Its just been announced today that due to the wet spring and hot summer, Britain is about to have its best crop of apples for years - a bumper harvest of fruit is starting to hit the shops now.
This is great news and most of our greengrocers and supermarkets are embracing this and supporting UK growers. I'm not sure how true this is, but I was informed recently by someone in "the apple business" that our largest supermarket gives preference to importing its apples from countries as far away as Australia and China to stocking up from UK growers at a time when they are in season. This does not make sense either economically, ecologically or even from a quality point of view. However, Sainsbury's and Waitrose are currently doing a lot to promote British apples so I know where I'll be shopping!
Now is the time to try out some of the less familiar varieties as some of them are little gems - I got to try a Zari last week-end for the first time and it was crunchy, tasty and one of the juiciest apples I've ever tasted.
We also called in at an animal rescue centre last week-end and they were selling bags of cooking apples for just £1, so I simply had to buy some! So far, the chickens have been enjoying them - they don't seem to mind the tartness of flavour - but this week-end I'll be cooking them up into something for us (am thinking maybe spicy apple muffins, although I suspect Mr Cocopopia will be hoping for an apple crumble ...)
So, I urge you to support your local orchards/growers this week-end (or whenever you next go shopping) - try some new flavours and enjoy this year's super harvest....