What's the hot X factor


By: The Food Coach

Although Easter is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, for many people the religious significance is unimportant. Much more important is the fact that Easter gives us two public holidays an extra-long weekend and, if the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox lands later in April, we may strike lucky and get a few days off work between Easter and Anzac Day to enjoy an even more extended holiday.

And don't let us forget the chocolate eggs and hot cross buns: Easter is also a great excuse to tuck into food that we don't get all year round, which is a treat.

Which brings me to the point of this article. Each week we publish the best buys from the markets, produce which is often not available all year round. I call it the hot X factor.

If you make a point of observing when fresh produce is in season and buying it only when it's in its prime, you'll slowly learn to appreciate the hot X cross factor. This is easy to do in summer when our stores are bursting with peaches, mangoes and cherries, but although the change in produce during other seasons is more subtle, you can, when you observe it carefully, appreciate what to buy and when.

And, when you do that you learn to appreciate the changing produce maybe as much as chocolate eggs - that's the hot X factor.

Take for example quinces, pomegranate and persimmon. For years I never tried them, but after setting myself a goal to try fruit and veg I'd never tried before, I now really look forward to these fruits coming back into season.

More than hot X buns to be honest, and almost as much as chocolate eggs!

It's the same with Brussels sprouts. As sad as I am to not be able to get great Brussels sprouts at Christmas with the traditional turkey, when the temperature drops in Australian Brussels sprouts are ready to buy. Crisp, heavy for their size, crunchy and neutral in scent this is the time to buy Brussels sprouts along with cauliflower, silverbeet and spinach.

And so, as we scream into the holiday weekend, do take the time to stock up on your hot x buns and chocolate eggs, and then fill up your baskets with the fruits of the season.

In time you'll be enjoying the hot X factor all year long.

Happy Easter everyone

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