Culina Market

Purple Asparagus, Australian

A wonderful spring vegetable that’s been cultivated for more than 2,000 years, the asparagus has long been hailed as ‘Food of Kings’ as Julius Caesar, Emperor Augustus and Louis XIV of France were known to be fans of this sweet spear. Those who enjoy green asparagus for its delicate taste will appreciate the additional sweetness and nuttiness that its purple sibling brings to the table. Besides offering a royal hue – a result of its rich anthocyanin content - to any dish, this antioxidant-rich superfood is high in fibre, protein and iron. Enjoy them raw or lightly cook to retain its bright colour. Cooking it over long periods will turn the spears green.

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Clingstone Peach, Australian

Did you know that peaches are categorised by the relationship between the fruit’s flesh and its pit or stone? Like their names imply, freestone peaches have flesh that easily pulls away from the pit, while the flesh of clingstone peaches stubbornly clings to the pit. Like freestones, clingstone peaches are available in many varieties, most notably yellow and white. Typically smaller, juicier and slightly sweeter than freestone peaches, these peaches taste great when eaten fresh but are ideal for canning and preserving.

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Cherries, Australian

Cultivated in southern Australia since the late 19th century when they were introduced to the New South Wales Town of Young, Australian cherries have a fleeting season that lasts for only 100 days spanning the spring and summer months. The first cherry harvest starts around October and November in the eastern mainland states and extends through to late February with the majority of cherry crops harvested during December and January. A sweet delight to be savoured fresh as a snack, this plump stone fruit also offers a bright balance to pies, tarts and salads with its mild tartness.

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Calypso Mango, Australian

A mango variety that took 20 years to develop and perfect, the Calypso mango combines the best of the Kensington Pride and Sensation mangoes. With its signature deep pink blush, smaller seed and fibre-free flesh, this juicy gem is sweet and creamy with a smooth, firm texture. Great on its own, it’s also irresistible in drinks, desserts and everything in between. To ensure your Calypso is ready to eat, check that there’s no green tinge to the skin and it’s a perfect golden yellow.

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Clementine, Corsica

The clementine was born from a cross-pollination that occurred naturally between mandarin and orange tree flowers. While a majority of this hybrid citrus is supplied by Spain and Morocco, the Corsican Clementine is the only clementine grown in France. The fruit has been granted the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status providing a guarantee of its quality and provenance. With aromatic orange blossom aroma and seedless segments that give way to sweet pulpy flesh, the Corsican clementine is great in marmalades, as candied peel, and in a mélange of confectionary. It also lends its bright and juicy citrus flavour perfectly to salads and sauces for game meats. Harvesting generally runs from October to January. At the start of the season, the fruit can actually be ripe whilst appearing partially green at the base but the skin gradually gains its orange pigmentation from the cold. The Corsican clementine is usually handpicked and sold with its deep-green leaves still attached, giving an unmistakable indication of the fruit’s freshness.

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Yellow Nectarine, Australian

Believed to be derived from the ‘nectar of Gods’, nectarines are a variety of peach with smooth yellow, orange or red skin with a juicy white or yellow flesh. An ambrosial stone fruit that originated from China, they can be enjoyed firm and crunchy, or allowed to ripen and savoured when soft and juicy. Compared to its white-fleshed counterpart, yellow nectarine has a sweet and slightly tangy flavour, which makes it the perfection addition to salads, and cheese and fruit platters.

Yellow Peach, Australian

Grown in Australia’s pristine environment and bolstered by the perfect climate for cultivating stone fruits, these sun-kissed beauties are prized for their juicy flesh and sweetness that’s balanced with a tinge of tartness. Besides being known for their versatility in salads, crumbles and tarts, these delicious fruits also pack in plenty of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and more. Best to enjoy at their peak from October till April.

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White Alba Truffles, Italy

Truffles are the jewels of Italian gastronomy and among them, the White Alba Truffles (or tuber magnatum pico) are the cream of the crop. Compared to the different varieties of black truffles, White Alba Truffles from Piedmont, Northern Italy, have a stronger aroma.

With a golden exterior and cream coloured flesh, these knobby tubers can be found growing around the roots of trees, mainly oak, chestnut, poplars, limes, hazel and beech trees and are usually harvested in autumn and early winter. Prized for their pungent yet intoxicating fragrance, the earthy beauties add incredible flavour when shaved on top of creamy tagliatelle or a classic gnocchi. They also turn the humble scrambled eggs into something extraordinary. White Alba Truffles are almost never cooked—the heat of the dish will bring out the intense perfume.

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Vacherin Mont d'Or, France

Often referred as the “the holy grail of raw milk cheeses”, the Vacherin Mont d’Or is truly a spectacular cheese. This artisanal pale yellow soft rich cheese is made from cow’s milk in France, usually in villages of the Jura region (an origin that has been officially controlled since 1981), and has a greyish-yellow washed rind.

Mont d’Or is a seasonal cheese with an AOC certification available from October to February. As the cheese is so soft and almost liquid after maturation, it is ripened and wrapped with a spruce bark, which adds a welcome woody note to the cheese. Packed in a characteristic spruce box, when matured, the cheese is full flavoured, slightly acidic, and is often served warm in its original packaging and enjoyed like a fondue. Once you pull a warm one out of the oven, and start eating it, it’s impossible to stop.

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Bouchot Mussels, France

Bouchot moules is the only mussel in France that has the coveted Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designation. Given to food whose characteristics are uniquely related to its place of origin, these mussels are considered a luxury ingredient in France, and other parts of Europe.

They are harvested between July and January in France’s Mont St Michel Bay where the water spans the borders of Brittany and Normandy. The bivalves grow on wooden pillars (bouchot) anchored into the seabed. At high tide, they thrive underwater, while at low tide, they are exposed to the salty ocean air, hence their delicious briny flavour. The small to medium-sized mussels have plump and firm orange-yellow flesh. Cook them with white wine, chopped garlic and parsley, and serve with French fries.

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