsor, Russet, Gala and the last of the Discovery.
For pears, both Conference and the first Comice are with us, too. Or, if you're so inclined, red Williams from Italy.
On the subject of unusual produce, I bumped into this gentleman browsing some of the more niche lines at European Salad Company.
That Cedro he's holding is a rare citrus from the south of Italy. Ameer Khasru has got a fascinating story to tell. More on that later...
Still on the fruit front, note the season for black Turkish figs is all but over. The same is true of Spanish and French stone fruit - get down quick for the last of the peaches, apricots and nectarines. Here are some late harvests of Claude Verte (greengages) and Mirabelle plums.
For something more exotic, it's a decent time to buy pineapple. Pomegranates are on form. Lychees are not yet here in force.
For veg, English broccoli is a total bargain at time of writing. But this may not last according to Matt – salesman at P&I. He explains recent rains and sun brought on the crop very fast. "In a couple of weeks broccoli will be double or triple [the current low price]."
Other brassicas include cauliflowers, cabbages, kale and the first Brussel sprouts and their tops. Purple sprouting is more scarce. English peas and broad beans are all but over, although runners are still hanging in there. Roots include parsnips and bunched carrots and beets.
Squashes, of course, are in their prime. Expect dozens of varieties, including pumpkins for Halloween.
Fresh English sweetcorn is an excellent buy. (The coloured varieties below are imported and dried.)
This is prime time for main crop potatoes, too. Prices are keen and are likely to creep up in the months ahead.
Other English lines of note are kohlrabi, spinach and coriander – the latter two pictured below at wholesaler Worldwide Exotics.
From the Continent, make the most of the celeriac and Romanesco – both striking looking vegetables, that's for sure.
You’ll also find borlotti beans, artichokes and round courgettes.
Back, now, to the story of Ameer Khasru. This Indian gentleman helps to run a Thai restaurant in South London called Mamai Thai.
Why Thai? He fell in love with the food and culture as a young man who worked in Thailand as an accountant. "The food concentrates on delivering pleasure to four or five senses," he says.
Later, now settled in the UK, Khasru resolved to keep that connection by opening a Thai restaurant. He ran his first in Picadilly for 18 years. His role in the current business is to source the best ingredients for his expert Thai chef.
"Italy is growing a lot of stuff that’s similar to what we have back in Thailand," he explains, as he contemplates experimenting with the Cedro citrus in one of his complex curry pastes.
See you in November. Drops us a line if you have any questions as we are aways happy to help.