Spring at the Markets


The end of August into early September is a time of transition at the markets, with winter produce lines winding up and the flavours that signify summer (and the busy season) starting to make an appearance. So, to help with menu planning this Spring we thought we’d pull together a market update on key produce lines and how they’re predicted to perform over the coming months.

CITRUS

JUicy fruits. Slices of grapefruits, oranges, lemons and kiwi fruits

Market Update: While it’s late in the season for Australian citrus there are a number of lines that will continue to be good quality eating into October. We can also look forward to the imminent arrival of new season Valencia Oranges.

Selection: Look for bright, plump fruit that is heavy for size. Don’t be put off if Valencia’s have a green tint, this can happen in hotter climates and does not affect flavour.

BLOOD ORANGES

Availability: Jun - August - good quality fruit will end in the next 4 weeks.

Flavour: sweet, juicy and less acidic than regular oranges

VALENCIA ORANGES:

Availability: Sept - April

Flavour: Rich, citrus flavour

 

PINEAPPLES:

ToplessPineapples

Market Update: Topless pineapples are going to be at their peak for the next 4-6 weeks.

Selection: No matter which variety you buy it’s important to note that pineapples may get juicier after harvesting but they don’t get sweeter - so choose plump fruit with no bruising/blemishes and a fresh, sweet (but not too sweet) pineapple fragrance.

BETHONGA: aka Topless Gold/Bethonga Gold Hybrid

Availability: best Sept-May

Appearance: smooth, topless, slightly smaller than smooth cayenne

Flavour: less fibrous and low acidity makes them more aromatic and sweeter in flavour than smooth cayenne

 

ASPARAGUS:

asparagus (1)

Market Update: Asparagus season is underway with quality spears now available at the markets. Rainfall has meant a slow start to this year’s harvest but it won’t impact domestic supply. We always look forward to the arrival of white asparagus due to gourmet appeal but don’t overlook its purple brethren, with lower fibre content it boasts sweet, thick spears that can be used from tip to butt.

Availability:

Green: All year, at its peak Sept- Dec

Baby Green: All year, best Sept- Dec

White: Sept – Jan

Purple: Oct - Dec

 

STONE FRUIT:

peaches studio isolated over white

Market Update: Some early season Peaches and Nectarines are arriving at the markets now. With quality and flavour still developing, the USA fruit may look and eat better for the next few weeks but then it will be all systems go for this homegrown favourite.

PEACHES:

Yellowflesh: September – March

Whiteflesh (juicy, sweet): October- March

NECTARINES:

Yellowflesh (mix of sweet/light acid flavours): November – March

Whiteflesh (hold the acid, sweet and fragrant): November - March

 


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The Root of the Matter

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that the “beautiful rests on the foundations of the necessary” and nothing could be truer for the workhorses of the culinary world: root vegetables. Despite their functionality and often crude appearance, root vegies are a core ingredient of cuisines worldwide due to their flavour, affordability and nutritional value.
Winter is the peak season for most root vegetables, here we showcase a range of varieties that are at their peak over the winter months and offer that little something special.

POTATOES

Speaking of tatties, these varieties start in Autumn and are well on their way to peak flavour and supply in the winter months.

Potatovarietiesinsta (1)

BURBANK aka Idaho

When: All year, best Mar - Dec

How: The chip potato! Though also good for baking and roasting

KENNEBEC

When: All year, best Jan - Oct

How: Starchy so make great chips but also good mashed, boiled, baked or fried

DESIREE:  

When: All year, best Jan - Oct

How: One of our best sellers, desiree are an all rounder. They hold their shape well, suffer minimal discolouration after cooking and are incredibly versatile, avoid frying.

ROYAL BLUE:

When: All year, best Feb - Aug

How: All rounder- good cooking variety (roast, mash, chip, salad)


CELERIAC: aka Celery root

celeriac

Availability: Mar - Sept

Appearance: creamy brown solid tuber

Flesh: white

Flavour: rich texture with slightly nutty flavour - cross between celery and parsley

Selection: choose medium size roots that are firm, if the leaves are still attached look for healthy plump stalks

Preparation: Don’t wash until ready to use and peel tough outer layer. Cooked they can be chipped, boiled, steamed, mashed you name it. Raw they are often grated in salads (lemon will stop discolouration once cut)

Nutritional value: good dietary fiber and Vitamin C


KOHLRABI

GreenKohlrabi (2)

Availability: Best Jun - Aug

Appearance: swollen stem at the base of blue/green leaves, stem can be purple-red/light green-white

Flesh: pale green - creamy white and crispy

Flavour: slightly sweeter than broccoli stems or cabbage heart. White tends to be slightly softer and milder, while red is larger and has a stronger aroma and flavour

Selection: buy medium size (larger = woodier). Look for crisp, good colour

Preparation: The stems have two distinct fibrous layers, these are generally peeled prior to cooking or serving raw. To get the most value and nutrients, cook whole with skin on then peel after cooking. Otherwise, use much like a turnip- lovely raw in salads or roasted/sautéed. The leaves can also be used as a substitute to Kale.

Nutritional value: Very good source of Vitamin C and potassium


LOTUS ROOT: aka renkon

Lotus_root (2)

Availability: Usually available all year

Appearance:  root (rhizome) with reddish brown skin

Flesh: slightly crunchy, white flesh with air holes running the length of the root

Flavour: sweet, crisp (maintains texture when cooked)

Selection: firm, plump and juicy with no soft spots. The darker the root the older it is

Preparation: Peel and go. Can be eaten raw (like celery or carrot) on a platter or in salads. When cooking, it is recommended to blanch prior to avoid discolouration. Steam, caramelise, stew, candy or use in a curry or soup

Nutritional value: dietary fiber, Vitamin C, minerals- copper, iron, zinc, magnesium


HORSERADISH

horseradish-marketfresh

Availability: All year but at its best Autumn/Winter

Appearance: white, tapered root

Flesh: white

Flavour: spicy, pungent nose burn- similar to wasabi or mustard (which are in the family)

Selection: avoid shriveled or dry roots with soft or green spots

Preparation: fresh roots aren’t pungent but (similar to wasabi) the process of cutting, grating or grinding causes its cells to breakdown and undergo a chemical reaction. This reaction releases oils which provide the pungent aroma and taste. Once prepared, fresh horseradish should be used quickly or it will lose its potency (if left exposed it can also develop a bitter taste)

Nutritional value: antibacterial (good for colds) source of potassium, calcium and magnesium


SALSIFY: Black & White

Salsifyinsta

Availability: Best Autumn/Winter

Appearance: long, slim root with bark like skin (black or white) and creamy-white flesh

Flavour: creamy, earthy taste that some compare to an oyster or artichoke

Preparation: wear gloves to avoid staining hands, peel then coat with lemon to prevent browning (having said that it is often easier just to peel after boiling, then prepare as desired).

Health Benefits: particularly good for diabetics, it is a good source of fibre, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, Vit B6 & C


JICAMA: aka Yam Bean

Availability: All Year

Appearance: tan coloured tuber

Flesh: white and crunchy

Flavour: crisp and sweet (cross between an apple and a potato)- high water content

Selection: medium size, firm with dry roots

Preparation: Use like apple or pear in salads (grated/chopped) as it won’t discolour. Can be used like a water chestnut in asian dishes or chopped into stews or soups.

Nutritional value: very good source of Potassium, dietary fibre and Vitamin C


Did you know that Simon George & Sons has online ordering?

Contact us to get started or find out more.


From Paddock to Port

IMG_0719 (2)

For the fast growing cruise liner industry - fresh, premium produce is at the heart of the luxury experience it offers passengers.


Australians are changing the way we experience the world, in recent years more and more Aussies are choosing to go cruising both abroad and at home. According to a report from Cruise Lines International Association, the number of Australians weighing anchor on domestic cruises increased by a remarkable 40% in 2015, while globally our cruising numbers jumped by 15%.  

Without a doubt, the fine dining experience on an ocean cruise is fundamental to its appeal. Passengers often name fine dining, amazing destinations and value for money as the reasons they choose to cruise. With this and the recent rise in domestic cruising numbers, Australian chefs and producers are being presented with both a unique opportunity to showcase local flavours and a unique set of procurement challenges.

Simon George & Sons has established a strong relationship with the cruise liner industry, having supplied to the sector for over 50 years. From our experience, the produce supplied to cruise liners needs to meet two equally important criteria - firstly it needs to be exceptionally fresh as it may need to last up to 10 - 12 days on the cruise, secondly it must reflect the premium nature of the experience and therefore it has to be of consistently high quality at every port, while still being cost-efficient.

The scale of Simon George & Sons operations across Australia, our market knowledge and the quality of our service has helped our cruise liner clients to meet these challenges. As we move into the back end of 2016, we look forward to continuing to support them with the best produce from paddock to port.


Celebrating 20 years of Golf & Giving

Simon George & Sons was proud to co-host the Mater Charity Golf Day in May.


We just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all who attended the 2016 Mater Charity Golf Day in May.

Not only was it a great day of golf, your generosity helped us to raise nearly $50,000 for a new pregnancy assessment centre, the first of its kind in Australia.

Simon George & Sons has co-hosted the Mater Charity Golf Day for the last 20 years. Since beginning our relationship with the Mater in 1996, we have raised more than $1 million dollars to assist them in the delivery of key projects and facilities for the community.


Melbourne - We have arrived!

simongeorgeandsonsmelbourne-28

Simon George & Sons is proud to announce the opening of our state-of-the-art, 3000m² Distribution Sales Centre at the new Fruit and Vegetable market in Epping.

With a reputation for offering Australia’s most vibrant and eclectic food scene, we are excited to bring our fresh and processed produce solutions to the Melbourne hospitality industry.

 

Our new Epping facility has been custom-built to meet the needs of the Melbourne foodservice sector and provide our clients with a premium, wholesale service that reflects both the scale of our operations and the family values by which they are still managed.
Fully HACCP and Cool Chain accredited and as the only wholesaler based inside the markets, our clients enjoy unique access to the best produce, efficient supply and personalised service. To learn more about our operations and what sets us apart from other wholesalers, contact your account manager or our office on 03 8412 0700 to arrange a site tour.


The Apple of My Eye

apples in basket

Far from being a ‘forbidden fruit’ there are more than 2.6 billion apples grown in Australia each year, with the majority being consumed domestically. In recent years the most dominant varieties have been Granny Smith and Pink Lady™, which between them accounted for approximately 55% of total production. However like any food, trends come and go, so here is an overview of the top varieties and what they’re good for.

At a Glance

Selection: Look for firm, smooth skin with no dark/soft spots

Storage: Apples love the cold, refrigerate to retain juiciness and crispness

 

AUSTRALIAN VARIETIES


Pink-LadyTPink Lady (Cripps Pink)

Characteristics: Crisp, fine, sweet flesh

Best for: Cooking(salads, sauces and pies) due to the high sugar content

Background: Cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. To be sold as Pink Lady it must meet quality standards set out by the Dept of Agriculture and Food, WA.


 

 

 

 


Granny-SmithGranny Smith

Characteristics: Crisp tart, tangy flavour that gets sweeter as it matures

Best for: Baking, freezing, salads, sauces and pies.

Background: An Australian native discovered in 1868 by “Granny” Anne Smith of Ryde, NSW. One parent is believed to be the French crab apple.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal-GalaRoyal Gala

Characteristics: Juicy and aromatic- slightly sweeter than Delicious apples

Best for: Sauces but is also tasty fresh and in salads

Background: Royal Gala and Gala originated in NZ in the 1930s as a cross between Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious.


 

 

 

 

 


Golden-DeliciousGolden Delicious

Characteristics: Sweet and rich

Best for: Eating fresh and baking

Background: Originated in 1912 in West Virginia, USA


 

 

 

 

 

 


Red-DeliciousRed Delicious

Characteristics: Refreshing mild sweetness

Best for: Salads and desserts

Background: Originated in Iowa, USA in the early 1870’s


 

 

 

 

 

 


Fuji-Fuji

Characteristics: Crisp and juicy with sweet honey tones

Best for: Eating fresh,  baking and stewing

Background: Fuji originated in Japan where it is a major variety.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Sundowner-TSundowner™ (Cripps Red)

Characteristics: Sweet and distinctive

Best for: Eating fresh, also good for baking as it keeps its shape

Background: Cripps Red (sold as Sundowner™) is related to Pink Lady™ and is a cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. Originated in WA.


 

 

 

 



Jazz-Jazz™ (Cripps Red)

Characteristics: crunchy, tangy and sweet

Best for: Snacking on the go, though

Background: One of the newest varieties on the market, Jazz™ apples were launched in Australia in 2009 and are a cross between Gala and Braeburn.


 


Pear-Shaped

stockvault-pear98588

The secret to enjoying pears is knowing which pear to eat when. A pear eaten too early is an opportunity missed, as it has not yet had the chance to develop its full flavour and unique, buttery texture.

From harvest to consumption the quality of a pear is reliant on knowing when to act. If allowed to stay on the tree too long, the pear develops a gritty, coarse texture as it ripens. To avoid this, farmers pick their pears when mature (but not ripe) and then hold them in cold storage (a key step in achieving their unique character) before they hit the markets and begin to ripen naturally. As pears ripen from the inside it can be difficult to gauge when to indulge, but it is worth the wait.

Fast Facts

Selection: Look for fairly firm, fragrant fruit that is unblemished. Press the point where the stem meets the neck and if it gives evenly without applying proper pressure – the pear will melt in your mouth.

Storage: Store firm, unripe fruit at room temperature until it changes to a ripe yellow and/or gives a little when pressed at the stem. Once ripe, keep in refrigerator and use quickly.

Preparation: Handle gently, pears bruise easily. Once cut, brush surfaces with citrus juice to prevent discolouration prior to serving

 

AUSTRALIAN VARIETIES

Beurre BoscBeurre Bosc

Available: Mar – Oct, best Apr – May

Appearance: med to large pear with an elongated neck, green-brown skin and a golden-brown russet that darkens as it ripens

Flesh: juicy, white flesh

Flavour: aromatic, sweet, buttery and juicy

Best use: great all-rounder. Suitable for most cooking methods and lovely fresh.


 



corellaCorella
(aka Forelle Pears)

Available: April – end August

Appearance: squat with a bright, glossy pink-red blush on green – yellow base

Flesh: tender, soft white to creamy yellow flesh

Flavour: sweet and juicy

Best use: fresh – striking addition to salads. Sometimes smaller fruit is sold as baby corellas, these retain the unique flavour and are practical for salads and portion control



winter-nellisHoney (aka Winter Nelis, Quall)

Available: Mar – Nov

Appearance: small – medium in size, squat, round pears with green, heavily russetted skin that yellows when ripe

Flesh: creamy white

Flavour: tender, sweet, buttery– very juicy and aromatic

Best use: very versatile- good cooked and fresh

 




josephineJosephine
(aka Josephine de Malines)

Available: Apr –Aug

Appearance: medium sized fruit withlight-green soft skin and slight russet

Flesh: fine grained, creamy yellow-white

Flavour: rich, juicy and very sweet

Best use: excellent fresh eating variety

 



nashiNashi
(aka Asian Pear)

Available: Mar – Nov (best May – Aug)

Appearance: medium, round fruit with yellow-green slightly rough skin (can be flecked with white or brown depending on variety)

Flesh: creamy white, crisp and juicy flesh (like an apple)

Flavour: subtly sweet with medium sugar and high acid

Best use: its crisp texture makes it an interesting apple substitute for a variety of dishes (salads, cheese platters) or eaten fresh



packhamPackham
(aka Packhams Triumph)

Available: Mar – Dec (best- May-Jun)

Appearance: med – large green pear (turns golden yellow when ripe) with a short neck (skin can sometimes appear bumpy)

Flesh: white and slightly firm yet juicy

Flavour: juicy and sweet

Best use: great baked in desserts, poached or fresh



red-anjou

Red D’Anjou (aka Red Angou)

Available: Apr – Nov

Appearance: medium sized, deep red fruit with yellow-green mottling

Flesh: fine, white flesh

Flavour: juicy

Best use: salads


 


White Asparagus with wasabi salsa

Dishes: White Asparagus with wasabi salsa

Chef: Min Kim from The Star, Sokyo restaurant

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces White Asparagus
  • 20gm Baby Capers
  • 40gm Fresh Garlic
  • 50gm Brown Onion
  • 50gm Pickled Wasabi Roots
  • 10gm Baby Mache
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 15gm Grape Seed Oil
  • 10ml Lemon Juice
  • 50ml Yuzu juice
  • 100ml Japanese soy sauce
  • 10ml Rice Vinegar
  • Edible flowers to garnish

 

Method

  1. To make the salsa, finely chop the onion, garlic (10g only) and pickled wasabi roots and then mix them together with the lemon juice and grape seed oil. Finish with a little bit of salt to season.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Place the white asparagus on a baking tray and season well with salt and black pepper and olive oil.
  4. Roast them in the oven for 6~7 mins or until al Dante.
  5. Put aside the asparagus to rest, Slice the rest of the garlic into a thin slices. Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium heat and then fry the garlic until golden brown and crispy. Season with salt.
  6. Mix the soy sauce, yuzu juice and the vinegar together to make a Yuzu soy dressing.
  7. Cut the asparagus into 3 and then stack them on top of each other.
  8. Put the wasabi salsa which you’ve made previously on top of the asparagus and then baby capers on the salsa mix.
  9. Sprinkle some garlic chip on top and then dress it well with the Yuzu soy dressing.
  10. Finish with the Micro Mache and some edible flowers to garnish.

 

Sokyo is a celebrated Japanese restaurant at The Star in Sydney, NSW, featuring the kitchen artistry of Chefs Min Kim and Chase Kojima. Sokyo introduces Sydney denizens to a new age of Japanese dining. Traditional Japanese dishes in bold and complex flavours characterise the menu. In the elegant surrounds of The Darling hotel, it allows you to choose-your-own-adventure through modern Japanese cuisine. The food is complemented by a wide selection of wine, sake and Japanese beer.


Poached spiced cherries

Dish: Poached spiced cherries

Chef: Josh Lansley (Sous Chef, Il Lido Restaurant, Darwin)

 

Ingredients

  • 6 star anise
  • 750ml red wine
  • 750ml water
  • 300g sugar
  • 3 orange zest
  • 1 lemon zest
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1500g de-stoned cherries

Method

  • Add all ingredients except the cherries to a thick based pan.
  • Bring to the boil and boil for about 3 – 4 mins.
  • Add the cherries to the boiling stock and remove from the heat immediately.
  • Cling film the pan ASAP ensuring minimal heat escapes.
  • Leave to cool, and serve.

The cherries are a great accompaniment to your Christmas pudding, a simple Panna cotta or even a roasted duck or your Christmas goose.

 

Meet The Chef


Smoked Duck Breast

Dish: Smoked Duck Breast with Shitake Mushrooms and soft poached quail Egg

Chef: Scott Logan, Mandy's Restaurant, Clear Mountain Lodge

 

 

 Ingredients

  • Smoked Duck Breast
  • Shitake Mushrooms
  • Soft poached Quail Egg
  • Lilli Pillies
  • Sorrel
  • Tomato vinaigrette

Method

The duck is cured, lightly sealed then smoked with pine needles from trees on site.
Shitakes are cleaned freshly from a Mushroom log and then placed into a master stock until tender. The quail eggs are soft boiled and presented on Pine needles which are also sourced from on site.
The Lilli Pillies are served fresh to give a vermouth/dry taste to the dish with red vein sorrel added to give colour to the display. The dish is then served on a timber cookie to complete the presentation. 

Meet The Chef

Scott Logan is the Executive Chef  at Mercure Clear Mountain Lodge, Spa & Vineyard. His experience stems over thirteen years in the culinary world with three of these at Mercure Clear Mountain.

Scott specialises in Modern Australian cuisine with a twist, enjoys creating food that showcases the clean, fresh produce they grow onsite. “We like to experiment, serving food that is a little outside the box, but still retain the individual characters of the produce”

Scott has worked in a number of restaurants across Queensland including Treasury Casino’s Lab Restaurant and Bar which won the Queensland Hotel Association’s 'Best Hotel-Motel Restaurant’ award five years running, Oxley’s on the River, Mercure Inn Townsville, and Gauguin’s Restaurant. He draws his inspiration from reading & playing with fresh produce from things starting to grow through to the seed.

Located 35 minutes from the CBD in the stunning Brisbane Hinterland, Mandy's on the Mountain Restaurant offers appetising menus using fresh ingredients sourced onsite and regionally and complemented by a carefully chosen wine list.