Here and Now - February
Borough Market traders provide a snapshot of some of the seasonal produce arriving on their stalls this month
With the departure of January many minds start looking longingly towards spring, even though there's probably at least one more cold snap lurking somewhere in the near future. But as ever the culinary world provides tasty ways of staying fulfilled as the days get noticeably longer but the skies remain grey.
Graham from Rhug Organics says that Salt Marsh lamb is tasting really good at the moment. They have been out on the marsh for about 5-6 weeks and so have really absorbed the salt marsh flavour which really comes through. At this time of year hearty casseroles and stews are a favourite and pork collar is really good for these. Cook it really slowly to release its depths of flavours and you will be ready for whatever the weather throws at you.
Darren from Shellseekers from his base down in Devon says that the sea bass is still good at the moment even though it is a bit further out to sea. But if you are looking for a real treat you should try the crustaceans. Crab is bursting with flavour right now, and is a good value way to get a wonderful taste of the sea. You could also try its more glamorous cousin lobster which will also be good at the moment. Shellfish like clams and mussels are well worth a try, and the mackerel should start running soon as well.
If you fancy adding a bit of pep to your plate drop into Turnips and check out the wild garlic. Unlike the more common garlic it is the leaves of the wild garlic that you use, and even though it has a strong smell in the wild, it has a more subtle flavour on the plate. Black trompette mushrooms are coming to the end of their season later this month so grab them now, but chanterelles are still going strong. For an extra earthy treat nip over to Tartufaia, where the black truffle is waiting to add some richness to your life.
To add a burst of sunshine to your day Jock Stark suggests fresh oranges. He says Spanish oranges are coming to the end of their season, but oranges and clementines from Israel are bursting with flavour right now. He also suggests giving kumquats a try as they also taste very nice. Lychees are coming towards the end of their season so if these are a favourite then get in now.
Paul Wheeler also suggests the slightly sharper blood oranges which are at their very best at the moment and with their deep ruby colour and with that extra citrus tang makes a great breakfast juice.