Changeable weather pumps up berry prices
IT MIGHT be the middle of March, but our long summer means stone fruits are great buying at the Brisbane Produce Market this week.
All varieties of plums are good quality and well-priced, as are nectarines (despite their lighter colour).
Keep an eye out for the pale yellow skin and firm flesh of Golden Queen peaches, which peak at this time of year.
They often take longer to ripen, so store peaches in a paper bag at room temperature if you'd like to speed up the process.
Although traditionally a bottling peach used for preserves, Golden Queen peaches make a delicious snack and they'll last for up to a week in the fridge.
New season Red Delicious apples continue to enter the market this week, along with a good supply of Fuji and Royal Gala apples, pears, pineapples, nashi, and seedless white and red grapes are other top fruity picks.
Now is also a good time to stock up on lemons and limes.
Berry quality has been mixed of late with Tasmanian blueberries affected by the weather and prices are on the rise.
Strawberry quality is improving, but low volumes mean prices will remain high.
Weather is still affecting some of our vegies including beans, herbs, snow peas, zucchini and broccoli.
It's also hard to find good cauliflower at the moment, so expect to pay top dollar.
Asian vegetables are in short supply as suppliers play catch-up after the huge demand during Chinese New Year.
Healthy salads on the menu this week?
The best vegetables to add into the mix include corn, carrot, sweet potato, and beetroot.
For greens, Stanthorpe grown lettuce has suffered with the weather, but kale and cabbage are two well-priced replacements.
With its gorgeous colour and tart flavour, this week's top pick is the vegetable (yes, vegetable!) rhubarb. Look for firm, bright red stalks and store stalks in the fridge wrapped in plastic.
Stew rhubarb with sugar and vanilla pods for crumbles and pies, fold through cake batters, or roast rhubarb and serve alongside strawberries with panna cotta or your favourite ice-cream.
You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest 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