They say it is an ill wind that blows no good and we are seeing this in spades this week. In the Riverina where the majority of our stone fruit is grown we send huge volumes at this time of the year to Asia. The great majority of this fruit goes sea freight and it takes about three weeks for the transport to arrive at its destination. There have been massive power failures in the growing areas and the fruit that was destined for these foreign markets inadvertently heated up and can no longer tolerate the long sea voyage so it is all being dumped on the domestic market. Prices have plunged to even below cost and so the next two or three weeks will see some very very low prices. One of my old favourite apples has started this week, those wonderful red Jonathans from Bilpin in the Blue Mountains just west of Sydney. They don't go for long and you should eat them within a few days of purchase but enjoy them while they are here. I love fruit in its correct season. My plum of the week is the Tegan Blue and a close second would be the Aussie Bell. Grapes, figs and Williams pears are all still very well priced and great eating. Our major problem this week is definitely Avocados, we are right at the end of the old season Hass and Reeds and would love to be switching to new season Shepard, the buttery green skin fruit from North Queensland that starts about now. I am afraid they have had far too much rain up there and so the next couple weeks will be a nightmare. Don't expect any of this fruit to keep, buy day to day and eat them a touch greener if possible.
This week we are starting to see the easing of some of the prices of vegetables, maybe not for long as there has been some damage to crops due to start in Queensland. Tomatoes are definitely on the way back but more so for poorer quality lines of Southern fruit, anything really top notch is still worth money. We have some very tasty punnets of Strawberry tomatoes in our stores this week. They don't seem to go bad at all they just get riper and tastier the longer you keep them. The other very reasonable tomato option we have are our punnets of cocktail tomatoes. Brocolinni has come down this week and this will inevitably impact the very high price that broccoli has been selling for. The best news though is the fabulous special on our super sweet cobs of corn from Victoria, on special at half the price of two weeks ago, great value on this family favourite vegetable. Beans and lettuce are also easing back, we will see retail specials on both these lines over the coming weeks. Larger size kumera and sweet potato also are very well priced this week.