In season this week - March 15

Brisbane Produce Market report: 15 March 2011

Bananas are climbing in price as the predicted shortage created by Cyclone Yasi takes effect. However there are plenty of great value lunch box options to choose from, including sensational Williams pears, sugar plums and most red apples.

It’s the final weeks for stonefruit, with the creamier last season peaches and nectarines eating their best when still firm.

Grape varieties such as crimson and seedless muscat table grapes are plentiful as well as the green Thompson seedless, which have replaced the rounder Menindee variety.

Rockmelons have improved in their appearance and are still of outstanding quality and value, as are seedless watermelons.

Look for crownless pineapples for some sweet, juicy eating. Figs are still plentiful while new season persimmons have made an entry this month.

In the salad lines, tomatoes have firmed in price although there are plenty of varieties to choose from, with the hydroponics the most consistent in quality.  Lettuce and mixed salad leaf is storing for longer periods and reduced in price.

The green skinned shepard avocados are in season. Continental cucumbers are the best value over the Lebanese variety, although both are still nice eating.

Quality vegetables will cost a bit more and store longer with broccoli, cauliflower, beans, corn and cabbage remaining firm in price.

Carrots and onions, including brown and red Spanish, are excellent value while potatoes have improved in availability and quality, with a creamier taste to varieties such as kipfler, Dutch cream, desiree, chat and sebago. Store brushed potatoes away from the light to reduce greening or sprouting.