Lime: an excellent source of Vitamin C and substitute for the lemon is the humble lime. It is popular is Mexican and Asian cuisine and is called for in recipes varying from biscuits to meat dishes.
Quince: a knobbly little fruit, the quince is a relative of the apple and pear families. They cannot be eaten raw, but are very fragrant and can transform something like a fruit pie from average to outstanding.
Fennel: the bulbus Florence fennel is popular in winter cookery for its nutty flavours. It is delicious raw or cooked, in salads, roasted or braised with meats.
Olives: one of the oldest cultivated trees in existence, the olive tree is a hardy plant and its fruit features prominently in Mediterranean cuisine. While jars of marinated, pitted olives are relatively inexpensive and convenient for cooking, fresh olives from gourmet delis are perfect for special occasions.
Parsnip: this sweet tasting root vegetable is derived from the same family as the carrot. It is delicious roasted or used in soups for added flavour and thickness.
Papaya: also known as paw paw, this large, lobe-like fruit feels soft like a ripe avocado and has a taste similar to pineapple and peach although is much milder in flavour and lacks the tartness.
Pumpkin: a popular choice for Sunday roast, pumpkin is a versatile sweet orange vegetable that can be mashed, roasted, boiled, steamed or fried.
Sweet potato: yellow and odd-shaped, sweet potato looks little like a traditional potato but has the same texture. It can do everything a normal potato can do but tastes especially delicious in Middle-eastern and Asian-influenced dishes such as curries.
Cumquat: a small, citrus fruit that closely resembles the orange, cumquats are often eaten raw. Their rind is sweet and their juicy flesh is both sour and salty. Savour the contrast by eating the rind first before tucking into their delicious centre.
Ginger: famously known for ‘ginger bread men’, ginger is a spice that features as predominantly in cooking as it does in herbal medicine. It is often pickled in vinegar or sherry to be eaten as a snack but can be stewed to add to tea, turned into powder to use as a spice or chopped up when fresh to use in assorted dishes.
Witlof: a relative of endive, witlof means “white leaf” due to its colourless appearance. It is packed with dietary fibre, vitamin C and folate. Torn leaves can be served with other salad greens or filled with dips and fillings.