While the Easter Bunny is plying us with chocolate eggs and other treats, at the Brisbane Produce Market we reckon stocking up on fruit and vegies is the ideal antidote to Easter excess.
This week, you can also get a sweet fix from nectarines, mangosteens, pineapples, plums, lemons, and limes, which are all in good supply. William pears continue to have a great season, along with the many varieties of apples available at this time of year. Look for new season, Stanthorpe-grown Granny Smith apples, New South Wales-grown Kanzi, Victoria-grown Jazz and plenty of Royal Gala. Good quality Pink Lady apples will also start arriving at the market next week.
In other new arrivals, you might have spotted mandarins appearing on the shelves. The season for Gold Up mandarins from Gayndah has just started, while Imperial mandarins will come into the market in mid-April. Look for unblemished fruit that feels heavy for its size, and store them in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Prices are firming for bananas, which have been affected by the cyclonic conditions and rainfall up north. Watermelon supplies are also dropping off. Despite the recent concern around the safety of rockmelons, the Chinchilla-grown rockmelon we supply is abundant and safe to eat.
There’s also plenty of great buying when it comes to vegies. Cauliflower, green beans, carrot, eggplant, sweet potato, and broccoli are all abundant, as are ginger and garlic. Green capsicum and cabbage are better value than their respective red varieties. With those ingredients you’ve got the makings of a great stir-fry right there, although we are seeing a shortage of Asian vegetables, mushrooms, corn, and herbs such as parsley and coriander. You can also expect to pay more for good tomatoes, with low volumes coming in from Western Australia, Victoria, and Stanthorpe.
One interesting ingredient arriving from northern NSW is horseradish — look for firm, clean-skinned produce and store in a paper bag in the fridge. Peel and grate it into dips, sauces, and salad dressings.
This week’s top pick is cucumber. Take advantage of the bumper crop coming out of Queensland and Coffs Harbour and add cucumbers to salsas, salads (particularly Greek and potato), pickles, and dips like tzatziki.
You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest Your Local Fruit Shop.