Now more than ever, health is an increasingly important purchase driver among Canadian shoppers, although most consumers still do not consistently eat the recommended 4-5 portions of fruit each day. This goal is certainly more enjoyable to achieve when you include a variety of fresh, colourful options through every season. Did you know that fruits like grapes, plums, peaches, and nectarines are available in the winter thanks to high quality imports from countries based in the Southern Hemisphere, like Chile?
That’s right. When it’s winter in Canada, it’s summer in Chile, one of the world’s largest exporters of fresh fruit. If you’re shopping for items like plums, nectarines, or grapes between January and April, there is a good chance that you are selecting Chilean fruit!
Grab Some Grapes
From December into early May, you can look to Chile for crunchy, juicy grapes. Be adventurous and try out the many green, red and black varieties. Then there is the Muscat grape. Muscat grapes are traditionally used for wine making but Chile now also grows this beautiful grape to eat fresh. They are a unique grape variety and a little harder to find with a shorter season, typically late winter into early spring. Muscats have a delicate, sweet, musky floral taste and a very unique appearance, ranging from rosy-pink to green background with golden-yellow accents.
Regardless of which grape you prefer, they’re all packed with nutrition including potassium, fibre, magnesium, and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. A serving is one cup.
Click for more tips on how to select and store grapes, what goes well with grapes, and major varieties of grapes.
Cherries, peaches, plums, and nectarines are all considered stone fruits because they have a pit in the middle. The main season for peaches and nectarines is January and February. Peaches are known as a fuzzy fruit, but did you know that nectarines are known as a “shaved peach” or “fuzzless peach”? They are relatively interchangeable with peaches, but they have a smoother skin, and often a slightly firmer texture. Both peaches and nectarines are available in white and yellow flesh varieties. White nectarines and peaches have lovely floral notes and can be eaten while still firm and crunchy.
Canadians love peaches and nectarines in the summer and there are three great reasons to snack on them during the winter too. Chilean stone fruits are pleasing to the eye, sweet to taste, and healthy. Both peaches and nectarines are naturally low in calories but nutrient-dense, providing you with vitamins C and A, potassium, and fibre.
Chile grows a wonderful variety of plums for you to enjoy, including black & red, lemon plums, plumcots and even cute little sugar plums! They’re available from February through April.
Lemon plums from Chile are a special treat. You will see that the shape resembles a heart or a tear drop, which is perfect because their season starts just around Valentine’s day in February.
They are typically sold when they are firm, tart and yellow but they will ripen into a softer, sweeter fruit that also turns red as it ripens!
More tips and hints how to buy, store and use plums
Imported fruit from the southern hemisphere complements Canada’s production and offers consumers more choice throughout the long winter months. Come summer, local will once again be readily available. But each winter, enjoy Fruits from Chile.
Tips and hints how to buy, store and use peaches can be found right here:
Tips and hints how to buy, store and use nectarines can be found right here: