Our whole approach is built around flavour, and although this alone sets us apart, it is our understanding of flavour that makes us truly different. We understand flavour as a sensory experience that engages all five senses, ultimately ending with taste. Here are just a few of the signs we look for when picking our fruit & vegetables.
The natural scarring of heritage tomato varieties, such as our Ligurian Bull's Heart, grown using seeds saved each season by the grower.
The softer stem of our Italian Cavolo Nero, easily dented when pressed with a finger nail, that can be cooked and eaten with the rest of the leaf.
The fragrant essential oils of our Unwaxed Calabrian Bergamot and Amalfi Lemons, released just by scratching the skin.
The hollow tap that confirms our Cox Apples from Sussex are crisp and crunchy, even before you take a bite.
The intensely sweet, concentrated pumpkin flavour of our Delica Pumpkins, which are slow-cured in hot room for two weeks after picking to reduce water content.
We always ask ourselves, what is special about the seed we have chosen? Is it a variety that we know has great flavour, such as our Lucinda Datterini tomatoes, or is it a growers own variety that is being continuously perfected over the seasons by saving seeds from the best plants, such as our Purple Sprouting Broccoli grower does each year.
The soil, environment and local climate produce is grown in may make an area particularly well-suited to growing a certain fruit or vegetable, such as the French figs from Sollies. Sometimes a region will have a heritage in the growing of a particular crop, which means that knowledge and infrastructure is rooted in that particular area. A famous example of this is Rhubarb Triangle in Yorkshire.
When we choose our growers, we look for a shared ethos and commitment to flavour. Our growing ethos dictates minimum intervention (that is to say minimum use of pesticides and fertilisers) and a commitment to care for the land. Most growers compromise on flavour in order to achieve higher yields, longer growing seasons, greater resistance to disease or pests and cheaper product.