Forget the fact that buying seasonal produce helps local farmers, saves you money and is better for the planet – it just tastes better! And I’m sure you’ll agree that there is nothing more mouth-watering than the thought of fresh juicy berries on a summer’s day. So, they should be eaten at their best.
But when is blueberry season? Is raspberry season the same? How do you know if your berries are ripe? Is there a secret to picking the best punnet? We had a lot of questions here in The NEFF kitchen, and decided to explore…
Summer is the best time to buy your berries
Most Australian berries are abundant in the summer months. From December to February, the fields in Australia will be heavily laden with blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, currants, loganberries, mulberries, raspberries and strawberries. That’s all of them, right? What a season!
Remember to pack extra shopping bags, because the warm months bring a surplus of reds and purples to the fruit aisles at your local supermarket. The selection is better, the prices are lower and the satisfaction of biting into a ripe, fresh berry will be irreplaceable.
In addition, some parts of Australia will have access to fresh berries in spring and early autumn depending on the climate and weather. Strawberries in particular tend to thrive throughout autumn and spring in areas like Sydney and Melbourne.
Can I buy berries in winter?
Depending on your location, you may still be able to buy fresh berries from local suppliers throughout the year. This is due to the temperate climate in many parts of Australia and modern farming techniques that can allow farmers to avoid the elements and grow all year round.
It is best to speak to your supplier to ensure they are locally sourced, as the offering in the winter can be imported, meaning they were likely frozen and defrosted to some extent during transport. An alternative is to use frozen berries throughout winter to continue getting the most of their flavour and health benefits. If you don’t want to buy frozen berries, simply stock up on the fresh variety during the summer months and freeze them for later use.
What to look for when buying your berries
Our top tip would be to look buy local, buy seasonal, and look for the brightest berries. Bold colours usually translate to the sweetest flavour profiles, and they’re sure to look good on your next dessert or savoury garnish.