BUYER'S GUIDE: 22nd - 28th May


The market overall is settling in for what looks to be a good winter season across both fruit and veggies. Citrus is in abundance, vegetable are in good supply and supply and demand is matching across the range... except for Tomatoes, which we will see back in play within the next 2 weeks. 


No real shorts at all, Rockmelons, Strawberries and Raspberries still holding up in price, but no problems with supply.  Plenty to choose from including the imports- USA Cherries, Mexican Mangoes and NZ Gold Kiwi. Also, we will see the first of the USA grapes by middle of next month and with the change in import requirements, they will be cheaper and better quality than in the past!  Aussie Blood Oranges will be available beginning of June.


Just a couple on the upper end of price, but no problems with supply: Broccoli, Red Capsicums (quality), Cucumbers, and Tomatoes (quality and price)!! All the colours are there, the quality is sound and priced to suit.

The cooler weather is affecting the edible flowers supply and limiting the range. On an exciting note, we should see the first of the Aussie Truffles by the second week of June if not earlier and the word is we could be in for our best season (quality wise) to date!!


Fruit: Avocado (QLD) * Beurre Bosc Pears (VIC)  * Cherries (imported) * Grape - red seedless (VIC) * Watermelon - seedless (QLD)

Vegetable: Button Mushrooms (NSW) * Carrot - med/lge (TAS) * Cocktail Chat Potatoes (SA) * Green Beans (QLD) * Heirloom Tomatoes


Fruit:  Gold Kiwifruit (Imp- NZ) * Tangello (QLD)

Vegetable: Baby Turnip (NSW) * Borlotti Bean (QLD) * French Radish (NSW) * Hawaiian Sweet Potato (QLD) * Morel Mushroom- fresh  (Imp) * Porcini Mushroom- fresh (Imp) * Purple Dutch Carrot (NSW) * Red Witlof (VIC)


Short Supply: Chestnut Mushroom * Raspberries (expensive ) * Yellow Oyster Mushrooms

Not Available: Blood Oranges * Purple Asparagus


Q: How do meats, fruit and other produce enhance a cheese course? 

After a month of refining our taste buds at the NSW Wine Festival (winding up this weekend), we couldn’t help but be inspired by the ability of the gourmet cheese platter to cater to even the most discerning palate. While purists like their cheese with little distraction, most cheese courses use a carefully crafted selection of cheeses, cured meats and fresh produce to achieve a complex balance of flavours and textures. With this in mind, our bulletin this week profiles seasonal produce that will bring out the best in your Autumn cheese platter.


COOKED FRUIT: Slow-baked quinces are delicious, however jam and pastes with a tart or sweet flavour are also suitable



Available: Mar - Aug

Growing Areas: Goulburn Valley, Granite Belt, Bathurst, Adelaide Hill

Appearance: round - pear shaped with hard, yellow skin

Flesh: hard, golden flesh which turns pale-dark pink when cooked

Flavour: highly fragrant. Very bitter making them unpleasant raw, however this deepens to a sweet, musky flavour when cooked

Selection: pick firm, yellow fruit with only a touch of green. Avoid fuzzy fruit as this indicates immaturity

Preparation: high pectin levels make quince perfect for making jams, jellies & preserves. The slower and longer a quince is cooked, the darker the end colour


FRESH FRUIT: APPLES, pears and GRAPES are platter favourites, however FIGS and FUJU PERSIMMON are also in season and are a colourful, delicious alternative

NASHI: aka Asian Pear, Oriental Pear, Apple-Pear, salad pear

Available: Mar - Nov (best May - Aug)

Growing Areas: Goulburn Valley (90%)

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

Selection: choose light yellow-green fruit that are firm

Preparation: fresh and juicy- or cook similarly to apple or pear



Available: Feb – Oct, best Apr - May

Growing Areas: predominantly Victoria however grown across Australia (ex. NT)

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

Selection: fragrant and firm, ripe pears give a little when pressed at the stem

Preparation: fresh and juicy, poach in wine and spices


SWEET PERSIMMON: aka Fuji Fruit, Fuju Persimmon or Fuyu Fruit


Available: late Feb - June

Appearance:  round fruit with a somewhat flat top and orange skin

Flesh: orange

Flavour: mild, sweet flavour

Selection: Should be bought when crisp and crunchy. 

Preparation: When fresh, best enjoyed like an apple, otherwise can be used when soft/mature in cooking


SEMI-DRIED FRUIT: California dates are superb at the moment. Dried muscatel are also a good addition, however these will not be available for some time yet



Available: all year

Appearance: rich gold to dark brown, slightly wrinkled skin

Flesh: soft, slightly chewy

Flavour: rich and sweet- caramel tones

Selection: look for plump dates which are slightly glossy and gold-brown in colour. Avoid any with crystals on the skin

Preparation: slice and remove stone, fantastic fresh but can be also be used in cooking, baking, dipped in chocolate or stuffed


ROASTED NUTS: chestnuts are great eating at the moment, however  almonds, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts are also suitable



Available: Apr - Jul

Growing Areas: North East VIC (70-80%), growers in all states

Appearance: heart shaped tree nut that has a tough, shiny dark brown shell

Flesh: creamy white nut - when cooked is similar to a roast potato in texture

Flavour: sweet and nutty - not suitable raw

Selection: buy heavy for size and firm as this indicates freshness

Preparation: short shelf life (1-2wks in fridge) though frozen nuts can be used for soups/purees. Lie chestnut on flat side and score the outer skin vertically, this stops them bursting when roasting (for your platter) or cooking them remove tough outer shell and thin inner skin (pellicle) prior to eating

A: A cheese course usually consists of 3-5 cheeses with different milk types (i.e. sheep milk, cows milk or goat milk) and textures (i.e. firm, washed-rind or blue) represented. The fruits, nuts and other accoutrement are used to enhance the unique character of these cheeses in different ways. For example, the sweet tones of fruit pastes/jams complement the rich taste of blue or French Brie, while fresh fruit provides a crisp, sweet contrast to salty cheeses and refreshes the palate. Warm, crunchy nuts are also popular (especially in the cooler months) as they provide a crunchy texture and enhance the nutty flavours in some cheeses. Other favourite additions to a cheese course include chewy fruits which complement firm cheeses, salty olives and crostini, crackers or specialty breads which help to cleanse the palate.  

BUYER'S GUIDE: 27th March - 2nd April

The market is on hold mode this week except for a couple of items.


New Season Apples & Pears are still the best buys- good eating and well priced. Following are Bananas, Grapes, Rockmelons, Kiwifruit, Fuju Persimmons, Pineapples, Plums, Quinces,  Seedless Watermelons & Strawberries. One to watch is Honeydew- quality not at its best and up in price.


Quality has improved somewhat but still some signs of the effect from the wet. The pick for this week: Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, carrots, Cauliflowers, Chinese Cabbage, Corn, Eggplant, Fennel, Iceberg Lettuce, Mushrooms, Spuds, Sweet Potatoes & Pumpkins.

One’s to watch out for (price and quality) are Snow Peas, Red Capsicums, Cos lettuce & Gold Squash.     



Bethonga Pineapples (QLD)

New Season Beurre Bosc Pears (NSW)

Fig Tray (NSW)

Rockmelon (NSW)

Strawberries - medium (VIC)


Asparagus - medium (Imported)

Broccoli (VIC)

Peak Season Habanero Chilli (NSW)

Mushroom - No2 (NSW)

Sweet Potato - large (QLD)



New Season Chestnuts (VIC)


Coconut -drinking (Imported)

Golden Delicious Apples (VIC)

New Season Quince (QLD)

Toffee Apple - red (NSW)


Horseradish (SA)

Jicama - aka water yam (QLD)

Slippery Jacks (NSW)

Snake Beans (NSW)

Winter Melon (QLD) 




Yellow Squash

End of Season:


Not Available:

Green Mango

Purple Asparagus

Tuscan Cabbage



BUYER'S GUIDE: 20th March - 26th March



New Season Apples and Pears are in full swing, excellent quality, great eating and priced extremely well. Also holding well are Bananas, Dragonfruit, Figs, Grapes, Lemons & Limes, Passionfruit, Persimmons & Fuyu, Pineapples, Pomegranates, Quinces and Rockmelons.  

Ones to keep an eye on are, Berries, Watermelons, Honeydews, Papaw and Stonefruit as the season is coming to a end, some late season Plums varieties still good buying and eating well.  



Clear sailing on  Asparagus, Carrots, Capsicums Green, Leeks, Mushrooms, Sweet Corn, All Spuds (Sweet Potatoes included) Zucchini, Onions and Pumpkins.

The rest of the lines holding quality, up slightly in price but still in the buying range. Iceberg & Cos lettuce, Cauliflowers and Tomatoes one to watch re quality and price and as are some Asian leaf lines suffering from the heavy rains.

The overall view of the markets is still positive as supply and demand is balanced- looking ahead Tomatoes and the leaf lines are the one to watch.




New Season Apples- Red Delicious (VIC)

Beurre Bosc Pears (VIC)

Grapes - red seedless (VIC)

Rambutan (QLD)

Strawberries - medium (VIC)


Brussel Sprouts (SA)

Fennel Bulb - large (VIC)

Spanish Onion - red (SA)

Sweet Potato - large (QLD)

Zucchini - green (ACT)



New Season Chestnuts (VIC)


Blood Oranges (Imp- USA)

Guava - cooking (QLD)

Pomello (QLD)

New Season Quince (QLD)


Horseradish (SA)

Kohlrabi bunch (NSW)

Lotus Root (QLD)

Pontiac Potato (SA)

Wild Pine Mushrooms (NSW)



Poor Quality:


End of Season:


Not Available:

Green Mangoes

Purple Asparagus

Tuscan Cabbage