It has been another week of hot weather in Queensland and our vegetable lines are continuing to feel it, however quality is improving thanks to supplies from the southern states.
Menindee grapes and Crimson Red seedless grapes from Victoria are in plentiful supply. We’re also enjoying the super sweet flavour of new season black currants — they’re perfect for cheese platters.
Traditional Queensland pineapples are looking great this week. Traditional pineapples still have their crown on and are known for their sweet but slightly acidic flavour. For a fun experiment with the kids, try chopping the top off a traditional pineapple and plant it for your own backyard harvest.
For something different, Prickly pears from Stanthorpe are in season, but you’ll have to get in quick as they’ll only be around for a month. Sweet in flavour, the texture is similar to a paw paw but with edible crunchy seeds. Prickly pears do require delicate handling though. Wash the fruit or soak it in water for a few hours to soften the prickly spines and wear gloves to protect fingers.
Make the most of peaches and nectarines as their season is due to finish in the next couple of weeks. The plum season usually continues until March or April and they’re great eating at the moment.
Pink Lady and other apple varieties are slightly more expensive due to last season’s smaller harvest — try new season Gala apples from Stanthorpe instead. Passionfruit supplies are also short, so prices will increase.
The best veggies to buy this week include capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, corn, and zucchini. Prices are still relatively high for leafy lines like lettuce, rocket, spinach, silverbeet, and cos lettuce. Beans are in short supply and cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and celery are still a bit more expensive than usual, but quality is good.
This week’s top pick is watermelon, which will be taking centre stage at the Chinchilla Melon Festival this weekend. To test for ripeness, look for watermelons that feel heavy for their size and a yellow field spot (where the watermelon rested on the ground). Also keep an eye out for webbing — web-like brown spots indicate more pollination and sweeter fruit. Male watermelons are bigger and longer in shape, while female watermelons are rounder but sweeter. Store cut watermelon in the fridge for up to five days and try it in a salad with feta, mint, olives, and red onion. And if you’re heading west this weekend, don’t miss a photo opportunity at the Big Watermelon at the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre.
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 our 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]