British seasonal food in September – what to eat now

British Seasonal food in September UK in season fruit vegetables fish cheese meat game foraged

There’s a huge range of British seasonal food in September, from the late-ripening summer crops that need extra sunshine to the newer autumn season produce, including fragrant autumn raspberries, the very earliest crisp apples and pears, and a glut of vegetables. It’s harvest time.

You can also find a variety of fish that are now out of their spawning period, shellfish from cooler coastal waters, most game, and the first tangy cheeses. Tasty imports from are available from warmer climes too.

Here’s what to buy at the market, or pick from your kitchen garden or allotment in Britain this month.

Fruit in season in September

British seasonal fruit in September and UK nuts
Clockwise from top left: apples, blackberries, cobnuts, figs

British homegrown fruit is abundant this month, so make the most of it. There are a few nuts ready for picking too. Here’s what you can find now at its peak:

  • apples
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • damsons
  • figs
  • grapes
  • greengages
  • loganberries
  • melons
  • peaches
  • pears
  • plums
  • raspberries
  • tayberries

Best imported seasonal fruit

  • apricots
  • peaches
  • pineapples (Caribbean)
  • melon (Charentais, cantaloupe, galia)
  • nectarines

Nuts in season in September

  • cobnuts and hazelnuts
  • first few chestnuts

Recommended seasonal fruit & preserves books

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Vegetables in season in September

British seasonal food in September UK vegetables
Clockwise from top left: kohlrabi, peppers, aubergines, tomatoes
  • 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.]

Recommended seasonal veg books & box delivery

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.]

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Wild / foraged food in season in September

British seasonal food in September wild food foraged ingredients
Clockwise from top left: crabapples, damsons, field mushrooms, elderberries

It’s one of the best months of the year for making hedgerow jams and jellies.

  • bilberries / blaeberries
  • blackberries
  • crabapples
  • damsons
  • elderberries
  • rosehips (towards end of month)
  • samphire (rock)
  • sloes
  • wild mushrooms (ceps/penny bun, chanterelles, field, puffball, truffle)

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

Recommended foraging & wild food books

Fish in season in September

British seasonal food in September fish shellfish and seafood
Clockwise from top left: Dover sole, rock oysters, haddock, prawns

Finally there’s an ‘r’ in the month, so oysters are back on the menu again, along with many other shellfish as the sea temperature cools a little. It’s also a really good time of year for the best haddock, sustainably fished cod and squid, and most flatfish.

Seasonal fish availability and sustainability varies greatly from year to year and in different areas around the UK, plus it’s being affected by climate change and conservation measures, but here’s a rough guide to what’s on sale now in the sustainable category.

Sustainable British fish

  • brill
  • cockles
  • coley / saithe
  • spider crab
  • dab
  • flounder
  • gurnard (grey)
  • haddock
  • hake
  • herring / sild
  • mackerel
  • monkfish
  • mussels
  • oysters
  • plaice
  • pollock
  • pouting / bib
  • Dover / common sole
  • lemon sole
  • lobster
  • sardine / European pilchard
  • sprat / whitebait
  • wild turbot
  • witch / Torbay sole

[To the best of my knowledge the list above excludes critically endangered fish, but it never hurts to double check as the situation is constantly changing. Visit The Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society for their latest lists.]

Fish in season, less sustainable

Many of these types of fish and seafood can still be sourced from a responsible fishmonger:

  • cod
  • crayfish
  • eel
  • gilthead bream (wild)
  • halibut (wild)
  • john dory
  • langoustine / scampi
  • razor clams
  • red mullet
  • seabass (wild)
  • seabream (wild)
  • sea trout
  • squid
  • whelks
  • whiting
  • wild salmon

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

Recommended fish & shellfish books

Meat, poultry & game in season in September

British seasonal food in September meat poultry and game
Clockwise from top left: Mallard (wild duck), grouse, wood pigeon, guinea fowl

Game season is almost in full swing now, with wild duck available from the start of this month. It’s also the beginning of guinea fowl season.

  • grouse
  • guinea fowl
  • hare
  • lamb
  • partridge
  • pheasant
  • ptarmigan
  • snipe
  • venison
  • wild duck
  • wild geese
  • woodcock

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

Recommended meat, poultry & game books

Cheese in season in September

British seasonal food in September UK cheese and imported
Left to right: Double Gloucester, Appleby’s traditional Cheshire

British seasonal cheeses

  • Double Gloucester
  • farmhouse Cheshire (the only remaining traditional one is Mrs Appleby’s)

Imported seasonal cheese

  • Camembert

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

Recommended cheese & wine books + delivery

Enjoyed this guide? You may also like:

Favourite British seasonal food in September

After a strange and patchy summer we’ve arrived at the very start of autumn. We’re still picking plenty of tomatoes, raspberries and fresh herbs here, and I’m looking forward to enjoying some peaches and blackberries.

Recommended seasonal inspiration books

Do you have personal favourites to add to your shopping list this month? Let us know in the comments below.

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