British radishes have arrived at Sainsbury’s stores ten days ahead of schedule this year thanks to the recent warm weather and relatively mild winter.
The traditional red globe-shaped Celesta variety is the first to become available at the retailer, with bunched radishes set to launch later in April.
Sainsbury’s has seen a 22 per cent increase in demand for radishes over the past year and is planning to expand its range with the trial of different coloured radish varieties this summer.
The season for radishes, which are typically the first British salad ingredient of the season, runs from April to October.
Lily Peck, produce product technologist for Sainsbury’s, said: “A few fresh radishes make a delicious crunchy snack or crudité, and their distinctive pinky-red hue adds an Instagram-worthy pop of colour to summer salads.
“As the weather gets warmer they actually get hotter in flavour so if you prefer a milder radish, these early varieties are the perfect choice.”
The heat of a radish is also determined by growing temperatures, with long, hot summers bringing hotter radishes and mild conditions leading to cooler-tasting ones.
Sainsbury’s Norfolk-based radish supplier is G’s, which it has worked with since the 1980s. Supplying the supermarket with over 1,000 tonnes of the crop each year, grower Scott Watson manages one of the biggest areas in the country dedicated to radish production.
He said: “Here in the Norfolk Fens, as one of the driest counties in the UK, we’re perfectly placed to grow top quality radishes with great flavour and a juicy crunch.
“The mild winter has meant that the radish have grown much faster than usual. It’s a real bonus for us to be able to increase the length of the British radish season and get them to Sainsbury’s customers earlier than ever before.”