When your green grocer has over 20 years industry experience, you know he knows a thing or two about fresh produce. Luke Clasie, manager of Lamberts Fresh Produce talks us through what is ripe and ready this season.
A SUMMER OF STONEFRUIT
Summer is by far the most exciting time of the year in fresh produce, with all of the summer stonefruits coming in.
There is a buzz in the air at Lamberts Fresh Produce as the stonefruit just looks and smells sensational! We make sure our stonefruit is hand stacked full, and work to have it ripe and ready to eat, rather than picked green while we hope that it ripens without any idea of what it actually tastes like.
We have specialised stonefruit buyers in Brisbane’s Rocklea Markets with over 50 years’ experience that know and try the fruit before it travels to Townsville.
At Lamberts Fresh, we don’t just like to buy the normal stonefruit, we love to try all the new lines that are available and also give our customers range. We will buy the top shelf premium lines, as well as composite lines. The composite lines still have a great flavour and taste, but might have some markings on the skin or are a slightly smaller size – all meaning we can still offer you great value for money.
Let’s take a look at a handful of my favourite produce pickings for summer.
Although available all year round these days, watermelon was originally a summer fruit. It’s so good for when the weather heats up, I challenge you to name a more refreshing piece of produce. It’s sweet, succulent, hydrating and vibrant. Slurp it up in an icy cold juice or slushie, toss it through a savoury salad, or even just devour it fresh – either way the flesh of the watermelon is a great snack for adults and kids alike.
Regarded as the fruit from the tree of life, peaches originated in China and have been produced in Australia since the 19th century. The perfect summer fruit, they are delicious sliced up in pies or flans, beautiful when piled high on top of pavlovas, cheesecakes or ice cream and they make wonderful jams and chutnies. This versatile fruit also pairs really well with chicken, pork and fish and can bring a sophisticated and refreshing dimension to summer salads. Treat peaches with care as they bruise easily.
Traditionally, yellow flesh nectarines were the more popular over their white fleshed cousins, but in the last five years, the quality and sweetness in the white flesh varieties has seen the product more than triple in sales. The nectarine season starts in November in Queensland and moves south toward Victoria later in the season. They are at their best from mid December to February. When purchasing, fruit should have a nice blush and ripe fruit should be soft, but not spongy. Use ripe fruit in salads and as an addition to extravagant fruit platters.
With a sweet and delicate flesh similar to that of a grape, the lychee is the ultimate summer fruit. Australia is lucky to boast the longest lychee production season in the world, producing fruit from late October through to late March – but it is most definitely right now that these delicious, jelly-like balls of goodness are at their best.
Also in season this summer:
pineapples, cherries, grapes, plums, mangoes, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers
STORING YOUR STONEFRUIT
Just like their season, the shelf life of stonefruits like peaches and nectarines is quite short, so you want to be ensuring you are storing them properly so as to make the most of this delicious time of year. Storing your nectarines and peaches properly can make the difference between biting into something that’s mealy and grainy, and actually enjoying a delicious, juicy piece of fruit.
Here’s my tips:
- Make sure they don’t get cold before they fully ripen – this is what causes graininess.
2. Do not refrigerate until fully ripe – you will know the fruit is ripe as it will be soft but firm with a fragrant aroma.
3. Srore unripe stone fruit on your counter at room temparature, away from direct sunlight. the ripening process should only take a day or two. but if you want a faster process, pop it in a paper bag.
4. The best way to store stonefruit is simply not to. Eat and enjoy them as soon as they’re ripe!
A truly local small business supplying Townsville with huge selections of fresh fruit and vegetables, sliced and whole fresh cuts of beef, pork and lamb, fresh chickens, in-house made small goods and hams, and all of your stockfeed needs. Dealing with local farmers and producers from Bowen to Charters Towers and up to the Tablelands.
Lamberts Fresh Produce | 159 Ingham Rd, Townsville | 07 4721 1464 | lambertsproduce.com.au