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In-season mid winter: Golden tamarillos and swiss brown mushrooms

In-season mid winter: Golden tamarillos and swiss brown mushrooms

Golden tamarillos

Native to Central and South America, tamarillos have been grown in New Zealand since the 1800s and are one of the bounties of the winter months. Part of the same plant family as potatoes and tomatoes, they were once known as the tree tomato.

Tamarillos are at their best when firm. The skin is very bitter so cut them in half and scoop out the juicy pulp if you’re eating them fresh. The pulp in all tamarillo varieties – purple, red, amber and golden – is tangy, but golden tamarillos have a sweeter, milder flavour.

Poach or stew tamarillos to have on porridge for breakfast in the winter months, or to bake into crumbles or pies. Their flavour profile also works well in savoury dishes, so add to stews or roasting meats or use as an accompaniment to cheese and paté. They make wonderful preserves including pickles, purées, compotes and chutneys.

Two golden tamarillos are a good source of the antioxidant vitamins A (150mg), C (35mg) and E (2.3mg) and provide 4g fibre for just 165kJ. Having them with your breakfast cereal will help your body absorb the non-haem iron in your cereal.


Poached vanilla tamarillos

Pork with tamarillo sauce

Swiss brown mushrooms

Also known as gourmet, crimini or brown button mushrooms, Swiss brown mushrooms are immature portobello mushrooms. They look just like a white button mushroom but have a light brown skin, which is sometimes mottled, and a white stem.

When buying, look for good colour and upright gills.

They are delicious raw but their firm, robust texture means they hold their shape well when cooked too. Their rich, earthy flavour makes them a great addition to vegetarian dishes that could benefit from a ‘meaty’ flavour. Use them in stews, pies, stir-fries, risottos, pasta sauces and soups.

Similar to their white counterparts, Swiss brown mushrooms are low in energy (50kJ per cup, chopped), and provide useful amounts of selenium, B vitamins and potassium.


Mushroom and herb shepherd’s pie

Chicken and mushroom Provençal

Fresh this month

Harvested in New Zealand gardens in July


Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, kumara, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, radishes, silver beet, spinach, swedes, turnips.


Chives, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.


Golden tamarillo, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, olives, oranges, tangerines.

First published: Jul 2019

Article sources and references


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