Although the exact origins of the humble apple are unknown, charred remains of apples have been found in the prehistoric lake dwellings of Switzerland more than 750,000 years ago! The apple has been part of the mythology of many civilizations. In Norse mythology, apples were provided to the Gods to give them eternal youthfulness. In Greek mythology, a golden apple was tossed into a wedding party whereby it was claimed by three goddesses: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. Paris of Troy was appointed to select the recipient, and although he was bribed by Hera and Athena, Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world – Helen of Sparta. He awarded the apple to Aphrodite, thus indirectly causing the Trojan War!
Apples are a great source of fibre, Vitamin C, potassium and folate. Almost half the Vitamin C is contained just under an apple's skin so be careful not to cut it off before you eat it!
The Fuji's skin colour can vary, but it has a predominantly red/dull pink blush over a green/yellow base. A big apple with a honeys sweet taste, fuji often has a see through core. It is firm textured, crisp and juicy with an extremely dense flesh.
Golden delicious has a bright yellow to golden skin colour, sometimes with a pink tinge. It is at it's best when the skin turns from green to gold. It is excellent as an eating apple, with it's crisp, creamy white flesh which is sweet, tasty and juicy.
The Granny Smith is a round, conical shaped apple with a rich green skin. It has a crisp, firm, juicy, greenish-white flesh with a distinctive acidy flavour, which makes it excellent for cooking.
The Jonathan is an old-fashioned eating apple favoured by many mature Australians who treasure their crisp, juicy flesh and tangy flavour
A medium-sized apple with bright pink-red skin that has a smooth, firm, crisp texture with an equal sweet-tart balance.
Pink Lady (Cripps Pink)
The Pink Lady has a pink blush over a greenish yellow base skin. Known as the queen of apples, it is a crisp apple with a dense, firm flesh and an excellent almost effervescent flavour.
Red Delicious are a crimson to dark red apple, characterised by 5 distinct crowns on the base. It has a sweet, highly aromatic, creamy white flesh.
Royal Gala are characterised by a blush of pink on the skin, the colour varies from yellow to almost orange with deep orange stripes. Gala is a round sweet apple. It is dense, aromatic with a white flesh.
Apricots are small, golden orange fruits, with velvety skin and flesh. They’re not too juicy but definitely smooth and sweet. Their flavour is almost musky.
The avocado fits happily into anyone’s daily diet, whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Slice onto toast, alone or with bacon, tomato, cheese or simply a dash of pepper. Incorporate cubes or slices into salads for a contrasting creamy texture.
The type of avocado most likely to be found in Australian kitchens is the Hass variety, which makes up more than 75% of all avocados grown. Hass avocado is more oval than other varieties and has distinctive pebbly skin which turns a rich purple when ripe. On average, this type has a small seed, weighs about 140 – 340 g and contains a good amount of edible flesh. Hass avocados grow almost all year round in different regions of Australia.
Shepard avocados have smooth green skin and golden buttery flesh which doesn’t turn brown when cut. The average weight of a Shepard avocado is 200 – 320 g. Produced only in the warmer Bundaberg and Atherton regions, his variety is available early in the autumn, with peak growth from February to April
Wurtz avocado is a smaller fruit that has a rougher skin texture than other varieties. The average fruit weighs between 230 – 280 g and grows predominantly along the Queensland coast from June to October. In central Queensland the season starts earlier, at the end of April.
Bananas originated in the region of Malaysia and from there traveled to India in the 6th Century BCE. In his campaign in India in 327 BCE, Alexander the Great relished his first taste of a banana. He enjoyed the fruit so much that he is credited for bringing them to the Western world! Nevertheless, the bananas that the Ancient World were used to were very different from the comparatively mammoth ones that we eat now. Bananas were about the size of a human finger. It was almost three hundred and fifty years later that people experienced the comparatively large bananas that we are used to now. Wrapped in tin foil, bananas were sold for 10 cents each at a celebration held in Pennsylvania, USA, in 1876 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence!
One large banana packs into it 602 mg of potassium and only carries 140 calories! It also contains protein to strengthen muscles and dietary fibre as well. Interestingly, many people find rubbing a mosquito bite with the inside of a banana skin successful at reducing swelling and irritation!
Cavendish bananas are also known as William bananas. They’re the most common banana in Australia, and probably the variety you usually buy. They’re long and thin in shape, with bright yellow skin when ripe. Their flesh is soft and white. Cavendish bananas are great as energy-packed snacks on their own.
Lady Finger bananas are shorter and more plump than regular Cavendish bananas. Their skin is bright yellow and their flesh is creamy-white. They don’t discolour as quickly as other bananas
The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors. The seeds are usually embedded in the flesh of the ovary.
Strawberries are the most popular and readily available berry in Australia. Their skin is very thin, and is covered in tiny seeds. Strawberries are pinkish-red in colour, with lusciously sweet and juicy flesh.
Blueberries are small, marble-sized berries, with smooth skin ranging in colour from dark navy to blue-black. Their skin is covered in a fine white powder or ‘bloom’.
Raspberries, like blackberries, are a member of the rose family. They are pure red in colour, with a delicate texture and wonderful full flavour. Raspberries are available between December and May, and are delicious on their own or used in desserts
Blackberries are a member of the rose family. Their thorny bushes are regarded as a noxious weed in Australia, but the luscious purple-black berries are a favourite for many.
There are many varieties of cherries(sweet & sour). Predominantly they have a dark red exterior with a juicy red flesh inside. One of the more popular summer fruits they are available from November to February.
Some grape root vine stocks have been found in China that date back before the great Ice Age, which indicates that humans had cultivated grapes more than 8,000 years ago! Hieroglyphics have also shown that ancient Egyptians were heavily involved in both grape and wine production.
Grapes have a high natural sugar content as well as providing dietary fibre, Vitamin A and C as well as potassium. Grape phytochemicals have been positively linked to inhibiting cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, viral infections and mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.
Menindee seedless white grapes are thoroughbreds of the vine, making brilliant eating. They have a light green skin, no seeds, and a firm, crisp, fresh-tasting flesh.
Thompson seedless grapes are also known as sultana grapes, and are the main variety used for drying in Australia, as well as being one of the most popular eating grapes in the world. They are small to medium-sized oval-shaped grapes, with yellow-green skin. Their flesh has a subtle sweet flavour, with a firm and juicy texture.
Crimson Seedless grapes are fast becoming the preferred red seedless grape in supermarkets worldwide because of their exceptional shelf life. They have a crisp, firm skin with a juicy pulp. The grapes should be full bodied with a bright, practically intact bloom and fresh green bunch stems.
Red Flame Grapes
A medium-sized seedless grape that are firm-skinned and tender-fleshed with a mild sweet/tart flavour and a dark fiery red colour.
These are a type of white, seedless grape and have a delicate and unique flavour.
Red Globe Grapes
These are a seeded grape variety with crisp skin and sweet, juicy flesh. They are large and round and have a dark-red colour.
Honeydew melons have a sweet and refreshing flavour that’s great for cool desserts. They are smooth-skinned, round melons, with relatively thin but firm skin. Honeydews are white to yellow in colour, with pale to mid-green flesh and white seeds in their centre.
The Kiwi Fruit is a native to Southern China and used to be called the Chinese Gooseberry. In ancient times, Chinese Khans considered the kiwi fruit to be an aphrodisiac….
Much later, New Zealand farmers decided to promote and popularize its new name worldwide! Kiwi fruits are not only delicious but are very nutritious as well. They are high in Vitamin C, they provide substantial protection against DNA damage and keep you regular, providing 16% of your recommended daily intake of dietary fibre.
Green kiwifruit are round to oval-shaped fruit, with thin, furry brown skin. Inside, their flesh is bright green, with an edible white to pale green core and small black seeds. In flavour, the kiwifruit is sweet but acidic, with moist, soft flesh
A distinct species of Kiwifruit, the gold kiwifruit has a smooth bronze skin, a beak shape at the stem attachment, and golden yellow flesh with less tart and more tropical flavour than green kiwifruit
Mystery surrounds the exact origins of the lemon although it is presumed they grew wild in India and China. Lemons were commercially cultivated in the Americas and were brought there by Cristopher Columbus on return from one of his travels.
Lemons are packed with antioxidants and also have strong medical properties with uses in the past including antidotes for poisons and in aromatherapy. Lemon skins eaten daily have been shown to greatly increase muscle recovery.
A small, typically round fruit that is green-yellow in colour and contains a sour pulp. Limes, like lemons, are seldom eaten but are often used to accent the flavours of food and beverages.
Limes contain almost 50% Vitamin C and lime extracts are often used in aromatherapy in the form of essential oils.
Murcott mandarins are medium-sized fruit with yellow-orange coloured skin. Their skin is glossy, thin and tight-fitting, while the flesh is very sweet. Murcott are a late-season mandarin and contain several pips.
Mangoes originated in the Indian subcontinent, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. They reached East Asia by the 4th century BCE and by the 10th century CE were transported to East Africa, Brazil, Mexico and the West Indies – which have climates suitable to the fruit’s growth.
Mangoes are rich in dietary fibre, carbohydrates and antioxidants. They also contain many Vitamins and essential nutrients such as potassium, copper and 17 amino acids.
Kensington Pride mangoes are the most popular and readily available mangoes in Australia. Also known as Bowan mangoes, Kensington Prides have a wonderful aroma, with yellow to orange-coloured skin and a faint pink blush.
A large (600g - 1kg) round mango with firm lemon-yellow flesh which has a sweet, mild flavour and deep orange skin tinged with an orange-red blush
Nectarines are very similar to peaches and plums and basically look like a hairless peach! However, even though it's not uncommon for peaches and nectarines to grow on each other's trees, it isn't true that nectarines are a cross between a plum and peach. Nectarines draw their name from the word 'nectar' – the food of the gods.
Nectarines, like other stone fruits, are high in beta carotene, Vitamin C and dietary fibre.
The White Nectarine has a red exterior with as it's name suggests, a white flesh inside. The white-flesh variety of nectarine has a lighter taste than the traditional yellow-flesh and is less acidic.
Yellow Fleshed Nectarines have a yellow coloured skin, with a red blush. Their flesh is bright yellow, sweet and juicy.
The Ancient Romans believe that oranges were brought to Italy by Herperides, the daughter of Atlas, who crossed the Mediterranean Sea from Africa in a giant shell. Illustrations of citrus trees were even found in buildings in Pompeii, a city in Italy that was destroyed by a volcano eruption in 79 CE! Oranges, along with other citrus fruits, had a major role in preventing scurvy on board ships undertaking long sea voyages.
The average orange provides twice the recommended daily intake of Vitamin c. They are rich in minerals, dietary fibre, beta-carotene and folic acid. They are also low in fat, that are low on the glycaemic index and are full of antioxidants. Make sure that you eat plenty of fresh citrus or drink juice throughout the day to keep your Vitamin C and antioxidant levels up especially in Winter!
The blood orange is a kind of orange with a deep scarlet color on the inside. The skin pigment on the outside is also darker. They usually mature mid-season and are deeply juicy and sweet flavoured. These kinds of oranges are typically smaller than an average orange.
Some people believe that blood oranges are crosses between pomegranates and oranges, but this is untrue. Blood oranges are simply oranges that at some point underwent a genetic mutation and turned into the noble, virile fruits that they are today.
Passionfruit are a delicious tropical indulgence. The regular variety are about the size of a plum, with slightly wrinkled dark purple skin. Inside, the pulp is a golden-orange colour, with masses of small black edible seeds, and a tropical, sweet-acidic taste.
Peaches originated in China as far back as the 10th Century BCE, but it was Persian, and later Spanish, explorers that brought the fruit to worldwide popularity. Today, peaches are the second largest commercial fruit crop in the United States! Peaches contain a pointed, furrowed, egg-shaped seed in the middle which comes away easily (freestone) or more difficultly (clingstone).
Peaches are naturally sweet with a high sucrose level. As well as providing beta carotene, Vitamin C and dietary fibre, peaches also provide many valuable Vitamins and minerals.
Yellow-fleshed peaches have pale golden skin with a red blush. Their flesh is bright yellow, sweet and juicy, with a slightly tropical flavour.
Pears were grown and cultivated as early as the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Interestingly though, pears were not eaten raw in the Ancient world with Pliny and Apicius recommending they be stewed with honey or made into soufflé.
The skin of a pear is slightly rough and yellowish when ripe, and encloses a crisp, juicy white flesh. Its centre contains a core that encloses its seeds. While the skin colour of pears may vary according to species, the nutritional value or taste varies little. Pears are a very good source of dietary fibre and are low in potassium, which is great for some people who must have low-potassium diets due to kidney problems.
In addition to the Beurre Bosc and Packham Pear varieties, we will also provide Nashi, Corella, William and Ya when in season.
Beurre Bosc pears are medium- to large-sized pears, with quite thin necks, Their skin is greenish-brown to dark cinnamon-brown in colour, while their flesh is white, juicy and aromatic.
It is an Australian variety and crossed between the Williams and Bell pear. The Packham pear ripens from light green to light yellow. It is a larger pear than most other varieties.
William Bartlett pears are medium- to large-sized pears with green skin changing to yellow when ripe. Their flesh is sweet and soft.
Often thought to be a cross between a pear and an apple, Nashi pears are actually an Asian variety of pear, as opposed to the usual European varieties. Their crisp and juicy flesh is great as a snack, served in salads or used in cooking.
The Ya pear is also known as the Chinese White Pear and is native to northern China where it is widely grown. These are juicy white pears, which taste like a cross between a rose and a pineapple. They are crisp and sweet and delicious.
Persimmons are round to heart-shaped fruit with thin, bright orange skin. Their skin is edible, and the flesh inside is pale orange in colour, with a sweet taste. When just ripe, the persimmon has a similar texture to an apple - crisp and juicy – at which stage it is best eaten fresh.
Suger pines often called topless pines are the sweetest of the pineapple varieties.Despite their sometimes green exterior they are ready to eat.
The plum gained its name from Pliny, a Roman historian and scientist in the 1st Century. Plums themselves are sweet and juicy and can be eaten fresh, jammed, fermented and turned in to wine, or even distilled to produce a popular type of brandy in Eastern Europe! There are two different types of plums – the European plum which is oval to oblong and has a range of purple to pink skin colour and the Japanese plum which is more rounded or heart-shaped and has skin ranging from yellow to red.
Plums are high in glucose and contain moderate levels of Vitamin C, soluble fibre, beta carotene and small amounts of other Vitamins and minerals.
Blood plums get their name from their rich red coloured flesh. Their skin is a deep red, and is usually covered in tiny green speckles. Blood plums are soft and juicy in texture, with a sweet flavour.
Angeleno has a dark purple skin colour over a red background. They have a firm flesh with a subtle sweet flavour and aroma.
Teagan Blue plums have a dark purple-red skin with a blue bloom. Their flesh is an amber-orange with red staining in the flesh. They have good sweet flavour, moderate juice and are firm
Rockmelons have a distinctive sweet tropical flavour that immediately transports your taste buds. They’re round to oval-shaped melons, with firm skin that ranges in colour from grayish-green to cream. Their skin is quite rough in texture, with pronounced scaly ‘netting’ all over it. Inside, rockmelons have moist and sweet apricot coloured flesh, with white seeds in their centres.
It has been suggested that the 'straw' berry’s name came from an old gardener' practice of mulching strawberries with straw to protect the fruits from rot or even packing the delicate fruit in straw to protect it when travelling. Interestingly, in the mid 19th century, strawberries were considered poisonous in Argentina! Nevertheless, strawberries are grown wild all over Europe and have been cultivated for the last 700 years.
The strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C and the small seeds embedded in their skin provide a good source of dietary fibre. They are also fat free and a 100g strawberry has about 80kj!
A tangelo is a cross between the grapefruit and the mandarin. The resulting citrus fruit is very juicy, easy to peel and quite sweet, with an underlying acidity. Usually about the size of an orange, with a thinner neck at the top, the tangelo has deep orange coloured skin that is quite thin.
Watermelon are the most popular and well-known variety of melon. Large and oval to round in shape, watermelon have dark green skin with lighter green stripes. Their flesh is pink to red in colour, with a mixture of black seeds and small, immature white seeds. Watermelon have a mildly sweet and refreshing flavour, making them a perfect treat on hot summer days