Hot weather is taking a toll on fruit and vegetable supplies, but there is still plenty of excellent quality produce to add to your shopping list this week.

Stone fruit and berries are eating well, with strawberries, blueberries and both yellow and white nectarines the stand-outs. Peach supplies are increasing but we’re still waiting for the plum season to kick into gear. A festive favourite, cherries from Young in central NSW are starting to make an appearance.

In mangoes, R2E2 are abundant and good quality at the moment; supplies of mangoes are gradually increasing with stocks flowing in from Bowen QLD. Green and red seedless grapes are arriving from Emerald, while rockmelons and watermelons are plentiful.

Although they sometimes get overlooked in favour of summer fruits, most apple varieties continue to be widely available. Add them to summer salads with sharp cheeses, nuts, cranberries and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, or a classic Waldorf salad with celery, walnuts and red onions.

Passionfruit, avocados, pineapples, lemons, bananas and limes are in short supply, and mandarins are now finished for the year.

In vegies, the market is well-supplied with eggplant, mushrooms, rocket, spinach, purple cabbage, spring onions, wombok, tomatoes and onions.

Celery, capsicum and cucumber are all in good supply to accompany summer dips and crudité platters. Turn in-season kale into chips by spreading kale in a single layer over a baking paper-lined tray. Spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and your favourite spice mix and bake in a moderate oven for 10-12 minutes.

It’s been a great week for Asian vegetables, with all varieties available and good quality. Pair Asian vegies in stir-fries with Australian garlic, which is at its best right now.

Heat has affected supplies of lettuce, beans, broad beans, cauliflower, silverbeet, coriander, broccoli and zucchini. The asparagus season is starting to wind down, so enjoy it while you can.

This week’s top pick is the R2E2 mango, which is in season until February. A large, orange mango tinged with a red blush, R2E2s have a mild, sweet flavour. Look for ripe fruit that yields slightly to gentle pressure and once ripe, store in the fridge. While we love R2E2s on their own, you can’t beat a tropical-flavored yoghurt topped with mango and mint.

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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