Good news and bad news this week. The good news first. In berries, the summer flush of raspberries has begun. Pretty much all from down in Victoria and Tasmania, this week and next week will see the best tasting raspberries and the cheapest prices we have seen for the last few months. Not sure yet what Christmas week will bring. So for the next ten days or so think raspberries, not blueberries, until the very good blueberries from down Tumut way begin. Blackberries are also good and reasonably priced.
The bad news is that lots of the pre-Christmas mainland cherries have been wiped out with the rain. There may be a few dry good ones early to midweek but it will be a struggle to get a good cherry by the weekend. Beware of the cheap fruit, you will probably get what you pay for. Peaches are good now, our yellow peaches this week are very good eating. New season Australian grapes are good, and the really sweet and plump, small-seeded lychees are plentiful. At first glance these look dear compared to what we refer to as the supermarket varieties, however considering the small seed you get more flesh, and better eating flesh - this leaves no doubt in my mind which lychees we should be selling and so we seek out these better lychees.
The first crop of figs are starting up all over the country, this is referred to as the 'Breba crop'. These are big and come on the previous year’s shoot growth, the main crop comes later (say mid-January or so) and grows on the current years shoot growth and are smaller and tastier fruit. Plenty of bananas around, and I recommend you read my pick of the week section regarding the best avocados to buy. Finally, mangoes. For me, for the next week or a bit longer is when the Honey Golds come into their own. After that its back to KPs, but the Honey Golds are the best eating mango for this week. Not the cheapest but definitely the best eating. Limes are starting to ease in price as they do at this time of the year, and we will see cheaper prices as the week goes on.
It’s not a vegetable and you certainly can’t eat them, but I would like to draw your attention to our cut Christmas trees this year, I think they are the best I have seen in 45 years. Available this week in all our stores. The picks in vegies this week are Iceberg lettuce, Lebanese cucumbers and yellow snacking tomatoes for your salads. I (and lots of others) like to revert to an iceberg every so often and the little yellow tomatoes we have on special this week are sweet and quite inexpensive. And don’t forget if you are mixing an avocado with this make it a West Australian avocado for the best outcome. Grande asparagus is still very good whilst a lot of the thinner product is really suffering from a combination of heavy rain followed by heat. The other bargain this week is Broccolini, particularly considering the broccoli price at the moment.