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British seasonal food in April – what to eat now

Here’s the comprehensive guide to all the best British seasonal food in April. There are a few home grown treats, some healthy staple ingredients, and one or two very welcome, delicious imported fruits.

Enjoy April’s new green shoots and help yourself to spinach, leaf beet, turnip tops and chard, and look out for ‘hungry gap’ varieties of kale. You can also find fresh herbs, oriental greens and salads this month that have been grown under cover.

Other monthly seasonal treats include wild Spring mushrooms, brown crab, and exotic fruits.

Here’s what to eat this month while it’s at its best.

British fruit in season in April

British seasonal fruit in April and imports UK fruits in season
Clockwise from top left: apples, pineapple, rhubarb, Alphonso mangoes

As you can see, there’s very little UK-grown fresh fruit available in April, but we do have field or outdoor rhubarb to pick from this month. It needs a little more sugar than the more tender forced type, but it’s still great in crumbles, pies, tarts and other recipes.

British grown fruit

  • apples (from store)
  • rhubarb (outdoor grown)

Best imported seasonal fruit

  • Alphonso mangoes
  • pineapples

Vegetables in season in April

British Seasonal Food in April vegetables veg UK
Clockwise from top left: asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli, Jersey Royal new potatoes, spring greens

  • asparagus (early spears)
  • celeriac
  • chard
  • Jersey Royal potatoes
  • kale
  • leaf beet (perpetual spinach)
  • leeks
  • lettuce and other salad leaves
  • parsnips
  • purple sprouting broccoli
  • radishes
  • seakale
  • spinach
  • spring greens and spring cabbage
  • spring onions
  • turnip tops
  • watercress

[Available most months in good condition: broccoli, button mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, maincrop potatoes, onions, rocket.]

Recommended seasonal veg books & box delivery

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Herbs in season in April

  • basil
  • chervil
  • chives
  • lovage
  • mint
  • parsley
  • sorrel
  • tarragon
  • thyme

[Always available: chives, coriander, parsley grown under cover; older leaves of hardy perennials like bay, rosemary, sage, thyme.]

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Wild / foraged food in season in April

British Seasonal Food in April wild foraged food uk
Clockwise from top left: nettle tops, rock samphire, wild garlic, morel mushrooms

  • morel mushrooms
  • nettle tops
  • St. George’s mushrooms
  • samphire (rock)
  • wild garlic

[Take great care when foraging as it’s easy to confuse edible and poisonous ingredients.]

Recommended foraged & wild food books

Fish in season in April

British Seasonal Food in April fish shellfish seafood UK
Clockwise from top left: red gurnard, pollock, brown crab, plaice

Fish in season in April, sustainable

The availability of fish and seafood varies a lot around different areas of the UK, and it changes in response to conservation, overfishing and general weather conditions. With that in mind, these are your most sustainable in-season fish options for this month:

  • clams (farmed Manila)
  • coley / saithe
  • crab (brown)
  • gurnard (red)
  • herring / sild
  • lobster (European)
  • plaice
  • pollock
  • prawns
  • sprat / whitebait

[Your location in the UK may affect which types of fish are most readily available. To the best of my knowledge, the list above excludes critically endangered fish but please visit The Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society for the latest lists as they can change quite significantly from year to year.]

Fish in season in April, less sustainable

You might also be able to source these sustainably from responsible fishmongers:

  • brown shrimp
  • razor clams
  • langoustines / scampi
  • native oysters
  • whelks

[In good condition almost all year: herring/sild, farmed halibut, farmed sea bream and turbot, megrim sole, sustainably-fished monkfish, rope-grown mussels, prawns, rainbow trout.]

Recommended seasonal fish & shellfish books

Meat, poultry and game in season in April

British Seasonal Food in April meat game and poultry UK
Left to right: roe deer, Welsh lamb

  • roe buck deer
  • spring lamb
  • Welsh lamb

[Always available in good condition: beef, chicken, pork, rabbit, farmed venison, wood pigeon.]

Recommended meat, game & poultry books

Cheese in season in April

British Seasonal Food in April cheese cheeses UK and French
Clockwise from top left: ewe’s milk cheese, Single Gloucester, Celtic Capra goat cheese, Coulommiers

British-made seasonal cheeses in April

  • ewe’s milk cheeses
  • fresh flavoured goat’s milk cheeses
  • Single Gloucester (hay-fed cow’s milk cheese)

Imported seasonal cheeses in April

  • Coulommiers

[Many quality mature cheeses are available year-round, especially hard cheeses.]

Recommended cheese & wine books + delivery

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What we’re eating at Golightly Gardens

The rhubarb clump in our back garden is already sprouting new season stalks, so we’ll be picking a few of those for an apple and rhubarb crumble. I’ve seen a tasty-looking recipe with a toasted hazelnut topping that I can’t wait to try out.

Other household favourites here include Jersey Royal potatoes and baby asparagus spears, although these are more for weekend treats than thrifty midweek meals. For more filling, hearty dishes there will be side orders of kale and spring greens, and on warmer days we can have a few green salads for something fresh and crisp.

One of my absolute favourite ingredients in April has to be the deliciously fragrant Alphonso mango, widely agreed to be the most flavourful of all the different varieties. Their season is fleetingly short, so if you see some then be sure to get them while you can.

Which April seasonal foods are going on your shopping list this month?

Do you have any favourite recipes for this time of year?

Recommended general seasonal books for inspiration

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2 Comments

  1. Like your site, it’s a good vibe without trying too hard, we are Scoff City Chefs, take a peek on Twitter, we are slightly different to what most people expect, thanks for all the info and keep up the great work.
    KR
    SCC

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