We are experiencing cooler Autumn weather and mostly clear conditions, so your local fruit and veg shop is heaving with top quality fresh fruit and vegetables this week.
For snacks, you cannot beat apples and pears, which are arriving in significant volumes from Stanthorpe and Shepperton, Victoria, respectively. There are excellent supplies of Shepard avocados along with seedless watermelon and rockmelons from Nericon, New South Wales. In citrus, lemons, limes, navel oranges and early-season Imperial mandarins from Gayndah are all available in great supply. Indulge yourself by baking some homemade orange and macadamia cookies or lemon muffins.
It is chestnut season! Unlike other nuts, they are low in fat and high in carbohydrates. Chestnuts are best cooked, boiled or roasted. For a flavourful dinner cook chopped chestnuts with pork mince and noodles and finish up with a garnish of coriander, lemon zest and chilli oil.
In exotics, custard apples from South Kolan and pomegranates from Colignan, Victoria are eating beautifully at the moment. Use pomegranate jewel-like seeds as dessert toppings or sprinkle over salads, tagines or couscous. Berries are short, however, the first of the new-season blueberries are expected in a couple of weeks from North Queensland. Other great fruity buys include sweet-eating grapes, plums and Cavendish bananas from Tully.
Nothing is more comforting than tucking into a bowl of hot soup on a rainy day. Try creating soups with well-supplied seasonal value picks such as Victorian-grown fennel, Tasmanian carrots, sweet potatoes from Alloway and golden-fleshed pumpkins. Now is also the time to pick up green beans, mushrooms, broccoli and eggplants as they are in plentiful supply and represent fantastic quality.
We are noticing an increased supply of Lebanese cucumbers from Far North Queensland and spring onions from Gatton. Add them to your autumn salads for a refreshing taste. Pantry staples such as onions and potatoes are well-supplied, whereas tomato prices are variable as the season switches from the southern states to North Queensland.
The star performer in herbs this week is mint from Darling Downs – grown in bunches that are ideal for salsas, cocktails, desserts or salads. Must buys this week include capsicums from Bundaberg, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, celery and ginger.
This week’s top pick is glorious persimmons arriving from Bundaberg and Toowoomba region. Did you know? Queensland is the largest producing state of persimmons and they are typically in season from March to May. Persimmons vary in shape, size and colour from light to dark red-orange depending upon their ripeness. They have tough edible skin like apples and can be crispy or soft. Choose sweet persimmons that are free from bruises, firm and still have green, semi-pliable caps. Add them to salads, muffins, rice paper rolls, cookies or cheese platters.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark