Stay ahead of the competition by utilizing only the freshest in-season produce!
Please note, the following information is based on the global growing season and displays general information related to produce’s peak seasonality.
View further below for updates on what local Ontarian produce is in season!
ChefFact: Cherimoya (cher-uh-moi-uh), also known as the custard apple is a round, oval, or heart-shaped fruit with a scaly green exterior resembling a pine cone. Its flesh is sweet and creamy white with large, black seeds, while its flavour is similar to a blend of pineapple, mango, papaya, and vanilla.**
ChefFact: The Feijoa (fay-joh-ah or fay-yoh-ah) is also referred to as a ‘pineapple-guava’, although it is not a true guava. This small, bumpy, egg-shaped fruit hails from South America with an exotic aroma, yet a bitter green skin. The cream-coloured flesh has a granular texture, and its tart flavour has hints of quince, pineapple and mint.**
Inspired Dishes: Spring Raspberry-Lychee Macaron with Lemon Sorbet - Eric Bertoia, Cafe Boulud (New York City)
Techniques: bake, broil, grill, poach, raw, sauté*
Inspired Dishes: Roasted Nectarine Custard Cake with Ice Wine Sorbet & Warm Berry Compote - Dominique & Cindy Duby, Wild Sweets (Vancouver)*
Techniques: bake, deep-fry (eg. as chips, battered), grill, poach, raw, roast, sauté, stew.*
Techniques: bake, grill, raw, sauté*
7. Prickly Pear/Cactus Pear
ChefFact: Prickly Pears grow on the nopales (no-pah-less) cactus, shaped like an avocado, having thick, spiny skin, ranging in colour from yellow or orange to red, magenta, or purple. It’s soft, sweet, juicy flesh ranges in colour from yellow to dark red with a scattering of tiny, crunchy, edible seeds within. It’s been said prickly pear tastes reminiscent of watermelon and pairs well in salad.**
8. Sapote, White & Mamey
ChefFact: The Sapote is a tropical fruit that is native to Central America and Mexico, although it’s many football-shaped varieties are popular in Florida, Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies.
White sapotes have a creamy white to yellowish flesh with a buttery texture and sweet, custard-like flavour. Black sapotes have dull, olive green skin, black flesh with a jelly-like consistency, and a sweet, mild flavour resembling chocolate. Mamey sapotes have a thick, russet-brown rind enclosing creamy salmon-pink to red flesh, tasting sweet, almost like almonds and apricots. As such, Mameys are mostly used fresh.**
Inspired Dishes: Chocolate & Tangerine Semifreddo Garnished with Chopped Pistachios - Gina DePalma, pastry chef, Babbo (New York City)*
10. Ugli® Fruit
ChefFact: The Ugli® Fruit is a native of Jamaica, said to be the original ‘brand-name tangelo’, as it is a natural hybrid of grapefruit, tangerine, and Seville orange. Although sweet, tangy and delicious, this bumpy, often misshapen fruit has wrinkly, pockmarked, green to yellow skin.**
11. Valencia Orange
ChefFact: Valencia oranges, aptly named after the city in Spain, were brought to North America by the Spanish, and are now grown in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas. These medium to large round or oval oranges have thin, smooth, yellow to orange peels, and are the main orange used in commercial juicing.**
Local Ontarian Spring (March-April) Fruits
Ontarian Outlook: Available year-round and always delicious, pair in a tart or pie with this season’s other local fruit for an explosive flavour matchup! Available in varieties like Mcintosh, Red Delicious, Empire, Idared, Mutsu, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Cortland, Northern Spy, and many many more available at nearby farmers markets and Pick-Your-Own orchards.
DidYouKnow: More than 100 lesser known apple varieties grow in a "Heritage" orchard at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)’s Vineland Research Station. It serves as a gene pool and source of bud wood.***
Inspired Dishes: Warm Apple & Rhubarb Turnovers with Rhubarb-Gewürztraminer Jam and Candied Ginger-Créme Fraîche Ice Cream - Emily Luchetti, pastry chef, Farallon (San Fransisco)*
Cool Rhubarb Soup with Orange and Mint Fior De Latte - Gina DePalma, pastry chef, Babbo (New York City)*
From now on, we'll only be bringing you updates on local Ontario produce.
We hope you enjoyed this update & our selection of inspired dishes!
- * Page, Karen, et al. "The Flavor Bible: the Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs". Little, Brown and Company, 2011.
- **"Fresh Produce Guide" . IN Marketing Services, 2015.
- ***“Availability Guide.” Ontario.ca, Queen's Printer for Ontario 2012-18, 3 June 2016, www.ontario.ca/foodland/page/availability-guide.
- “Foodland Ontario Fruits & Vegetables Availability Guide.” Foodland Ontario, Queen's Printer for Ontario 2012-18, www.sobeys.com/en/articles/whats-season-guide-canadian-produce-ontario/.
- “What's in Season?” Ontario Farm Fresh, 2018 Ontario Farm Fresh, ontariofarmfresh.com/consumers/whats-in-season/.
- “What's In Season.” Harvest Ontario, 2018 Bright Light Communications Inc., harvestontario.com/whatinseason.
- “About Saskatoon Berries.” Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America, 2018 Saskatoon Berry Institute, saskatoonberryinstitute.org/saskatoons/.
- “Partridgeberry.” The Dark Tickle Company, www.darktickle.com/content/8-partridgeberry.
- Des Rosiers, Nathalie. “Chokecherry.” Ontario.ca, Queen's Printer for Ontario 2012-18, 14 Nov. 2014, www.ontario.ca/page/chokecherry.
- “Prunus Virginiana.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Feb. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_virginiana#Food_use.