It is shaping up to be a fine Queensland summer with all summer fruit at its best for both quality and taste. It wouldn’t be a Queensland summer without juicy peaches, nectarines, cherries, apricots and mangoes, all currently in great supply and eating at their very best. Choose peaches that are firm but have some ‘give’ when you gently squeeze them. When choosing apricots, pick ones that are firm but not hard. Avoid fruit that looks bruised or is overly soft and go for flavour and aroma over appearance. Rival apricots are great for eating fresh this week or preserving and drying.

Pears are good quality this week, and there are also great supplies of R2E2, Honey Gold and Kensington Pride mangoes. They’re great eating now – sweet, juicy and full of flavour.

The tropical theme continues with bananas, pineapples and super sweet watermelon all available, making a great combination for a fresh summer fruit salad! Don’t forget paw paw (papaya), with both red and yellow varieties available from far North Queensland.  Paw paw puree is great in cakes, scones and fruit flans, or preserve in delicious relishes and chutneys. Also, enjoy the cherry season while you can as it is short – only 100 days. Stock from Tasmania is arriving so don’t miss out while they’re still available. There’s a great supply and variety of grapes this week from St George in Southern Queensland. Enjoy Flame, Sunrise, Sweet Globe, Sapphire, Black Muscat and Menindee varieties.

A good range of both Apples and berries are available this week, as are plums, both the black and purple majesty varieties. These would all make a great snack, part of a summer breakfast or addition to the lunch box. For a touch of something a little exotic, try Dragon Fruit which is in good supply, as are figs. Locally available from Toowoomba and Childers, they are a little smaller in size as it’s early in the season. Don’t forget rockmelon which is super sweet and eating well. When choosing a rockmelon, make sure the melons smell fragrant and fresh, with a hint of sweetness.

Lychees are this week’s top pick, with Salathiel, Kwai May Pink and Erdon Lee varieties all in good supply. Lychee flesh is sweet and tangy, and they are the perfect addition to salads or desserts. Peel off the skin before eating and suck the flesh from the seed. The lychee is ripe when the inedible outer skin turns from green to red, or pink-red in colour. Peeled lychees can be stored in the freezer. Lemons and limes are in stock this week as well as small quantities of finger limes.

Throw together a great salad or make a quick stir-fry with red, green, orange and yellow capsicums and eggplant all from South Australia, fresh chili from Bundaberg and snow and sugar snap peas from Victoria. Try oven-roasting fennel, leeks, Butternut pumpkins, sweet potatoes and zucchini. Add some fresh, local turmeric from Queensland, or a selection of herbs, particularly coriander and continental parsley from Victoria. You can’t go wrong with some fresh corn and cherry tomatoes grilled on the barbeque as part of a great outdoor summer meal.

Finally, okra is in good supply. Look for pods that are bright in colour and no more than four inches long. Avoid soft, dull, bruised or blemished pods.

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, 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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