Stable weather conditions have seen a good stream of fruits and vegetables into the Brisbane Produce Market this week. Locally grown Sunshine Coast strawberries are still the crowd favourite, with avocados close behind thanks to the best value we’ve seen in years. Get your smashed avo fix now before they are at a premium later this month.

Kiwis, mandarins, and passionfruit are your best bet for lunchboxes this week. Look out for both the large Panama and smaller Sweetheart passionfruit varieties.

In citrus, blood oranges and Queensland-grown lemons are both in good supply and would work well in winter pudding sand tarts. Local watermelon is out of season, but we do have some arriving from the Northern Territory. Smaller sized prepacked apples, particularly Granny Smiths, will be at a premium, as are blueberries.

In vegetables, beetroot, carrots, broccoli, eggplant, celeriac, corn, cauliflower, ginger, leeks, parsnips, radicchio, baby cos lettuce, mesclun, snow peas and sugar snap peas, spring onions, yellow squash, and English spinach are all well supplied.

Two of our best buys this week are Queensland-grown sweet potato and zucchinis – supplies are abundant so now’s the time to stock up and roast for soups, roasts and bakes. Local capsicums are also widely available, with red the most common variety. Hand-picked beans using the Hickok seed are very popular at the moment – seek them out as they have a longer shelf life than green beans and are crunchy and sweet. Kipfler potatoes, a waxy variety well suited to roasts and gratins, are excellent quality but are still a little dear.

Spotted an unusual vegetable on the shelves this week? We encourage you to take a closer look at some of the less common produce available, including kalettes (a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts), kohlrabi (green and purple varieties), lobok (a white radish excellent in pickles, soups and roasts) and fresh artichoke.

Local cherry and mini Roma tomatoes are back in good supply, as are Victoria-grown truss tomatoes. Supplies of chillies, cucumbers, and Asian vegetables have dropped off.

This week’s top pick is radicchio, the bitter, peppery Italian relative of chicory. With its distinctive red and white leaves, radicchio adds contrasting colour and bite to salads. Look for firm leaves with little to no browning. Store radicchio in the fridge, whole and unwashed, for up to one week. For a beautiful winter side dish, roast or sauté radicchio or add to salads with ingredients like honey, balsamic vinegar, walnuts, bacon, pomegranate, orange, parmesan and olive oil.

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 Ruben Mesa, Communications and Programs Manager, Brismark on 07 3915 4311 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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