Within a few hours of the Turkish figs arriving this morning (Sept 1), one Stockport-based wholesaler is shifting significant volumes to independent restaurants and others within the regional foodservice sector.
Only available for the next couple of months, the Turkish figs are a key produce item for R. Noone & Son Ltd, a family-run business supplying the Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds area.
“There are certain products that we get really excited about and the Turkish figs are one of them – it’s a special time of the year when they arrive,” explains development manager Lucy Noone.
Initial batches have arrived via a European broker and R. Noone & Son Ltd will be ordering more throughout the Turkish fig export season which runs throughout September and into October.
“Quite often we give chefs a few figs to sample and they absolutely love them. The hotels like them as well because they’ll go on a cheese board or as part of an arrangement that is going into a guest’s room or something like that because they look so opulent.
“Areas like Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, have had a massive boom in independent restaurants which means they are less likely to have loads of menus and more likely to react to us saying “did you know that the figs season has started?”
“Then suddenly they get really excited and want us to send them some figs and by tonight they’ll have fig tart and all kinds of exciting stuff going on their menus.”
Noon explains how it’s a common misconception in the restaurant trade that fresh figs are more of Christmas product, but autumn is the time for chefs to be incorporating the fruit into menus.
“This is the peak window from now until around mid to late-October. And by Christmas they’re usually pretty much gone which is why you get dried figs at Christmas time and not fresh ones. However, I think it’s the taste of figs that people associate with Christmas,” she adds.
“It’s something that we find with our customers, we’re constantly saying “don’t put figs on your Christmas menu”; it’s now, as in autumn, that they are available.”