What's in season this April
As school holidays draw to a close, we’re restocking the fridge with lunchbox-friendly fruit this week. All the favourites are here: Imperial mandarins, plums, late-season strawberries, grapes (for one more month), and many apple varieties. While you might have noticed that bananas have firmed in price, supplies are still good although some fruit is discoloured.
Got a melon fan? We have South Australia- and Chinchilla-grown honeydew, as well as plenty of local rock melon and watermelon. Victorian kiwifruit is beginning to make an appearance, and watch out for oranges which will start to arrive in the next week.
A few less common produce items are popping up: the chestnut season has started and will run until July, and in exotics both carambola (star fruit) and longan are in good supply. Also in season are persimmons, custard fruit, and okra.
With excellent supplies of carrots, snow peas, chillies, zucchinis, beans, broccoli, and red capsicums, it’s the perfect time to dust off your wok for some Asian cooking. Cabbage is also great buying at the moment: choose from Drumhead (round) and Sugarloaf (football shape) varieties. To store, wrap cabbage in a damp paper towel and then enclose in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper section of the fridge — it can last over a month.
Other good-value vegetables this week include eggplant, fennel, leeks, salad leaves, sweet potato, cucumbers, and Lockyer Valley-grown lettuce. Onions, potatoes, and pumpkins are abundant. The price of tomatoes has been up and down due to the change of season, with supplies from North Queensland and Bundaberg replacing those from the southern states.
This week’s top pick is the Shepard avocado. Sometimes referred to as the green skin avocado, Shepards do not change colour as they ripen, unlike Hass. Similarly, their flesh doesn’t brown after being cut. Store avocados at room temperature until ripe, then wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge. While we love smashed avo, we can never go past a classic guacamole of ripe avos, lime juice, chilli, coriander, and onion. Or for a creamier child-friendly version, omit the chilli and coriander and add 1/4 cup whole-egg mayonnaise.