BUYER'S GUIDE: 29th May - 4th June

The market is in good shape this week with only some slight issues. Mainly Strawberries and Tomatoes but the rest is good to go. The problems with Strawberries & Tomatoes is the VIC & SA fruit is more backward with greener bums and the QLD fruit is rain affected- but the good news is... both are back in price! 

FRUIT:

Much the same as last week but with increased supply on some lines bringing prices back into play. These lines are all Berries, Watermelons and Honeydews with the staples still going strong. Apples, Pears, Bananas, Grapes, Mandarins, Kiwifruit, Pineapples, Papaw and New Season Navel Oranges are good buying and great quality. 

VEGIES:

With the rain and cooler weather in the QLD growing areas, some items will be affected but no shortage is expected. Beans, Corn, Capsicums, Gold Squash and Iceberg Lettuce are the main products affected- and as said Tomatoes are back in price but still nothing over the top quality wise. Everything else good to go. 

New season USA Cherries in stock now (and for the next 7 weeks) and we should have the first of the Australian Truffles by end of next week. 


BEST BUYS:

Fruit: Apple- delicious (VIC) * Banana- cavendish (QLD)  * Mandarin (QLD) * Paw Paw- yellow (QLD) * Watermelon - seedless (QLD)

Vegetable: Beetroot (QLD) * Celery (VIC) * Cocktail Chats Potato (SA) * Heirloom Tomatoes (NSW) * Mushroom - button (NSW) 

SOMETHING DIFFERENT:

Fruit: Blood Limes (NSW) * Cherries (Imp- US) * Mango (IMP) * Tangello (QLD)

Vegetable: Asparagus - white (IMP) * Black Radish (NSW) * Habanero Chilli (NSW) * King Brown Mushrooms (IMP) * Roquette Lettuce (NSW) * Roman Beans (NSW)

NOT THIS WEEK:

Short Supply: Chestnut Mushroom * Yellow Butter Bean * Yellow Zucchini 

Not Available: Blood Oranges * Longan


ZEST FOR LIFE

Q: Other then fighting scurvy what are citrus fruits good for?

The citrus industry is one of the most important horticultural industries in Australia producing approximately 600,000 tonnes of fruit each year. In fact the citrus fruit industry is our largest fresh fruit exporter, generating over $200 million annually for our economy. If you’re a little closer to home and looking to add vibrant colour and flavour to your winter menu- you’re in luck- as our citrus farmers have a wonderful array of fruits that will get the juices flowing. Beyond the delicious and much-loved Navel Oranges and Mandarins, the winter chill also brings out the bitter-sweet goodness in blood oranges, pomelos, grapefruit, lemons, tangelos or for those adventurous few – Buddha hands.  

NAVEL ORANGES:

Image Source: www.marketfresh.com.au

Main Growing Areas: Murray Valley, Riverina and Riverland

Availability: Apr – Nov, best May - Sept

Appearance: round, seedless fruit with a thick orange rind and belly-button formation at the blossom end  

Flesh: orange, segmented flesh with distinct section at the blossom end - full of flavour

Flavour: juicy, sweet- excellent eating

Selection: look for bright, plump fruit that is heavy for size

Inspiration: Orange and salt cod saladVogue Entertaining + Travel

Click for Recipe!

 

BLOOD ORANGES:

Image Source: www.marketfresh.com.au

Availability: Jun - Aug

Appearance: medium sized fruit with orange skin and red blush

Flesh: orange- red flesh (contains anthocyanins- which produce the rich colour)

Flavour: sweet, juicy and less acidic that regular oranges

Selection: look for bright, plump fruit that is heavy for size

Inspiration: Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Confit Panna Cotta – LA Mag

Click for recipe!

 

MANDARINS:

Image: freepik.com

Main Growing Areas: QLD (65% of total Aussie production), Griffith, Sunraysia

Availability: Apr – Aug

Selection: look for plump, bright fruit, heavy for size

Main varieties: Imperial, Murcott, Ellendale, Hickson & Taylor-Lee

Imperial: Apr - Jun

Appearance: yellow-orange slightly bumpy skin, medium size (easy peel & low seed)

Flavour: very sweet, balanced flavour and lovely perfume

Murcot (Honey Murcott): July to late Aug/Sept

Appearance: medium-large fruit with smooth, orange, thin skin

Flavour: sweet and juicy- good eating

Ellendale: Jun - Jul

Appearance: rich orange, medium-large, smooth skin

Flavour: very tangy- (high sugar and acid levels)

Hickson: late May – late Jul

Appearance: medium-large with a slight neck, wrinkled, orange skin with a reddish tinge (easy peel)

Flavour: sweet and very juicy – good eating

Taylor-Lee: Jun – Jul/Aug

Appearance: medium-large with a slight neck, tight orange skin with a reddish tinge (easy peel)

Flavour: rich, sweet – top quality eating

Inspiration: Spanner crab kinilaw recipe – Peter Kuruvita via SBSFood

Click for Recipe!

 

LEMONS:

Image: www.freepik.com

Availability: all year, at best Mar – Oct

Appearance: oval, light green to yellow fruit (some have distinct point)

Flesh: pale yellow

Flavour: acidic, tangy fruit

Varieties: Lisbon (most common variety) is smooth skinned and tangy, while the Eureka variety has bumpy skin, an obvious neck and is tart in flavour

Selection: look for plump, bright fruit, heavy for size

Inspiration: Lemon parfait, fennel pollen ice cream, fennel granita, and olive oil jelly - Adam Simmonds via Great British Chefs

Click for Recipe

 

TANGELO:

Image Source: www.taste.com.au

Availability: Jul- Nov

Appearance: large fruit with thin, orange skin and a distinct neck (easy peel and segment)

Flesh: very juicy, segmented flesh that is virtually seedless

Flavour: a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin the tangelo is tangy and very juicy (still sweet but slightly more tart than a mandarin)

Selection: look for bright, undamaged skin, plump fruit that is heavy for size

Inspiration: Grilled tangelos with pistachio brittle – Sydney Morning Herald

Click for Recipe!

 

POMELO: aka pummelo

Image Source: www.marketfresh.com.au

Availability: White variety:  Mar – Nov, Pink variety: Jun - Nov

Appearance: large fruit with a very thick skin that is light green-yellow (thick skin means a good shelf life)

Flesh: segmented like a mandarin, flesh is juicy and varies in colour from yellow to pink

Flavour: sweet and tangy- lacks the bitterness of grapefruit and is great for juicing, salads, desserts or even preserving

Selection: look for bright, undamaged skin, plump fruit that is heavy for size

InspirationPomelo, banana blossom and roast pork salad – Geoff Lindsay via Gourmet Traveller

Click for Recipe!

 

GRAPEFRUIT:

Availability: available all year, at best Apr – Nov

Selection: look for plump, bright fruit, heavy for size

Image Source: www.agriculturalproductsindia com

Marsh Seedless:

Appearance: yellow skin

Flesh: pale yellow flesh, no seeds

Flavour: mildly tangy and sweet- great for marinades

Pink Marsh: aka Thompson

Appearance: yellow skin

Flesh: light pink flesh with no seeds

Flavour: sweet when ripe

Ruby: aka Red Blush, Ruby Red

Image Source: www.gofor2and5.com.au

Appearance: smooth skin with a strong red blush

Flesh: juicy, dark orange–red segmented flesh

Flavour: sweeter than yellow brethren- wonderful fresh, juiced or in salads

InspirationSwordfish carpaccio with pink grapefruit and pink peppercorns – Gourmet Traveller

Click for Recipe!

 

BUDDHA HANDS: aka Fingered Citron

Image Source: www.johnvenaproduce.com

Availability: Jun - Oct

Appearance: has a thick yellow skin (rind) and finger like tendrils coming from the stem end

Flesh: none to speak of

Flavour: fragrant, lemon- skin is bitter but pith underneath is quite sweet

Selection: look for bright, undamaged fruit with a good aroma

Inspiration: Grilled coral trout with pickled Buddha’s hands – Gourmet Traveller

Click for Recipe

 

MARUMI CUMQUATS: aka Kumquat, Kinkan

Image Source: www.marketfresh.com.au

Availability: autumn/winter

Appearance: small orange fruits with a thin peel that are round-oval in shape

Flesh: segmented yellow-orange flesh

Flavour: intense, sweet-sour flavour,- most often candied, glazed or preserved though can be eaten fresh or even in liquer

Selection: start to deteriorate once picked so look for robust, bright fruit with no obvious damage on skin

Inspiration: Grilled chicken with late-picked wine and cumquats – Stephanie Alexander via Sydney Morning Herald

Click for Recipe!

 

A: While you’d be hard pressed to develop scurvy these days, strokes are our second single greatest killer and on the rise due to an aging population. Which is why a recent study by Norwich Medical School (UK) finding women who consumed higher levels of citrus fruit (especially grapefruit and oranges) had a 19% less chance of suffering a ischemic (blood-clot related) stroke is so exciting. It is believed the high levels of vitamin C/flavonoids (antioxidant) present in citrus fruits and juices, help prevent stroke by improving blood vessel function and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent on the body.     


BUYER'S GUIDE: 15th - 21st May

 

Tomato Agent's dream as prices go through the roof!!

Supply is short but the abnormally high figure is driven by the Market Agents not the farmer. Ever since we grew accustomed to crazy prices for fresh produce after the first QLD cyclone, the market agents are quick to jump- especially Tomato Agents!! In short, tomatoes are available this week but are over the top in price!

As for the rest of the market, very little change. Some slight increases matched by an equal amount of decreases.

FRUIT:

One to watch again this week is Strawberries- which are still holding ground but will come back over the next few weeks.

Rockmelons are still up in price but quality is good- plenty to cover for them this week. Both Watermelons are down in price, as are Honeydews.

Apples, Pears, Kiwifruit & Gold Kiwi, imported Dates, Mandarins, imported Mangoes, New Season Navel Oranges, Pineapples, Dragonfruit & Pomegranates! Go the Fruit!

VEGIES:

Red Light on Tomatoes where possible!

Other ones to watch: Rocket will be available, supply is down, price is up- same with good Lebanese Cucumbers! Sub Gold Squash for Yellow Zucchinis. Baby Caps (Red and Vine Sweet) are NA, the rest is clear.

Artichokes, Cauliflowers, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Chinese Cabbage, Celery, Celeriac, Chillies, Eggplant, Leeks, Mushrooms, Peas, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes & Zucchini- all good to go.

News: USA Cherries by the end of the week!!

 

BEST BUYS:

Fruit: Avocado (QLD) * Gold Kiwifruit (imported) * Mangoes (imported) * Navel Oranges - lge (SA) * Watermelon - seedless (QLD)

Vegetable: Celery (VIC) * Fresh Green Peas (VIC) * Leek - lge (VIC) * Portabello Mushrooms (NSW) * Red Spanish Onion (SA)

SOMETHING DIFFERENT:

Fruit: Golden Delicious Apples (VIC) * Cumquats (QLD) * Feijoas (NSW) * Guava (QLD) * Pomegranate (VIC) * Quince (QLD)

Vegetable: Honeycomb - full frame (QLD) * Jap Pumpkins (QLD) * Red Witlof (VIC) * Slippery Jack Mushrooms (NSW)

NOT THIS WEEK:

Short Supply: Raspberries (expensive ) * Wild Rocket

Not Available: Baby Red Capsicum * Blood Oranges * Yellow Zucchini


WINTER HARVEST

Q: Can you really buy Artichoke brandy?

Recently a fellow food lover lamented that Winter was a “boring time of year for fruit and veg, there just isn’t much to get excited about”. I can understand the sentiment, at this time of year the markets are brimming with root vegetables, cabbages, apples, pears- all wonderfully delicious and versatile but somehow less exotic and alluring than Summer’s bounty. So, in a bulletin designed to kickstart your love affair with winter produce- we are profiling ‘5 Winter lines’ that the team at SG&S are excited about this year and sharing delicious recipes that showcase the delightful potential of these fantastic Winter finds. In the words of Pietro Aretino, “Let us love the winter, for it is the Spring of genius”.

 

WINTER FLAVOURS:

CITRUS:

The winter citrus season is upon us. Mandarins are at the markets and fantastic eating, as are navel oranges. All signs point to a bumper crop this year.

Supply: Mainly QLD and NSW

Mandarins: while available from March – November, these are at their best May – October

Navel Oranges: the winter orange these are available Jun, July and Aug

Blood Oranges: available Jun – late August

Click for Inspiration

 

ARTICHOKES:

While we are still early in the season; globes, baby globes and Jerusalem artichokes are currently available at the markets. They wont be at their nutty best for a few more weeks, but are still a wonderful addition to the menu.

Supply: Mainly NSW and VIC

Baby globe artichokes: good local stock arriving at the markets- at their best Jun- Aug

Globe Artichokes: still early but available. Peak product will be at the markets from June - Sept

Jerusalem Artichokes: already available, at their best from June – Sept

Click for Inspiration

 

USA CHERRIES:

The USA cherry season is always welcome, as it helps us survive the long wait until the Australian season starts up again in November. Expect more lush Bing fruit and creamy Rainiers again this year

Supply: California, Washington and Oregon

Early fruit will be available from next week, with the season traditionally spanning Jun – Aug

Click for Inspiration

 

TURNIPS/SWEDES:

While many believe them to be old-fashioned and dull, in our minds the delicious Tassie Swedes and local Turnips currently at the markets are vintage gourmet. Their peppery flavour and creamy texture, in addition to their nutritional value and affordability makes turnips and swedes a winter favourite at SG&S.

Supply: Turnips – NSW/VIC, Swedes - TAS

Despite being available all year, the cold weather works wonders for these root veges, meaning turnips, baby turnips and swedes are at their best May – Oct

Click for Inspiration

 

TRUFFLES:

While the Australian Truffle industry is relatively young, producers are unearthing spectacular, premium grade truffles from sites across WA and TAS (with small numbers harvested in NSW/ACT and VIC). In fact, last year around 3 tonnes of this noble, perfumed fungus was grown and sold in Australian markets. We can only hope that 2012 sees another bountiful harvest.

Supply: WA and TAS

Following a wonderful season in 2011, 2012 is looking to be just as promising for Australian Truffles with fresh, aromatic truffles expected to be in good supply from early June to August

Click for inspiration!

 

Other items of note for Winter: Star Apple (Jun- Nov), brassicas (in particular cauliflower) are predicted to be top performers this season due to the cold weather. Beans (broad and borlotti) are also expected to have a great winter with main supply now starting.

A: Yes. Known as Rossler it is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented and distilled Jerusalem Artichokes. This nutty-sweet brew has been produced in Baden, Germany since the 1800s and to this day  90% of all Jerusalem Artichokes harvested in the area are dedicated to producing this brandy like spirit.


BUYER'S GUIDE: 1st May - 7th May

It is a good market this week due to supply still outweighing demand for most of the main lines.

PROBLEMS: Rockmelons * Honeydews * Strawberries * Watermelons * Roma Tomatoes

SOLUTIONS: Bananas * Grapes * Kiwifruit * Mandarins * Pineapples * Tomatoes (small)

We are starting to see an increase in Winter lines at the markets and if the weather holds we should have a great winter 'fresh produce' wise. Also worth a mention, as of last week, 90% of Australia's growing regions are classified drought free. Amen!

 FRUIT:

Everything except stonefruit, melons (all) and straweberries are in good supply, good eating and well priced.

Apples, Pears, Avocadoes, New Season Navel Oranges, Mandarins, Pineapples, Quinces, Pomegranates and imported mangoes are the picks of the week.

VEGETABLES:

Just Roma Tomatoes, Cherry Truss and Shiso Leaf are the main ones to watch out for this week, otherwise it's a green light from Artichokes to Zucchinis.

Beetroot, Broccoli, Cauliflowers, Continental Cucumbers, Leeks, Sweet Potatoes, Swedes, Butternut Pumpkin and Zucchini are the veggie picks.

NB: New Season Australian Truffles will be available early June. Let the fun begin.

 

BEST BUYS:

Fruit: Bethonga Pineapple * Delicious Apples -med (VIC) * Grapefruit - Marsh (QLD) * Mandarin (QLD) * Pomegranate (NSW)

Vegetable: Beetroot - large (TAS) * Celeriac (NSW) * Leek - large (VIC) * Sweet Potato - large (QLD) * Zucchini - green (VIC)

SOMETHING DIFFERENT:

Fruit: Mango (Imported) * Mangosteen (Imported) * Papaya- green/cooking (QLD) * Quince (QLD)

Vegetable: Baby Globe Atichokes (NSW) * Baby Purple Carrots (NSW) * Roman (continental) Beans (NSW) * Red Witlof (VIC) * Tomato- Bella Rossa (NSW) * Tomato - Heirloom Mix (NSW)

NOT THIS WEEK:

Short Supply: Cherry Truss Tomatoes * Longan

Not Available: Broad Bean * Rambutan * Shiso Leaf