While we’re still waiting for cooler Autumn temperatures to arrive, many fruit and vegetable lines are in recovery mode after the extreme weather of the past few weeks.

In apples, new season Granny Smiths from Victoria have arrived, along with Red Delicious apples from Stanthorpe. Autumn also heralds peak pear season and both William pears and Nashi pears are eating well. All varieties of grapes are a fantastic buy this week with supplies are streaming in from Victoria and Stanthorpe.

We’re still seeing solid supplies of stone fruits such as peaches and nectarines. They’re good eating, if slightly more expensive compared with their summer peak. Queen Garnet plums and pluots (a plum-apricot hybrid) are excellent quality and should stick around well into April.

Ever tried a mangosteen? This exotic fruit, native to South-East Asia but now grown in north Queensland and the Northern Territory, has a beautifully sweet yet slightly tart flavour. Round in shape with a dark purple/black skin and white flesh, mangosteens do not ripen once harvested. Look for fruit with a green stem and unblemished skin that yields slightly to touch.

Vegetable supplies are improving, and prices of broccoli, cauliflower and beans will ease over the coming weeks. As the weather cools, we’ll see larger quantities of leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, celery and silver beet, salad mixes will also improve as the weather cools down.

Green capsicums are a better buy than red, while eggplant prices are coming down as supplies from Bundaberg recover. Unfortunately heat and water shortages have affected the tomato-growing regions. Quality is still good, but we’re sourcing many varieties of tomato from further afield to satisfy demand. Cherry tomatoes are the best value.

This week’s top pick is the plum, one of our favourite Autumn fruits. Despite their small size, plums punch above their weight when it comes to nutrition: they’re a good source of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and vitamin K. Look for plums that are smooth, plump, and firm and store in the fridge when soft. Use plums in both sweet (cakes, tarts, puddings) and savoury dishes (salads and accompanying meat dishes like roast pork). If you have an oversupply, plums make beautiful jams, sauces and compotes combined with flavours like vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, red wine and star anise.

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

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]

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