As we head towards winter, Queensland fresh produce comes to the fore as production shifts from the southern states.
Citrus fruits are great buying, with Queensland-grown oranges, lemons and limes providing a timely vitamin C-packed antidote to any early colds and sniffles. Strawberries, also packed with Vitamin C are arriving steadily from Stanthorpe and supplies will continue to increase over the coming weeks. Hot weather conditions for growing runners in Stanthorpe and Victoria has impacted the quality of the young plants, which may reduce the volume of fruit, so enjoy these delicious treats when you can.
Also, look out for locally grown raspberries and blackberries to boost your winter vitamin intake.
All apples are fantastic eating but look out especially for Jazz™ apples from Batlow. Also, look out for Packham pears which are great for lunch box snacks. Other lunchbox-friendly fruits in good supply include watermelon and rockmelon, as well as plums and grapes, although these won’t be around for too much longer. Imperial mandarins are one of the star performers this week. Ignore the mild skin discolouration caused by weather damage, they’re eating beautifully.
Bananas are in short supply after picking slowed over Easter. Blueberries are scarce, but this won’t last with the Queensland season kicking off in three weeks. Pick up a pineapple when you find them in-store, as they offer great eating this time of year. Shepard avocados are near the end of their season but are still great value, while you can get your hands-on early season Hass if you prefer them.
Vegetables are well supplied and reasonably priced across the board this week. Beans, chillies, capsicum, cauliflower, celeriac, cucumber, garlic, ginger, herbs, kale, rhubarb, silverbeet, zucchini, onion, and potato are all good quality and value.
We have an abundance of green cabbage, so now’s the time to stock up for coleslaw, sauerkraut and kimchi. New season baby fennel from Victoria is plentiful: look for firm bulbs with feathery leaves and use raw in salads with ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mint, and fetta.
Other excellent additions to your winter salads include iceberg lettuce and broccoli; both are excellent quality at the moment. Look for broccoli with tightly packed buds and a vibrant green colour.
This week’s top pick is the custard apple. Locally grown in Upper Brookfield, custard apples will be in season throughout winter. Look for pale green, firm fruit that yields slightly to pressure and store at room temperature until ripe, then in the fridge. The sweet, creamy flavour of custard apples works well with other tropical fruits, nuts, cinnamon, coconut, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla and honey.
You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at Your Local Fruit Shop for A Better Choice of quality, freshness and service. Go to www.yourlocalfruitshop.com.au to locate your closest store. Check out the Your Local Fruit Shop Facebook page for the latest news from your local fresh produce experts at https://www.facebook.com/yourlocalfruitshop
Brisbane Produce Market