Learn more about our Autumn produce
Eggplant itself isn’t bursting with flavour, but its flesh is like a sponge, which soaks up all the flavours you impart into it.
Chillies (or chiles in Spanish) come in so many different varieties other than red and green. Mexico, arguably the home of the chilli, grows over 200 different varieties alone!
Garlic was one of the first herbs to be cultivated about 4,000 years ago. It was not only used as a flavouring for food, but for medicine and rituals too.
Grapes are the sweet vine fruit we all know and love, as they provide us with both wine and a juicy “berry” perfect for snacking and cooking.
Figs naturally help hold moisture in baked goods which keeps them fresher for longer. Figs are also a natural sweetener so provide a refined sugar free option.
This sweet-tart, seedy fruit is native to Brazil. The first commercial plantings of passionfruit in New Zealand were in 1927 in Kerikeri. Sweetest when at its ugliest with its skin leathery and wrinkled.
Used for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes, leeks grow straight up from the ground, the flat leaves growing up from a cylindrical, rounded bulb, overlapping each other in a concentric pattern.
Onions form the base flavour of many dishes, including stocks, braises and soups, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be the hero.
Inedible raw due to its high tannin content, quince requires cooking to both soften the flesh and make the fruit less tart.
Chestnuts can be candied, dipped in chocolate, roasted and salted, pureed into soup, baked into cakes and brownies or cooked in risottos and casseroles.
Kūmara was an essential crop for early Māori who, it is believed, brought them with them from Hawaiki more than 1000 years ago.
In New Zealand pumpkins are very often roasted, but there is more to these golden fleshed orbs than a side to the Sunday roast. Naturally sweet with a silky texture, pumpkins naturally lend themselves to sweet dishes.
Apples are hands down the most popular fruit in the world. Apples are often used as a natural sweetener, and apple sauce can do this, while also replacing eggs in baking for low sugar, vegan muffins and cakes.
While often enjoyed fresh, their delicate flavour is enhanced when baked or poached. Both chocolate and toffee are perfect partners, as are other autumn fruits like feijoa, blackberries and nuts.
Nashis have the texture of a crisp apple, just slightly less firm, and the sweetness of pear. They are beautifully juicy and refreshing, especially when served cold.
Mushrooms are extremely high in antioxidants and are a good source of vitamin A, B, C and D. Mushrooms are rich in the fifth taste – umami, which translates to “essence of deliciousness” or “pleasant savoury taste” and means mushrooms make for a wonderful meat substitute.
With a tenderizing enzyme, it can be used as a marinade on meat. Or create a tropical salsa with the addition of chillies, citrus and fresh herbs, like mint, to brighten grilled fish, pork or chicken.
Although Kiwifruit is our namesake, feijoa is the fruit in the heart of many New Zealanders. One of the few remaining seasonal treats, feijoas are only available from late March until June.
These mini cabbages sprout from a central trunk, flourishing in colder climes, and in New Zealand this is Ohakune and Oamaru.
In only a couple of short years cauliflower has become a hero ingredient on many restaurant menus and across a huge range of cuisine. Raw, riced, roasted, deep fried, even pizza, cauliflower is one of our most versatile ingredients.