Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Necterines - Trying to be different

Trying to be different

Chris Fortune Jan 2008

The nectarine is always being overshaded by its big brother the peach and its little sister the plum – it is sweeter and more delicate and will be  ready earlier than the peach , although having  the same smooth skin as a plum,  it is not uncommon to find  nectarines growing on your peach tree

For a fruit that is over 2000 years old we do not give it the due respect that it has in many other cultures, originating in China and  (yes there are some good food stories coming out of China) being cultivated in Persia, Greece and Rome.    The Greeks referred to Nectarine juice as the “drink of gods” or “nectar of gods” and  it has a special place in the preserving cupboard along side bottles peach and pear chutneys.

I understand that we are a country of food  exporting and that we export our own products all around the world, expecting countries to purchase them and support our local food producers which is all very fine and dandy when you are dealing with products that have a long shelf life and are stable but when you try a tree ripened nectarine next to a imported Californian or chilian product there is just no comparison in taste and flavour – we all of a sudden we  remember why we enjoyed them and that while we have to wait for them  it has been well worth it.    Enjoy them now that they are coming into season and get the preserving jars out of the cupboard so that you can enjoy them at other times of the year without having to rely on unripe and flavourless imported produce

Nectarine  chutney  Use summer’s best stone fruits and you’ll be rewarded with a flavoursome and aromatic chutney to serve with both white and red meats. It’s also great with roasted pork and root vegetables, or just by itself with cheese.

1500 g Nectarines

2 medium onions, chopped

1 green capsicum, chopped

500 g brown sugar

2 cups white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

2½ teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground gloves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Wash and chop the fruit, and set aside with the onions and capsicum. In a large saucepan, add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Add fruit, onion and capsicum, bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 1 hour or until thick, stirring frequently. Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal

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