Summer fruits are at their peak for both quality and taste. For a quintessential summer experience, nothing beats biting into juicy stone fruit. Stone fruit are at their best and continue to shine this week. The quality of nectarines, peaches, apricots, and plums is impressive, and prices will continue to go down as supplies increase from the Southern states.
Papaya, lychees, cavendish bananas and all varieties of mangoes are great eating and value this week with improved supplies coming from Northern Queensland.
The quality of both white and red seedless grapes from Emerald, Queensland continues to impress and prices have stabilised as weather and supply has improved. Blueberries and blackberries coming from the Southern states are rain-affected but strawberries from South Australia and Victoria are picking up in quality and supply – throw them in a smoothie, top onto your breakfast porridge or simply enjoy as a snack.
Cherries coming from the Southern states have improved in volume this week and are very popular. They are in particularly high demand leading into the festive season so get into your local fruit and veg shop and grab them while you can as the Australian cherry season only lasts 100 days. Keep a lookout for Tasmanian cherries a little later in the season.
Apples are plentiful, choose medium to small-sized apples as these are crunchier and more flavoursome later in the season. Australian seedless Valencia oranges, orange candy melons and limes are great eating and good value.
Due to recent weather, we are experiencing a shorter than normal supply for beans, snow peas, sugar snaps, spinach, rocket, jap pumpkin, butternut pumpkin and onions, so expect to pay a bit more for these. However, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, chillies, cherry tomatoes and capsicum have all bounced back and have improved in value. The humble brushed potatoes from Atherton are also very good quality and price too.
Queensland-grown baby Lebanese cucumbers, baby capsicum, baby carrots, mini-Roma tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and cabbage are all good eating, supply, and value making them the perfect ingredients for a tasty salad or side. Combine them with herbs like basil, oregano, sage, thyme, and parsley, all of which are in plentiful supply.
This week’s top pick is Australian-grown cherries, so get into your local fruit and veg shops this summer and pick them up today. Select plump fruit with smooth, shiny skin and the green stem still attached. Cherries like cool temperatures, so store them unwashed and uncovered in the coldest part of the refrigerator — once picked from the tree, cherries do not ripen. Avoid storing cherries near strong-smelling foods (like onions or garlic). Your cherries can take on the odour of these foods which alters their taste. Rinse cherries under cold water only when you are ready to use or eat them. Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, and with a festive deep ruby colour, cherries are stunning on their own or used in desserts, salads, and pickles, or accompanying savoury dishes like Christmas ham or duck.