In season

March 19

Here’s my column for the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food section,with some additions. Happy shopping and chopping!

 In now: Nashi season gets into full swing this month. Buy green fruit and for the best flavours eat when fruit is golden-yellow, tinged with green, and straight from the fridge.

At their best: mangosteens grown in the Daintree reach Sydney markets this month. Inside the unlikely skin is a fragrant taste of the tropics.

A man I bought a bag of mangosteens from in Bali told me that when he was a kid, he and his friends used to gamble on mangosteens.

You can’t tell how many seeds are in a mangosteen from the outside. Rivals chose odds or evens, split open the mangosteen, devoured the contents and counted the seeds. A single game was many mangosteens long. In Sydney the price of mangosteens means you’d need to spend your gambling winnings to make them a feast, but if you get a chance to play mangosteen roulette, take it.

Best buy: There are bargains in Tasmanian-grown carrots. Torn mint, toasted pine nuts, and/or currants soaked in balsamic are tasty optional extras.

In the vegie patch: Strawberry plants can be divided and the old mothers cast aside in place of their fertile young daughters. (Yes, those really are the horticultural terms used!)

What else:

  • New season apples – fuji, gala, granny, Jonathon, delicious. Pink lady is still last year’s
  • Prickly pear – also marketed as Indian fig
  • Blue eye – the fish that used to be called blue eye cod, and in Tasmania was always known as trevalla and is now called blue eye trevalla. It’s a big fish with mild white flesh. Oven roast, grill, poach.
  • Pumpkin. Take your pick.
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