THERE will be plenty of fresh product at the Slow Food Earth Market from 2pm on February 15.
The classics will be there, but, have you heard of the achacha?
The tropical fruit from Palm Creek Plantation will be the highlight of the Maitland’s Slow Food Earth Market this week.
This will be the first time the fruit will be available on a large scale in the Upper Hunter.
Originally from Bolivia’s Amazon Basin, it is now grown just south of Townsville.
Fans of the egg-sized fruit believe it to be delicious.
It is bright orange in colour and has a unique flavour described as “sweet, tangy, refreshing – like a sorbet”.
But, don’t let its sweetness fool you.
This fruit is high in nutritional value and low in sugar.
Its skin is readily used to make a tea which has become very popular.
The farm has been chemical free for the past six years, and organic and bio-dynamic processes are used in growing the achacha.
Since the first fruit became available in 2009, it has steadily gained popularity.
However, there are times when supply exceeds demand.
That is where the Slow Food Earth Market comes in.
There are more achacha around than eaters.
The trees are laden with the best crop ever, as a result of long-term efforts to improve soil and growing conditions, and after three weeks of picking more fruit has been sold than was produced in each of the previous two seasons.
Convenor of the Townsville Slow Food Group Helen Hill, with her husband Bruce, networked with Amorelle Dempster through Slow Food.
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As a result, some of the excess fruit has made its way to Maitland.
This is the second round of networking through Slow Food for Helen and Ms Dempster.
In November, a pallet load of mangoes arrived in Maitland to the earth market in a highly successful operation.
It is hoped the discerning food aficionados of the Hunter will receive the achacha with the same spirit and enthusiasm as accompanied the mangoes.
From every kilo sold, $1 will be collected by Slow Food Hunter Valley and donated to the “drought aid” campaign in the Hunter Valley.