Backyard Bounty all-Tasmanian Vegie box: 21st January

This week’s boxes are full of fruit; some of it obvious (blueberries, apricots) and some of it less so (like capsicums and avocados). Whilst fruit really has one botanical purpose – making new plants – they have a wide range of culinary uses, and also benefit from different approaches to storage. Here’s a handy guide to storing Tasmanian fruit to ensure you enjoy it at its best.

  • Avocado – only refrigerate an avocado when it’s fully ripe
  • Cherries – refrigerate these immediately as they’re generally picked ripe and any damage to the fruit will result in rapid spoilage at room temperature
  • Plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines – these are often picked slightly under-ripe to avoid damage during transport and to aid with storage life. Like avocados, leave them at room temperature til they’re how ripe you like them, and then put them straight in the fridge (or your mouth!)
  • Berries – these are prone to mould, especially strawberries and blackberries, so put them in the fridge immediately. (Blueberries, with their smooth, round surface are a bit less sensitive but are definitely still best stored in the fridge.)
  • Apples – the fridge will keep these crisp for weeks
  • Pears – if you like them soft, store them at room temperature, otherwise put them in the fridge just like your apples
  • Tomatoes – fresh tomatoes will last for a week or two on the bench if not picked overripe. The flavour and texture will generally deteriorate if they’re refrigerated, but can often improve at room temperature.
  • Capsicum, eggplant – will last for a while at room temperature, but unlike tomatoes there’s no real benefit to this, and they’ll keep substantially longer in the fridge.
  • Zucchini, pumpkin – if they’re cut or even slightly damaged they’ll spoil quickly at room temperature; uncut, undamaged pumpkin can store for months at room temperature but zucchini is still keeps best refrigerated.