We are really feeling the effects of last weeks heatwave down south in vegetable supplies this week. The plants tend to close down and produce far less and the stock wastage increases as well. Then high humidity and rain added to the heat make the perfect storm. However unless the heat and rain continues this will be very temporary and by next week we will probably be back to normal. Again fruit is the best value this week. We are getting to that point where limes which are Aussie grown are cheaper than our lemons which we import from the USA, this will be the case for the next month or so, I don’t think there is much you can do with a lemon that a lime wont do as well. Mangoes are just starting to tighten a little and a great option this week is the Harris Farm Markets offer of imperfect picks mangoes. Don’t forget the blemish on mangoes is only on the skin and these imperfect picks are as little as half the price of our other mangoes this week. Other very good options this week include rockmelons, Tasmanian cherries, all peaches and nectarines, my pick of these this week is probably the white peaches. Figs and grapes continue to get better and better, both these products hit their peak around the start of February. Last but not least there are now some very good eating plums in the stores. As always they are only good eating if they are ripe. In recent years growers have become very wary of allowing plums to mature on the tree opting instead to pick them quite hard, as the supermarkets who tend to make the rules demand this. As a result the consumer has to purchase plums a week or more before consuming them, a situation that makes no sense at all to me.
As mentioned most veg are pretty tough going this week. The two stand out exceptions this week are both fantastic value and very flexible products. Both absolutely make a summer salad and are wonderful additives to many dishes if used to cook with. First is baby Fennel a relatively new product, less than 10 years ago fennel was available in Australia for only three or four months of the year late winter and early spring. Now with the baby fennel we are able to have this wonderful Mediterranean flavour in our food all year around. Sampari tomatoes are one of the plethora of new highly flavoured tomatoes that are becoming the main offer in the tomato category as customers opt for flavour not price in their tomato offer.