Extreme weather conditions continue to loom large over the Brisbane Produce Market this week. Extensive
rain in tropical north Queensland and hot temperatures across the country have affected supplies of
bananas, berries, beans, celery, corn, lettuce, herbs, and zucchini.
So what’s the good news? Melons are still excellent quality, while grapes and figs continue their bumper
run. For apples, we have new season Red Delicious and Gala varieties as well as Pink Lady and Granny
Smith, but these are very tart. Save the Granny Smiths for cooking, or wait two more weeks for the sugar
content to increase and they will be good eating. We also highly recommend the locally grown pineapple
coming out of Bundaberg and Chinchilla — it’s sweet and plentiful.
We’re seeing the arrival of new season nashi and William pears, persimmons and custard apples this week.
You might have noticed Valencia oranges from South Australia appearing on the shelves and they are great
eating, despite their lighter colour. Get in quick to buy your favourite stone fruit — they’re still in good
supply but will only be around for two more weeks.
Recovering in price are avocados and broccoli, and local cauliflower have returned to the shelves at a
reasonable price. Large, locally-grown beetroot is particularly good buying now, and Roma tomatoes are at
the peak of their season. We also have plenty of cucumbers, potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, and green
capsicum (but supplies of red capsicum are still down).
This week’s top pick is the sweet potato, which is fantastic buying at the moment. Rich in fibre and
vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes are delicious steamed and mashed alongside sausages or grilled salmon.
Roast sweet potato in cubes or wedges for snacks or add them to salads. For a twist on the classic gratin,
finely slice rounds of sweet potato and mix with sea salt, pepper, crushed garlic, and chopped sage leaves.
Arrange in a baking dish and cover with foil before baking at 200ºC for 45 minutes. Remove foil and pour
over 250ml cream before returning to the oven for another 25 minutes.
You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest Your Local Fruit Shop.