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‘Neighbourhood crops’

Lusso brings back UK's rare apples

In one of the worst apple seasons for many years, niche city fine dining business Lusso has launched “Neighbourhood Crops” – a partnership with the National Fruit Collection that will see forgotten, rare or unfashionable home-grown varieties of apple served in some of the Square Mile’s most prestigious workplaces.

It is the result of a partnership brokered by fresh produce supplier Reynolds with the National Fruit Collection – based at Brogdale Farm, near Faversham – which is the world’s largest collection of fruit trees and plants with over 3,500 Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, and Cob Nut cultivars.

Lusso has scored a first in foodservice by working in partnership with Brogdale to bring to market some of these rare apple varieties this autumn, and for many it will be an once-in-a-lifetime chance to taste apples that our forebears would have taken for granted.

Crops such as Red Charles Ross, Ribston Pippens, and Oaken Pin will be picked in tiny quantities from only two trees of each variety. Each 5 kg box will identify the variety delivered, but will be delivered without any other advance warning. Not all the fruit will necessarily look pristine, but Lusso is employing a “you must eat your greens” mentality and customers won’t be able to send them back. The initiative is launching initially with three clients: Hogan Lovells; SJ Berwin; and Norton Rose.

Lusso Managing Director Paul Hurren commented, “Our nation is simply wonderful at producing apples of the highest calibre, but that most of us never get to see, smell, or most importantly, taste. Until now that is. Our talented chefs will work with tiny quantities and ensure our clients can try either cooked apple dishes or simply take a bite of a unique variety of apple.”

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