The recent burst of cold weather and frost in some parts of the state means that all the cool weather crops are great eating, despite the lower volume in some Queensland produce lines this week.
Strawberries are a good news story as their supply from the Sunshine Coast increases. Raspberries are plentiful, but blueberries are still in short supply.
Most apple varieties are well supplied with the Pink Lady variety premium eating. Hass avocados, papaya and Packham pears are also well supplied. Citrus are another stand-out, with navel oranges, lemons and Honey Murcott mandarins all eating well.
One of Queensland’s staples, bananas, are in short supply so all varieties may have price variances in stores over the coming weeks as suppliers try to balance demand. Cold weather means some of the other regulars such as corn, Australian garlic, broad beans, squash and mint are also in short supply.
All the winter favourites are in high demand: sweet potatoes, pumpkins, fennel, leek, and potatoes are all excellent quality. For a mashed potato with a difference, try adding coarsely grated celeriac — this unusual-looking vegetable is a winter classic in Europe. Celeriac tastes a little like celery and parsley, which sweetens when roasted.
Stock up on greens like Asian vegetables, spinach, silverbeet, rocket, salad leaves, beans, watercress and broccolini, which are all great value.
Also well supplied this week are cucumbers, coriander, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, eggplant, ginger, radish, rhubarb, kohlrabi, cabbage (especially red) and wombok.
There’s more broccoli around this week but remember to buy for immediate consumption where possible, as broccoli heads tend to dry out. Zucchini is good quality but expect prices to be variable.
This week’s top pick is papaya, also known as pawpaw. One of the top winter fruits, the red papaya is grown around Innisfail and offers fantastic value at this time of year. Look for firm, golden coloured papaya with a sweet tropical aroma; when cut, the flesh should be a vibrant red colour. Store papaya at room temperature until ripe. It should yield slightly to touch when ready to eat, then store in the fridge. Layer papaya with natural yoghurt, berries and muesli for a breakfast parfait, or for a savoury dish try papaya with fried haloumi, cucumber, lettuce, mint and almonds.
For A Better Choice of what this season has to offer, look for 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.
Brisbane Produce Market Report