Thanks to the wonderful invitation, I recently went to the launching event of ‘Now! In Season’, a global campaign by the Victorian State Government, Australian Government and Horticulture Innovation Australia. Aimed to promote various Australian fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak quality and availability, Malaysians can look forward to more premium quality, healthy and safe Australian produce this year as ‘Now! In Season’ took off at leading retail outlets.
Throughout the year, the ‘Now! In Season’ campaign will educate consumers on the seasonality of the commodities, health and nutritional benefits of Australian produce as well as how to select and store the seasonal commodities.
Her Excellency, Dr Angela Macdonald, Acting Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia welcomed the guests and media during the launching event, “We are proud to be offering Malaysians Australian produce that is the benchmark for quality, safety and health. These fruits are not only great-tasting and nutritious, but are backed by our world-leading food safety standards, trace-ability and quality assurance systems.”
Cooking demonstration by Chef Brandon Chin from Breakfast Thieves, Fitzroy Melbourne on how to create delicious meal using these nutritional fruits.
Cherries and summer stone fruits such as plums, nectarines, apricots and peaches are available from now until March. Table grapes come will be available from March to May, and citrus fruits such as oranges are available from August to October. Australian vegetables are available throughout the year due to Australia wide production.
Here are few tips on what to look out for this season when selecting the best stonefruit and the best way to store it to keep it 100% dribbilicious!
Step 1 : Look
* The sweetest nectarines have small white spots (speckle) on the top half.
* Plums and nectarines come in a range of colours and generally become dull just before they are ready to eat.
* Apricots vary from yellow to orange with a red ‘blush’. Wait until they lose any green background before consuming.
* Stonefruit with a bright green background colour is immature and will NOT ripen to customer satisfaction.
* Remember, stonefruit should have eye appeal and be free of bruises.
Step 2 : Smell
* Fruit should have a delicate sweet fragrance.
Step 3 : Taste
* Test the fruit daily to check its eating quality. If it’s very firm and acidic to taste, the fruit is immature. If it’s dry or mealy, it has been stored at the incorrect temperature.
Step 4 : Touch
* Stonefruit is best just as it starts to soften and should ‘give’ slightly when squeezed.
“Through this campaign, we are giving Malaysian consumers a taste of the best quality Australian produce. Our horticulture sector has a strong foundation, and we are continuously innovating to ensure we bring only the finest fruit and vegetables to stores,” said Brett Stevens, Commissioner to South East Asia, Goverment of Victoria, Australia.
Handle carefully, store at room temperature, and only put in fridge when it is very ripe. You can get these fresh fruits and vegetables now at the nearest Village Grocer, Jaya Grocer, Aeon or Isetan KLCC.
More photos at FOOD Malaysia facebook page, a Malaysian food lifestyle blogger since 2010