As we move into autumn, stone fruit fades away. Now the last good plums of the year are available. This week we have Flavourfall, which are actually a Pluot, not a plum - a pluot is a plum crossed with an apricot. They are sensational to eat. Our fruit comes from Western Australia and we have them on an excellent special this week, cheaper than we have ever sold them in the past. They will keep well in the fridge but do not put them in there until they are ripe. The other very late season and good eating plum you'll see in our stores is the Angelino. To me, the pick of the two is the Flavourfall. Interestingly, we have old-fashioned Paw Paw as opposed to Papaya really cheap this week.
Our attention now moves to citrus, specifically Queensland citrus at this time. The Imperial mandarins are superb this week, a little earlier than normal. Other autumn fruit becoming cheaper are quinces, pomegranates and the later varieties of apples. We are starting to see better Fujis in the markets and the first of the new season Pink Ladys are starting also. As mentioned last week, hot dry weather in Victoria has meant far better strawberries than is usual for this time - but this comes at a cost. Hot means the chill factor required for the winter strawberries is not happening and so that season will be late this year. New season watermelon is coming from both the Northern Territory and North Queensland, it doesn’t ever get really cheap from these places, the transport is the killer.
Perfect growing conditions, school holidays and a crossover of the Queensland new season and Victorian old season mean cheap prices and good quality vegies will be the norm this week. The biggest price drop this week is in capsicums, both red and green. Broccoli is about half last week’s price. Prepack beans (that’s the machine-picked product) are also much cheaper, as are cauliflowers. Corn, broccolini, Brussels sprouts and celery are all still cheap, great quality and hence good value. If salads are what you are after Iceberg lettuce and Truss tomatoes are both far cheaper than last week. Zucchinis and kumera in both cases especially the imperfects are cheap as are chokoes. There are endless choices, the difficult task would be to find a vegetable that’s dear this week.