Nectarines are in season in South Australia from November to March, with earlier ripening fruit coming from the Riverland area.
They have a smooth skin which can have patchy shades of red, yellow and white. The flesh of the fruit can also vary from white to yellow with shades of red, usually around the stone in the centre.
Popular nectarine varieties include ‘Swanzee’, ‘Artic Sweet’, ‘Snow Queen’, ‘Firebrite’, ‘August Glo’ and ‘Flaming Red’. Their names are most likely dictated by the fact that nectarines are usually sold by their flesh colour: yellow or white.
Nectarine and peach trees are almost indistinguishable, with some varieties a cross between the two fruits. Nectarines are similar in appearance to peaches, but with smooth rather than fuzzy skin. Like peaches, nectarines can have freestones, where the flesh can be separated easily from the stone, or clingstones, where it is harder to remove the stone.
When selecting nectarines to purchase, look for those that are fragrant, firm and plump with a smooth, shiny exterior. Nectarines are high in vitamin A and C and can be eaten fresh or cooked in preserves and pies.
Eko Fresh Fruits, McLaren Vale Orchards, Ashbourne Valley Orchards, Cooinda Proprietors and B&A Andonopoulos are all stalls at Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market where you can find nectarines. Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market runs on Sundays, 9am-1pm, at the Adelaide Showground, Leader Street, Wayville.
Eko Fresh Fruits also trades at the Prospect Farmers’ Market, and B&A Andonopoulos at Willunga. Prospect Farmers’ Market is located next to Prospect Town Hall on the corner of Vine Street Plaza and Prospect Road and runs Thursdays from 3pm-7pm. Willunga Farmers’ Market is held on Saturdays from 8am-12.30pm.
Nonna Maria Conterno, mother of Adelaide Farmers’ Market stallholders Claude and Albert Conterno, shares the following simple dessert recipe that features fresh nectarines:
Stewed nectarines with chocolate
Remove stones and cut 4-6 nectarines into quarters. Place the cut nectarines in a saucepan over a low heat with a splash of water.
Add 2 tablespoons of drinking chocolate powder and stew over a low heat under the fruit has broken down.
Serve with ice-cream, yoghurt or use as a pie filling.
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