If there’s one good thing to come out of this year’s dry conditions, it’s the bumper crop of mangos. Local trees are dripping with fruit, so it’s a great time to stock up, freeze and dehydrate so you can extend the season. Bowen, R2E2 and other varieties available at Everest Farm, Mt Chowan Organics, Jungle Juice, Creighton Organics and Picone Exotics.
Look out for Picone Exotic’s pink fleshed dragonfruit variety – the Pink Ice, and the Aztec dragonfruit, which has a beautiful flavour. Dragonfruit also available from Glenyce Creighton at Creighton Organics and Jungle Juice.
Papaya: Perfect for fruit salads, breakfast and smoothies, papayas are also high in fibre and good for digestion. There are two main varieties – the red and yellow. Red are sweeter, often smaller and are more pear shaped then the yellow variety. Best eaten with a squeeze of lime. Find papayas at the Everest Farm stall at Mt Chowan Organics.
Watermelon: Everest Farm has a sweet seedless variety, and Morrow Farm has the seeded, heirloom Warpaint variety.
Cinnamon cap mushrooms
A favourite in Japan, Cinnamon Cap mushrooms are known for their crisp, crunchy texture and delicious earthy flavour. They have small caps – only 1-3 cm diameter with tall, slender stems, and can be used whole, stems included. Pan fry in olive oil and butter as a side dish, use in risottos, stir-fries, soups like miso, and egg dishes. Use immediately for the best flavour. Cinnamon Caps are available now from the Shroom Brothers stall.
These little pink berries have long been a food source for Indigenous Australians and for the early European settlers, who used them in jams and cordials. Native to the coastal rainforests of northern NSW and SE Queensland, Lilly Pilly plants are often used as hedges in suburban areas. They can be eaten fresh, and have a lovely flavour in sauces and jams. Native food grower Rebecca Barnes, who runs the Playing With Fire stall at the market,, says Lilly Pilly berries are in abundance this season and she has plenty of fresh fruit available. Rebecca also has a home made Lilly Pilly cordial available.
Figs: With a sweet honeyed flavour and soft, luscious texture, fresh figs are a real treat. Delicious as is, their sweetness is also perfect match for savoury foods like cheeses, cured meats, nuts and rich dairy products like marscapone. Delicious in a salad – try fresh figs with Nimbin Valley Dairy’s goat cheese, fresh leafy greens and chopped local macadamias. Find fresh figs available at the Picone Exotics stall.
ALSO IN SEASON: Bananas, blueberries, blackberries, capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, lime, okra, tomato, rockmelon, squash, sweet potato, zucchini