Produce report: October 21
FRESH IN: Get out the spiraliser … locally grown, courgettes are nice and affordable again, making a nutritious pasta alternative for spring. They are handy as a base for midweek fritters or to halve horizontally and barbecue too. “Local courgettes are in season now, grown mainly outdoors and some from hothouse crops. The best of the season is yet to come with plentiful outdoor-grown courgettes from January through to March next year,” says New World Fresh Expert Brigit Corson.
“The majority of our local hot house eggplants are grown in the warmth of the North Island and will become more plentiful as we approach Christmas,” says Brigit. Outdoor eggplants start to make an appearance from December on. “Fresh New Zealand strawberries are available in all New World stores now with the best of the season yet to come over the next few weeks.” A wet weather casualty, cauliflower should be coming down in price about now. Meanwhile those other brassicas – cabbage and broccoli – are both looking fresh and appealing. Hothouse tomatoes are plentiful. The asparagus season is progressing nicely so those nutritious spears are likely to be finding their way into weekly menus now. Local tangelos, navel oranges and lemons are very affordable fruit buys. “Avocados continue to be great buying at New World this week. Snack pack angel tomatoes and fresh cut iceberg are at a deliciously good price too - perfect for your spring salad,” Brigit says.
LOOK FOR: Daikon radishes in New World supermarkets. These crunchy white monsters are associated with Japanese cuisine (although there are a number of varieties eaten throughout Asia) and have a mild, peppery flavour. Daikon can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled and is made by the Chinese into turnip cakes, often seen on the yum cha trolley. Look for imported honeydew melons – the local ones being a few months away. You may find local blueberries and raspberries in stores but it’s still very early in the season so for the best prices you’ll need to wait a few more weeks yet!
MOVING ON: Grapefruit will be less readily available from November. “Local green kiwifruit is coming to an end earlier this year due to last year’s weather impact as the trees were fruiting. Gold kiwifruit, however, will be with us for a while yet,” Brigit says.