This week’s box features some less common varieties of some very commonly grown fruit and veg. One of the consequences of the industrialisation of food production – and in Australia’s case, this is arguably compounded by the concentration of the retail of fruit and veg into a virtual duopoly – is that regional variation tends to be diminished; guaranteed supply of particular items – along with appearance and “freightability” becomes more important than tradition and variety. Despite all this – perhaps even as a reaction to this – customers still cling to food traditions, like the annual flurry of tomato planting around show day in the south. Thankfully many growers, even at a commercial level, continue to grow small crops of these varieties that look different, taste different, cook differently and store differently; their scarcity makes them all the more special when they’re available!
The potatoes in this week’s standard boxes are a great example of regional variation – whilst southerners run around chasing new season’s pink eyes in spring, those in the north of the state apparently (not having lived there, I can’t say from experience) go wild over the Bismark. Like a parallel universe version of the same creature, the Bismark has purple eyes where the pink Eye has – no surprises – pink ones. And the pink eye’s yellow flesh compares to the pure white of the Bismark. Beauty is in the eye of the… er… potato. Bismarks are a great boiler and chipper; the Russets in the budget boxes are also traditionally used for chips, and their length makes them great for shoestring fries. Our organic boxes stick to their southern roots (roots, get it? ugh) with Longley Organic Farm’s pink eyes.
Our $40 and organic boxes this week have a kilo of Bramley apples from Corey in Nichols Rivulet; these are a collapsible cooking variety (i.e. the flesh turns to a pulp when cooked rather than holding its shape) that is much harder to find than the common (but also delicious) Granny Smith. $20s, $40s and $35s have a full kilo of field-grown saucing tomatoes from Marcus at Snug; they’re not pretty, and they’re a bit volatile (if yours haven’t survived well, please let us know and we’ll refund or replace as practical), but they’re also VERY tasty.
This week also sees the return of Mr BB’s favourite vegetable – the Brussels sprout!