Produce report: March 2
The freshest and finest in the produce department this week thanks to the team at New World.
FRESH IN: The end of summer has its downsides but there’s a welcome ray of sunshine along with the official start of autumn — the arrival of Bluff oysters. The season officially launched yesterday, the start of March, and runs until the end of August but it’s weather dependent, of course. The plum harvest looks like stretching until April with a bunch of varietals available in store. Divine passionfruit are more readily available now. Look for Packham pears too from Gisborne and the Hawkes Bay.
The range of apples is increasing as the season gets into full swing. Caulis, sweetcorn and eggplants are great buying. Not such good news for some leafy greens, including spinach, which have suffered in the drought. “New season Brussels sprouts, swedes and parsnips from Ohakune and the South Island have cropped up instore. Prices will ease as we head towards Autumn. Although the weather’s still warm, try some Brussels pan-fried of even tossed into a slaw,” says New World Fresh Expert Brigit Corson.
LOOK FOR: long Asian eggplants at your local market for your stir-fries, joining the bigger oblong type we are more familiar with. Look for bunches of small carrots with leafy tops and golden queen peaches from Hawke’s Bay along with a still-plentiful supply of stonefruit. You know autumn has started when you see them and quinces will be making their annual appearance at farmers’ markets any day now. Get out the preserving pans. The first of the figs and feijoas have arrived at markets too and they’re tasting luscious. They like all that sun.
MOVING ON: Cherries are all but finished.