In season

April 9

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

In now:  A good pomegranate is ruby red inside and out. The best variety is called ‘Wonderful’; you’ll find it labeled Royal Pom. Pomegranates love hot dry summers and cold winters, just like their home town in the Mediterranean. In NSW the Mediterranean is  Condoblin in the central west. Sydney is not prime pomegranate territory due to our mild winters and soggy summers.

Nonetheless, this season my  ‘Wonderful’ lived up to its name. The whole tree was hung with crimson fruit like Christmas baubles.

Tragically almost very one of those ruby balls was crawling with fruit flay maggots. How did those little flies pierce that leathery skin?  Weapons manufacturers may be investigating.

I will not  neglect to protect against fruit fly next year, and meanwhile, I’m shopping for pomegranates to add the juice  to sparkling water – or wine – and scatter the arils over everything from barbecued lamb and spinach salad to baked figs with yoghurt and chopped hazelnuts.

Last chance: ‘October sun’ is the last great plum variety of the season. Buy glossy skinned, firm fruit and eat before the skin dulls. If the fruit gets over ripe while your back is turned you have the perfect excuse for making plum crumble, or upside down cake or plum tart, or simply baked plums doused in muscat – all of which love a lick of whipped cream on the side.

Best buy: Snow peas are in a window of high affordability.

What else:

  • blueberries are ending and stone fruit is over
  • look out for prickly pears, also called Indian figs
  • keep an eye out for Australian-grown kiwifruit. There’s not much of it, but now is the seaon
  • nashi are good




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