There are plenty of great fruit buys in the market this week, including the excellent quality mangoes arriving from Darwin. Nashi, rockmelon, watermelon, blueberries, Packham pears, Hass avocados and pawpaw are all in great supply, as are most varieties of apples except Pink Lady.

The Queensland strawberry season has nearly finished but new supplies are arriving from Victoria. Raspberries are experiencing a resurgence after a few quieter weeks, with supplies from the Toowoomba region eating beautifully. Look for sweet-smelling fruit and store the unwashed berries in a covered, shallow container in the fridge. Only wash just before use as raspberries easily grow moldy if wet.

Stone fruit like locally grown nectarines and peaches are in good supply, but we’re still waiting for plums to make a significant appearance.

The last of the mandarins are arriving in dribs and drabs. While the naval orange season has come to an end, Valencia are available. Both cavendish and lady finger bananas are in low supply, along with lemons, limes, passionfruit and pineapple.

It’s a similarly mixed story in the vegetables this week. The market is well supplied with Asian vegetables, Australian garlic, eggplant, kale, lettuce, salad leaves and spinach, as well as kale from the Toowoomba region.

Victorian asparagus is still one of our spring favourites — look for firm, bright green stalks with firmly closed tips. Store in the fridge for up to a few days, ensuring the ends of the stems don’t dry out by wrapping in damp paper towel.

Mushroom and cauliflower supplies are moderate, and the tomato season is currently in transition as it shifts from far north Queensland to down south.

It’s the end of the season for broad beans and brussels sprouts, while supplies of beans, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower and corn are short.

This week’s top pick is the eggplant, with fantastic local supplies now available. Look for eggplant with smooth, shiny skin that feels heavy for its size and with a green stem. Store eggplant in the fridge for up to a few days. Popular in many cuisines including Italian, Middle Eastern, Chinese and Japanese, eggplant is a great carrier of flavour. Hosting a barbecue? Chargrill eggplant and serve topped with tomato sauce, fresh garlic and mint along with a dressing of olive oil, chilli flakes and black pepper.

You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest ‘Your Local Fruit Shop’. Locate your closest store at www.abetterchoice.com.au/store-locator/ Check out the Your Local Fruit Shop Facebook page for the latest news from your local fresh produce experts at https://www.facebook.com/yourlocalfruitshop.

For further information, please contact Angela Hird, Business Innovation Manager, Brismark on 07 3915 4226 or via email [email protected]

About Your Local Fruit Shop / A Better Choice

Your Local Fruit Shop owners are hardworking, local family business people, who are passionate about providing fresh quality fruit and vegetables, excellent customer service and are experts in their field. ‘The A Better Choice’ program is a national initiative supporting over 500 independent retailers and wholesalers across the country who supply more than half of Australia’s fresh produce each year. Buying local is giving back – lending a hand to the young family who runs your local fruit store or supporting a third-generation farmer to get back on their feet.

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