One of my favourite places this time of year is the National Fruit Collection
at Brogdale in Kent. They hold a staggering collection of fruit varieties. Not just apples, but pears, quinces, plums, apricots and nuts.
Really well worth a visit to stroll through the orchards and see the variety of fruit held there, but for the wonderful fruit shop where you can buy freshly picked fruit from the orchard there. You will not be able to buy some of these varieties anywhere else.
Just look at these Bambinella miniature pears! You would think they would be hard and tasteless just looking at them, they are about an inch round and look almost ornamental.... but
What a revelation! really sweet and juicy! The most wonderful pear variety. If you can get your hands on them then they come highly recommended. Wow!
As I was backing my car into the car park there I could hear cracking underneath the tyres of my car. I had come across part of the national collection of nuts! Kentish cob nuts, or hazel nuts are a real feature of this county and they appeared to be suffering from an absence of squirrels!
So fortunately I had a few spare bags in my pocket (as every good dog owner should have..) and came home with a wonderful bag of hazel nuts. There is something very fresh and very different about fresh hazelnuts when you compare them to the dry old things you buy in the supermarkets.