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Franco’s fresh foods:

Fresh food expert, Franco Lagudi, gives the rundown on what to look out for in fresh food markets and supermarkets this week.
By Franco Lagudi
Date: May 11 2013
Tags: food,
Editor Rating:
blueberries_and_raspberries

The change of weather is starting to have an impact on fruit and vegetable availability, sourcing and prices. Here are my tips for the best buys this coming week.

Blueberries and Raspberries

A shortage of blueberries and raspberries across markets nationally will see prices surge by around 40% in comparison to just three weeks ago. This is due to a transition in growing areas and the winter weather approaching.

The good news is that the retail price will be at its peak and, as Coffs Harbour and Queensland start to harvest more fruit, the price will begin to drop. I expect that blueberry and raspberry prices will start to ease towards the end of next week.

Bananas

Demand for bananas increased in line with children returning to school last week! Volumes on shop floors have more than satisfied this. Banana prices fell by 5% last week. Over the weekend I expect bananas to come back again in price by a further 5%, depending upon quality.

Nutritious and convenient you can’t go wrong with this fruit! Make sure you check out the Weekend Recipe from Maggie Beer this week on Motherpedia!

Broccoli

Broccoli price dropped by around 40% over the past month, due to no shortage of supplies. However, due to the cold weather coming in over the last few days, broccoli volumes will start to slow down. That being said, consumer demand isn’t high and prices are only expected to increase by around 15%, depending upon quality, in comparison to last week.

Steamed, used in a stir fry, with a dip or raw, broccoli is versatile, easy and highly nutritious. In fact, it’s considered one of the ‘superfoods’ as it helps boost the immune system, supports cardiovascular health, builds bones and is a powerful weapon in fighting the development of cancer. On top of that, it’s very low calorie.

To ensure peak flavour and nutrition, simply cook broccoli lightly. Dip broccoli sprigs into boiling water for approximately thirty seconds to enhance their rich green colour and then cool before serving. 

Lettuce

Lettuce prices are falling fast!

Lettuce price has fallen by 30% over the last fortnight on the back of big volumes and weakening demand. I don’t think it’s ever too cold to have a salad at least once a week, especially as lettuce is another nutritious vegetable. Look forward to lettuce price sliding by a further 20% as we head into the weekend. As Victoria winds its lettuce season down and Queensland takes over, we can expect lettuce to be a great buy!

Your questions answered

Thanks to Motherpedia readers for your questions/comments from last week. Here are the answers to your questions.

About Custard Apples

The season for Custard Apples is from May through to September. Bundaberg and Central Queensland along with northern NSW are our main source for this fruit. There are two main varieties of custard apples: the Pink Mammoth and the African Pride. The Pink’s Mammoth is the larger of the two varieties and has fewer seeds. The skin of mature fruit is a light yellow/green colour with a creamy texture between the nodules. The African Pride is usually small to medium in size with smaller nodules.

Custard apples tend to bruise easily, so it is wise when purchasing to select mature, hard fruit and let it ripen at home. The fruit will yield to gentle pressure when it’s ripe.

The soft, white flesh of the custard apple is very sweet and can be easily scooped out with a spoon or fork, or the flesh can be eaten straight from the skin or even added to desserts. Its sweet flavour makes it an ideal addition to fruit salads and pavlovas. The Custard Apple does contain several large seeds.

End of Strawberry season

Fortunately for us, strawberries run all year round. They are sourced from several different areas within Australia.

From November through to April they are sourced from Victoria and South Australia, but they are far too cold for strawberries to grow during the winter. From May through to October they are sourced mainly from Queensland which is far too hot for strawberries to grow during the summer. Western Australia supplies strawberries to the western seaboard all year round. Western Australia also supplies strawberries to the eastern seaboard mainly during the transition period when switching from Queensland to Victorian strawberries in the Spring and when required.

Tegan Blue Plums

Tegan Blue plums are traditionally available from February through till the end of March. A firm and juicy plum with a delicious sweet taste. Their season has now finished.

Any other questions?

Just email info@motherpedia.com.au and Franco will respond. 

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