Produce report: October 14
Find out what's in, what's out and what's the best buying in the produce department, thanks to our friends at New World
FRESH IN: Perky spring produce continues to bounce into stores with good-looking asparagus getting cheaper as the season ramps up. “It’s great buying this week at just $2.99 a bunch,” New World Fresh Expert Brigit Corson says. “Purple asparagus from Mangaweka is here too. However, with only small crops dedicated to this variety it won’t be available in all stores, so check with your local New World."
Purple asparagus is sweeter than the regular type and is great to eat raw, thinly shaved or diced into salads. The purple season is a short one, however, so grab these spears while you can.
Local strawberries have replaced Australian imports in New World supermarkets. “Our Auckland-grown strawberries are beautifully plump and delicious. We’re looking forward to a plentiful summer season with strawberry crops available into March,” Brigit says.
When storing berries, it’s important not to wash them first so they do not turn to mush. Remove their stems only after washing. If you plan on eating them that day, leave your strawberries out of the fridge.
American limes have now replaced the local ones, the New Zealand season having finished. “Local leafy greens and broccoli are beginning to perk up too after a touch of spring rain put a dampener on crops. Avocados continue to be great buying,” Brigit adds.
LOOK FOR: a little bit of lesser-seen produce. Celeriac (celery root in American recipes) to puree or to serve raw in a salad with in-season scallops for a special meal. Celeriac is always in limited quantities and the availability will wane further towards the end of the year. There’s French tarragon too: one of the new spring herbs. Time to infuse some vinegar or make a flavoursome butter to smear over a chicken for roasting. And kohlrabi your local farmers’ market. It looks like a wacky green tennis ball and is crunchy and sweet. Try it thinly sliced in salads or quick pickles.
MOVING ON: The yam season has officially come to an end. And it's goodbye to brussels sprouts until they make a comeback in March.