Which British seasonal foods are at their best in September? There’s a huge range of fruit and vegetables in season in the UK this month, from the late-ripening summer crops to the newer Autumn season produce, including fragrant Autumn raspberries, the first crisp apples, a glut of vegetables, most game, and the first tangy cheeses.
Here’s what to buy at the market, or pick from your kitchen garden or allotment.
Fruit in season in September
Apples, blackberries, blueberries, damsons, figs, grapes, greengages, loganberries, melons, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, tayberries
Nuts in season in September: cobnuts and hazelnuts
Best imported seasonal fruit
Apricots, peaches, Caribbean pineapples, melon (Charentais, cantaloupe, galia), nectarines
Vegetables in season in September
Aubergines, autumn cabbage (green, red), beetroot, broccoli (calabrese, autumn sprouting), brussels sprouts, cardoon, celeriac, celery, chillies, chicory, courgettes, cucumbers, endive, fennel, globe artichokes, green beans (French, runner), kohlrabi, lettuce and other salad leaves, leeks, marrows, okra, pak choi, parsnips, peppers, pumpkins and winter squashes, radishes (summer, winter), spinach, spring onions, swedes, sweetcorn, summer squash, tomatoes, turnips, watercress
Available most months in good condition: button mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, maincrop potatoes, onions, rocket.
Herbs in season in September
Basil, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, lovage, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sorrel, summer savory, tarragon, thyme, winter savory
Always available: chives, coriander, parsley grown under cover; older leaves of hardy perennials like bay, rosemary, sage, thyme.
Wild / foraged food in season in September
Bilberries / blaeberries, crabapples, elderberries, rosehips, samphire (rock), sloes, wild damsons, wild mushrooms (ceps / penny bun, chanterelles, field, puffball, truffle)
Take great care when foraging as it’s easy to confuse edible and poisonous ingredients.
Fish in season in September
Seasonal fish varies greatly around the UK, but here’s a rough guide to what’s on sale now.
Brill, clams, coley, Cornish sardine / pilchard, crabs, crayfish (signal), dab, Dover sole, flounder, hake, john dory, langoustine, lemon sole, lobster, mussels, oysters (native), plaice, pollack, pouting, red mullet, sea bass, sea trout (and brown trout), tuna, whelks, whiting
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 September, less sustainable
Cod, eel, haddock, mackerel, squid, wild halibut, wild turbot
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 September
Grouse, guinea fowl, hare, lamb, partridge, snipe, venison, wild duck, woodcock
Always available in good condition: beef, chicken, pork, rabbit, turkey, farmed venison, wood pigeon.
Cheese in season in September
Double Gloucester, farmhouse Cheshire. Imported: Camembert.
Many quality mature cheeses are available year-round.
There’s plenty there to make your mouth water. What are you going to cook this month?