We can’t get enough of this glorious weather that hopefully announces that summer is well and truly on its way. Like every season, we talked to our best seafood, meat and fruit & veg suppliers to get the inside scoop on what’s hot and what’s not this season. So grab a refreshing drink, put on your sunnies and let’s dive in.
Unsurprisingly, stone fruits are the way to go this summer. We’re talking peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, mangoes, all that fresh and juicy goodness that sums up summer in a plate, aka “the summer happy fruits” to quote Mouhamad Dib from In2Food.
When it comes to vegetables, summer isn’t exactly veggie season and all winter veggies have started to retreat such as cauliflower blossoms and brussel sprouts. As Luke Kohler from Sydney Direct Fresh explains: “Bowen vegetable growing region is finishing for the season. As we start to head down the East Coast and pull from Southeast Queensland and Victoria, the supply of some vegetables will be affected in the short term until the new growing regions ramp up.” But lettuce is always a strong summer player and there’s one new kid on the block: baby kale. It is exactly what you think it is, a smaller bunch of younger and, as a result, more tender kale. We are also loving vine sweet mini capsicums (as tasty as they are cute) and shishito peppers for a bit of heat.
Summer wouldn’t be summer without prawns on the barbie and fresh oysters. But who says season staple, says price hike. George Lucas from Ocean Made confirmed that “local prawns will, as always, increase in price as we draw closer to Christmas” but he also told us that salmon has come back in price recently (yay!). Unfortunately, “fish is always harder because it fluctuates weekly. It is a week by week proposition.” says George so get your salmon while they’re reasonably priced. If you’re over salmon, George recommends considering rockling as it is very consistent and decent in price at the moment as opposed to some other fish that have been quite inconsistent.
Summer means two things in Australia: Christmas parties with work and Christmas lunch with the family. Depending which one you look at, the meat options vary, says Gavin Kulper at Mastercut Meats: “Families will go for turkey and ham for Christmas lunches (although there’s a shortage of turkey at the moment so it’s gone up in price) whereas functions use beef filets, lamb rumps and portion cuts.” In our last market update we talked about spring lamb coming in the market and Gavin confirmed it is the best value at the moment: : “It took a while for the price to come down but now it’s at a decent price compared to beef. Beef filets especially are hard to get because they’re a staple of big supermarkets who pay big money to have them on special, driving the price up for everyone else.”
Ham is of course one of the biggest sellers at Christmas but it’s now a lot more expensive than it used to be so consider swapping your baked leg of ham for barbecued lamb cutlets.
If there’s one thing to take away from this summer market update, it’s the picture that Fruitilicious's owner, James Scarano paints: “Think fresh, think fruit. Watermelon, juicy nectarines, limes in your Corona and margaritas by the pool.”
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