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March 2009

A Bountiful Crop of Australian Nashi

Australian Nashi Growers Association (ANGA) are forecasting a bountiful crop in 2009, with the best quality Australian Nashi fruit grown in north east Victoria.  

An exotic Asian delicacy for centuries, Nashi was originally brought to Australia by Chinese gold miners in the 1850s.  Modern varieties of this exotic fruit such as Nijisseiki are grown locally and in season from March to November.  

With its blush green skin and translucent flesh, Nashi’s subtle sweetness is complemented by crunchy texture and juiciness.  Flavoursome and nutritious, Nashi is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and a good source of soluble fibre, vitamin C, antioxidants and Folate, making it an excellent choice for children and adults alike.

Nashi is a delicious snack eaten fresh – peeled or unpeeled, any time of the day.  It is a welcome addition to school lunch boxes, or grated over cereal for breakfast. Uncooked it can be added to savoury or sweet dishes, salads and fruit salads, or stewed or poached for dessert, accompany meat dishes or simply juiced and savoured for its sweet flavour. 

Each year, ANGA develop tempting new recipes using versatile Nashi. The Asian inspired, Hot and Sour Chicken Nashi Stir-fry is a delicious combination of textures and flavours and can be served with steamed rice and fresh coriander.  The Gnocchi with Nashi and Walnuts is a sublime taste sensation that can be assembled using prepared gnocchi, or made fresh using waxy potatoes.  For a warming winter dessert, the Nashi and Fig Crumble, a modern twist on a old-time favourite, will delight.  

This season, kids are encouraged to have fun in the kitchen and try this easy-to-make and bake, morish, Maple Baked Nashi with Choc Buttons.   See recipes attached and photos above.

Australian Nashi is available from supermarkets, markets and greengrocers from March through to November, more often then not, wrapped in protective styrene socks to ensure their perfection. 

Quick and easy ways to incorporate Nashi into the family menu include:

  • Baby: From 4-6 months, when your child is ready to be introduced to new foods, peel, cook and puree nashi before serving.  In later months, mash instead of pureeing.
  • Kids: nashi make a delicious, juicy addition to school lunch-boxes or eaten as a snack anytime
  • Adults: Serve fresh nashi on a cheese platter with dried fruits and nuts

For more information about Nashi visit: www.nashiaustralia.com.au