While there’s not plenty of variety of fruits and vegetables this week thanks to the current cold snap, we have plenty of produce offering excellent value.

Strawberries and blueberries are two of our top buys this week — keep an eye out for extra-large punnets of strawberries as supplies are abundant. Make the most of reasonably priced avocados by buying in bulk and use them in sushi or winter poke bowls with salmon, cucumber, and sesame seeds (a sprinkle of lime juice will help prevent avocado from going brown).

Honey Murcott mandarins are eating well, while Imperial pears — a pale yellow variety that looks more like an apple — are the pick of pears. We have good supplies of star fruit and Victorian-grown pomegranates, which add instant wow-factor to desserts, sprinkled over salads, tagines or lamb dishes.

Have you spotted a mango in store? Believe it or not, we are starting to see the first ‘summer’ fruits appearing including grapes and mangoes from Darwin. In short supply this week are Pink Lady apples, Cavendish bananas, raspberries and watermelon.

In vegies, an oversupply of sweet potatoes means they are our best bargain this week. Stock up and make batches of soup to freeze — combine with cannellini beans, ginger, curry powder and stock for a comforting winter combo.

Cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, pumpkins, zucchini, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts are all well supplied. We love the high-quality Australian garlic that’s grown by local producers — store it in the fridge to extend its life and ask your local retailer if you’re not sure about provenance.

Celery supplies are picking up, while green capsicums are overtaking red. Herbs of all varieties are short this week, as are endive, fennel, corn, mushrooms, and rhubarb.

This week’s top picks are heirloom tomatoes, the multicoloured, sometimes oddly shaped tomatoes that you see on the shelves. Grown from specially selected seeds, heirloom tomatoes usually have a vibrant colour and flavour that works well in salads, salsa, bruschetta and pasta. Look for heirloom tomatoes with intact skin and don’t be put off by imperfect shapes. Tomatoes at room temperature until cut, then store in the fridge and use within two days of purchase. Pair heirloom tomatoes with ingredients like basil, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, thyme and bread.

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.