Seasonal food tastes great and it’s often cheaper too. Here’s what to buy at the market, or pick from your kitchen garden this April.
Enjoy fresh bursts of green and help yourself to overwintered spinach, leaf beet, turnip tops and chard. You can also find fresh herbs, oriental greens and salads that have been grown under cover. Other seasonal treats include wild Spring mushrooms, lobster and crab, and imported exotic fruits.
FRUIT IN SEASON IN APRIL
Apples (from store), rhubarb (outdoor)
BEST IMPORTED SEASONAL FRUIT
Alphonso mangoes (towards the end of the month), pineapples
VEGETABLES IN SEASON IN APRIL
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
You can also find leafy crops grown under cover, such as oriental greens.
Available most months in good condition: broccoli, button mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, maincrop potatoes, onions, rocket.
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.
WILD / FORAGED FOOD IN SEASON IN APRIL
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.
FISH IN SEASON IN APRIL
Brown shrimp, cockles, coley, crab, cuttlefish, john dory, langoustine, lobster, red mullet, oysters (native), plaice, sea trout (and brown trout), winkles
To the best of my knowledge, the list above excludes critically endangered fish. Visit The Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society for latest lists.
FISH IN SEASON IN APRIL, LESS SUSTAINABLE
Elvers, wild salmon
In good condition almost all year: herring, farmed sea bream and turbot, megrim sole, sustainably-fished monkfish, rope-grown mussels, prawns.
MEAT, POULTRY AND GAME IN SEASON IN APRIL
Spring lamb, Welsh lamb
Always available in good condition: beef, chicken, pork, rabbit, farmed venison, wood pigeon.
CHEESE IN SEASON IN APRIL
Ewe’s milk cheeses, fresh-flavoured goat cheeses, Single Gloucester. Imported: Coulommiers.
Many quality mature cheeses are available year-round.