In season

April 2

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

In now: Golden glowing persimmons come in two versions: sweet and original. Original persimmons are eaten when the flesh is soft, sweet and jelly-like. Sweet persimmons can be eaten crisp and crunchy like an apple, or soft and melting like an original persimmon. Persimmons build flavour when there is a big difference between daytime and night time temperatures.  So while fruit has been available for a while, the really good flavours start now as the nights cool.

At their best: Chestnuts and walnuts are falling in the orchards of Mount Wilson. Check pick-your-own details at www.mtwilson.com.au. If you’d rather not collect your own chestnuts, buy firm nuts that feel heavy for their size.  Store them in a paper bag in the crisper.

Best buy: Broccolini can be found at year’s-best prices. Find easy ways with broccolini here.

In the vegie patch: Plant podding, snap or sugar peas. Sow seed or plant seedlings, but  first add organic matter and a handful of lime to the soil, and set up climbing supports. To boost germination rates water the soil well before sowing, and don’t water again until the first leaves appear.

What else:

  • if you can find a Spanish sapo melon buy it. There aren’t many around, but this is the queen of the melons
  • hold off quinces for a few weeks when they will be riper
  • the wet weather is bringing up the pine mushrooms
  • green olives are available for brining
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