Heat­wave proves a dou­ble-edged sword

The Queensland Times - - NEWS OPINION -

WHILE the un­usual spring heat has brought on an abun­dance of fruit and veg­eta­bles into the Bris­bane Pro­duce Mar­ket, it has also taken its toll on the qual­ity and price of some fresh pro­duce lines.

In the veg­etable aisle, pick up some cheap to rea­son­ably priced Asian veg­eta­bles, Aus­tralian as­para­gus, beet­root, cab­bage, cau­li­flower, car­rots, egg­plant, fen­nel, leeks, snow peas, sil­ver­beet, sweet corn, mush­rooms, onions, pota­toes, sweet pota­toes and pump­kin.

Broc­coli, cap­sicum and cel­ery are still value-for-money but prices have crept higher com­pared to last week’s and are ex­pected to rise fur­ther.

The heat has had an ef­fect on beans, brus­sels sprouts and zuc­chini, with shorter stocks push­ing them into the ex­pen­sive range.

To choose the best zuc­chini, look for ones that are smaller in size, with the more vi­brant colour in­di­cat­ing the greater flavour. Store zuc­chi­nis in a pa­per bag in the re­frig­er­a­tor crisper and never place them in plas­tic bags which trap too much mois­ture and can make them slimy.

The heat has meant toma­toes are cheap and plen­ti­ful but cu­cum­bers and basil have not per­formed as well with the hot­ter tem­per­a­tures, re­duc­ing their sup­ply and lift­ing their price.

For salad lovers, be sure to add rea­son­ably priced let­tuce, mixed leaf salad and es­hal­lots.

Hass av­o­ca­dos from Western Aus­tralia and New Zealand are on Your Lo­cal Fruit Shop shelves but their high de­mand has firmed prices.

In the fruit aisle, most Queens­land straw­ber­ries are cheap and of mixed qual­ity but are be­ing sup­ple­mented by the first of the Stan­thorpe grown fruit, with top qual­ity pun­nets at firm prices.

Things are get­ting colour­ful with the Aus­tralian low chill stone­fruit sell­ing at ex­pen­sive rates for the larger fruit and more value-for-money for the av­er­age sized new sea­son of­fer­ings.

Man­goes are also a great eye and scent at­trac­tion but they have firmed in price this week with less sup­ply from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

The best buys are blue­ber­ries, blood or­anges, ki­wifruit, hon­ey­dew, pineap­ples and paw­paw.

Pas­sion­fruit has risen in price and is con­sid­ered ex­pen­sive, as are limes which are hard to get at this time of year.

Ba­nanas are sell­ing at a firmer price but are still af­ford­able.

You can ex­pect to pay more than usual for ap­ples, raspberries, end of sea­son man­darins, navel or­anges, USA grown grapes, rock­melon and wa­ter­melon.

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