Weekly Produce Report

Flooding and extreme heat around Queensland is having an impact on fruit and vegetable supplies this week.

With limited access in and out of Townsville, some produce including limes, pawpaws, mangoes, and Shepard avocados from Mareeba will be affected. However, you should still be able to get your hands on good quality, well-priced Hass Avocados from Western Australia.

One of our favourite fruits is the hybrid pineapple coming out of Maryborough — it’s super sweet and low in acid, so it’s a great one for school lunch boxes or after school snacks and smoothies. Strawberries are expensive but still very good quality.

With Queensland growers producing lower volumes, the southern states are helping to fill the gap, but higher freight costs will be passed down to customers. The high temperatures in the Lockyer Valley and Granite have affected veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, brussels sprouts — expect prices to remain high for a month or two. Leafy produce including silverbeet, lettuce, wombok, and celery are also in short supply. While Lebanese cucumbers are expensive, Bundaberg-grown continental cucumbers are a great buy.

Now for the good news: we’re got plenty of cherry and mini Roma tomatoes from Bundaberg at bargain prices. Both gold and red varieties of sweet potato are abundant, as are capsicums from Stanthorpe and South Australia. In terms of quality and size, zucchinis are worth adding to your basket this week — perhaps for chargrilling and adding to pizza, or grating for fritters or old-school zucchini slice.

This week’s top pick is Little Gem bananas, an Australian variety first cultivated in northern New South Wales. Little Gems have a creamy texture and are sweeter than Lady Finger or Cavendish bananas. They also have some superpowers: they don’t go soft as they ripen, nor do they brown when cut. With their compact size, Little Gems are the ultimate lunch box banana. Or wow the kids with a refreshing after-school snack of banana ice-cream: simply freeze ripe bananas and then blend them in the food processor until they have the consistency of soft serve, then re-freeze for half an hour. Chocolate chips and vanilla bean paste optional!

You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest A Better Choice/Your Local Fruit Shop. 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 www.facebook.com/yourlocalfruitshop

For further information, please contact Jane Schmidt, Marketing & Communications Executive, Brismark on 07 3915 4311 or via email [email protected]