Produce report: December 2
Grab the very best fresh and seasonal produce with tips from the Fresh Experts at New World.
FRESH IN: Fresh peas in the pod have joined new-season snowpeas in stores. Use them at their sweetest best – soon after purchase before the sugar has turned to starch. Garden peas will be gone again by February so get them while you can.
Cherries have just arrived too so it’s starting to look rather Christmassy in supermarkets already. Berries (including boysenberries) continue to become more visible and affordable as the weeks pass. Volumes of raspberries have been a bit low but will be improving. You should be spotting the first of the sweetcorn as well. “Grown mainly in Houhora, Kaitaia, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay our new season sweet corn is in-store now. As Christmas nears, the harvest will become more plentiful and you’ll find sweet corn cobs available for a deliciously good price. This summer staple will be around until April – so enjoy it tossed with butter or perfectly grilled on the barbecue,” says New World Fresh Expert Brigit Corson. Beetroot is good buying and is looking fresh and firm – it keeps well when a bit of stalk is left on. Although it is available year-round, beetroot is at its best from November until April.
LOOK FOR: “New Zealand beans will soon be available at your local New World, just in time for your festive feasts. Ours are mainly grown in Twyford, Hawkes Bay and thrive in the warm weather,” says Brigit. Over winter and spring, we have been buying the round Australian beans from supermarkets. Local beans will be here until about May so it’s a good long season. At farmers’ markets, look for purple-skinned Maori potatoes (taewa) which are waxy and make the very best salads. They are usually found in the summer months.
MOVING ON: Swedes are in short supply but the new-season turnip/cabbage hybrids should be here in a couple of weeks. “You’ll find New Zealand Valencia oranges in-store throughout summer, but our local navel orange season is coming to an end with US imports arriving just before Christmas,” says Brigit.