Produce report April 29
The best fruit and vegetable buys of the week, in partnership with New World
NEW IN: Satsuma mandarins have arrived for the lunchboxes. Two of them will provide 35 per cent of our daily requirement for vitamin C. As well as being nutritionally useful, they are sweet, seedless, easy to peel and conveniently sized to carry to work and school.
After purchase, satsumas will keep for about a week at room temperature, longer in the fridge. “Our New Zealand satsumas will be here through to July, so a good long season,” says Brigit Corson, New World Fresh Expert. “To keep mandarins on the shelf from then on, we switch to the Australian fruit."
The first of the tamarillos are trickling into supermarkets now too. The season is a long one.
“Local tamarillos are mainly from the Bay of Plenty and the Far North, and most plentiful in July and August so that’s when you’ll start to see better pricing,” says Brigit.
Related to the potato, tomato and capsicum, they are low in carbs but high in potassium, as well as being a source of vitamins A, B6, C, E and thiamine, copper and magnesium.
Choose firm fruit that is heavy for their size. When ripe, tamarillos should be fragrant and yield slightly to finger pressure. They will ripen, if necessary, at room temperature and then keep for about a week in the fruit bowl, or a fortnight if covered and refrigerated. Tamarillos can also be frozen whole, unpeeled or peeled, for a few months. Alternatively, slice and sprinkle them with sugar and freeze in an airtight container for up to a year.
TRY THEM IN: Although they are mostly served poached or added to baked puds, tamarillos work well in savoury dishes like casseroles (use as you would a tomato). Try them with chicken, pork or red meats and in chutneys. They are great on toast with cheese, and a few drops of Tabasco sauce or a judicious sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Tamarillos go well with avocado and bacon and love toasted walnuts.
LOOK OUT FOR: Fresh cranberries from the South Island. If you want to poach them to make into sauces to accompany rich wintry meats, make sure you soften them for a few minutes first before adding sugar, otherwise the skins will be too tough.
MOVING ON: The main beetroot season is finishing and although it’s available all year round, prices will rise to reflect diminished supply. Local green beans have been replaced by imported. “Courgettes will slow down as the weather cools and in May you’ll start to see Australian courgettes,” says Brigit. New Zealand snowpeas are done now too.