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Homegrown goodness: five best native UK fruits

Despite the unpredictable climate, the UK still produces a lot of fruit. Here are the most popular and best fruits grown right in this country:

1. Apples

For decades, the most popular homegrown fruits were apples. The history books show that we have been eating them since at least 885 AD. They became popular when the Romans bought more varieties to the country.

Until the late 50s, virtually every apple eaten in the UK was homegrown, but imports meant that, by 2002, 77% of the apples we ate were grown abroad. That trend is now being reversed; in 2011, only 62% of the apples eaten in the UK were grown abroad.

2. Pears

On the list of popular fruits, pears come in at number 10. Records indicate that the Romans brought them to the UK. By 1640, there were already 64 varieties being grown across the country. Today, there are even more varieties available, and pear consumption is rising.

3. Strawberries

We have been crazy for soft fruits for centuries. However, the fact that they were difficult to grow in an unreliable climate meant that demand often outstripped availability.

Again, imports fed our thirst for this soft fruit. New varieties and growing techniques have extended the British strawberry season. Now, we can enjoy British-grown strawberries for several months of the year instead of just several weeks.

4. Blueberries

In the past 10 to 15 years, sales of blueberries have soared. Their reputation for being a superfood, their fantastic flavour and the fact that you can pop them like sweets has fed demand.

Scottish raspberry growers tapped into this growing demand and lead the way, although they are now grown all over the UK.

5. Plums

Plums are a very traditional British fruit. By the 1970s, demand for them began to wane, but in the past decade, this tasty fruit has started to become popular again. Growers are experimenting with new varieties, which extend the growing season and give the consumer more choice.

Posted by Mark
September 3, 2014
Feature

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