produce report: July 10
They may not be the bargain of the week but avocado prices are slowly coming down, with new season Hass arriving from Northland to help ease a shortage. Oval with a skin that turns black as the fruit ripens, Hass avos will be with us until August.
New-season avocados have a more subtle flavour and smoother texture than the old-season fruit. Ripen them at room temperature but then store them in the fridge to halt the process. Chilled, they will last for about a week.
Look out too for the arrival of local Earth Gems which are known as ulluco in their native South America. These pink, yellow and multi-hued tubers are very similar to the now-widely-available yams and both go well in the roasting dish. No need to peel. Earth Gems are high in vitamin C and unrefined carbohydrates but are low in fat. They can also be boiled, steamed, microwaved or baked and they remain crisp even after cooking. The season runs until October.
Summer’s chilli stocks have all but gone so it’s more expensive hothouse ones from now on. Hopefully you’ve got a bagful still in the freezer from your own harvest (or from some earlier prudent buying) and perhaps they are crying out to be added to a salsa for a welcome touch of zing. You’ll want a couple of squeezes of lime (go ahead they are affordable) and perhaps one of those lovely sweet Mexican mangoes which are still cheap this week.
Farro Fresh has alphonso mangoes in store. Usually grown in the West of India, the start of mango season makes headlines in the subcontinent, with newspapers giving updates on prices and availability. Gift boxes of alphonso mangoes are sent across the country and many courier companies offer a separate mango delivery service.
Since mid-winter Christmas celebrations are on our mind, we’re keen to find a place on the menu for Kathy Paterson’s gorgeous lemon cake. Kathy tops it with sliced kiwiberries but regular sliced kiwifruit would work too. Viva’s lemon semolina syrup cake is another welcome winter option.
For more things “lemon” see: