The recent burst of cold weather and frost in some parts of the state means that all the cool weather crops are great eating, despite the lower volume in some Queensland produce lines this week.
Strawberries are a good news story as their supply from the Sunshine Coast increases. Raspberries are plentiful, but blueberries are still in short supply.
Most apple varieties are well supplied with the Pink Lady variety premium eating. Hass avocados, papaya and Packham pears are also well supplied. Citrus are another stand-out, with navel oranges, lemons and Honey Murcott mandarins all eating well.
One of Queensland’s staples, bananas, are in short supply so all varieties may have price variances in stores over the coming weeks as suppliers try to balance demand. Cold weather means some of the other regulars such as corn, Australian garlic, broad beans, squash and mint are also in short supply.
All the winter favourites are in high demand: sweet potatoes, pumpkins, fennel, leek, and potatoes are all excellent quality. For a mashed potato with a difference, try adding coarsely grated celeriac — this unusual-looking vegetable is a winter classic in Europe. Celeriac tastes a little like celery and parsley, which sweetens when roasted.
Stock up on greens like Asian vegetables, spinach, silverbeet, rocket, salad leaves, beans, watercress and broccolini, which are all great value.
Also well supplied this week are cucumbers, coriander, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, eggplant, ginger, radish, rhubarb, kohlrabi, cabbage (especially red) and wombok.
There’s more broccoli around this week but remember to buy for immediate consumption where possible, as broccoli heads tend to dry out. Zucchini is good quality but expect prices to be variable.
This week’s top pick is papaya, also known as pawpaw. One of the top winter fruits, the red papaya is grown around Innisfail and offers fantastic value at this time of year. Look for firm, golden coloured papaya with a sweet tropical aroma; when cut, the flesh should be a vibrant red colour. Store papaya at room temperature until ripe. It should yield slightly to touch when ready to eat, then store in the fridge. Layer papaya with natural yoghurt, berries and muesli for a breakfast parfait, or for a savoury dish try papaya with fried haloumi, cucumber, lettuce, mint and almonds.
For A Better Choice (www.abetterchoice.com.au) of what this season has to offer, look for 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 https://www.facebook.com/yourlocalfruitshop.
For further information, please contact Elise Parups, Communications and Programs Manager, Brismark on 07 3915 4311 or via email [email protected]
About A Better Choice / Your Local Fruit Shop
Your Local Fruit Shop owners are hardworking, local family business people, who are passionate about fruit and vegetables providing excellent customer service and are experts in their field. And here’s the thing…no one can match ‘Your Local Fruit Shop’ for FRESH!
Every morning your local fruit shop selects high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables from the Brisbane Produce Market. Find your local fruit and veg shop throughout South East Queensland including Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Tweed Heads, Toowoomba, Gympie, and Townsville, please click on the link to find your local fruit shop https://www.yourlocalfruitshop.com.au
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.