Avos defy the odds, go for bargain berries
IT'S A buyer's market when it comes to picking up fresh produce this week with top quality fruit, vegetables and salad items recording some of the lowest prices for many months.
In the vegetable aisle, Your Local Fruit Shop is stocked with bargain Asian vegetables, beetroot, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, carrots, celery, eggplant, fennel, leeks, snow peas, silverbeet, sweet corn, zucchini, onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Mushrooms have also fallen in price.
Pumpkin is plentiful and cheap. Most uncut pumpkins can be stored for 30 to 90 days but it must be kept in a cool, dry and dark place. Cut pumpkins last well in the refrigerator if stored in a covered container or wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Machine-picked beans are also at bargain prices but be prepared to pay more for the top quality, handpicked offerings.
The best quality squash are firmly priced. Select squash that are heavy for their size with a firm skin and ensure they are free from bruises or brown frostbite scars.
Tomatoes are cheap and plentiful and make for a bargain priced salad when including lettuce, mixed leaf salad, eshallots and most cucumbers.
Lebanese cucumbers have firmed in price and basil will also cost more than other herb varieties which are reasonably priced.
Avocados are expensive and still in popular demand with Australians eating more than three times the number, per capita, than a decade ago.
In the berry category, this is the time to pick up bargain priced strawberry and blueberry punnets, although you will pay a firmer price for raspberries.
In the citrus line, honey murcotts are the best mandarin for eating this week with all varieties reasonably priced, along with navel, valencia and blood oranges.
Lemons and limes are firmly priced as are pineapples, USA grapes and most good quality apples.
Look for value-for-money bananas, great eating Northern Territory mangoes, all melons, pears, passionfruit and pawpaw.
Kiwifruit are on the shelves but not eating as well as the New Zealand grown fruit draws to the end of its season.
Some USA grown stronefruit is available at firm prices.