Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Favourite Foodies: Lloyd and his Awesome Apples

Apples loves apples. This should come as no surprise given her screen name. And her favourite apples are the delicious, unwaxed Stanthorpe apples that our next fave foodie, Lloyd, sells at the Kuraby markets.

Lloyd is an awesome guy - friendly, welcoming and just the right kind of crazy! I have to admit, in my early visits to Kuraby Markets I tried to get past his enthusiastic spruking without making eye contact. But then one day he got me to try a slice of one of his Fuji's... and I was hooked!

My favourite thing about Lloyd's apples is the variety. I was familiar with Granny Smiths and a Red Delicious, but I now I know that I love the Gala apples best. Apples on the other hand is a Fuji fan. We have to make sure we put them in separate bags because I can't tell which is which by looking at them!

I also adore the variety of sizes available, from the biggest specimens to tiny ones perfect for lunchboxes and sharing. My kids love choosing their own "mini" apples at the stall. And in fact, Lloyd often finds the cutest baby apples and gives them away as gifts to his junior customers. Plus they are not coated with wax like commercially packaged apples. I'm always concerned about putting unnecessary chemicals in our bodies, so this gives me peace of mind (Just make sure you keep them in the fridge if you aren't using them within a few days.)

The apples are the star attraction, but Lloyd also sells a range of pears and other fruits as they come into season. Currently there are gorgeous plums, nectarines, peaches, cherries and apricots. I was never much of a plum fan until I tried a miniature variety Lloyd gave me to sample (he's very generous with the free samples and I tell you - once you've tasted, you will want to buy!). It was so much sweeter than any other plum I've had. Now I grab a couple of handfuls of those every week. And as I type I have some of his beautiful cherries on my desk waiting for afternoon tea. The stonefruit for the Saturday market has only just been picked on the Thursday prior so it's at the peak of ripeness and freshness (and you can really taste the difference).

Apples and cherries and pears - Oh my!

He's also had strawberries lately and they are super-fresh (picked the day before) and super-sweet (perfect for slicing and stirring through Nelly's ginger yoghurt.)

Best of all, Lloyd's fruit is both local and ethical. The stall owner buys them direct from the farmers. This means the growers get a good price for their produce, and we save money too because there is no middle man.

The Saturday before last was pouring rain, so there weren't many people around. This gave Apples, Ginger and I a chance to have a good long chat with Lloyd and meet his sweetheart of a niece, Katherine, who also works at the stall and  is training to become an Australian Sign Language interpreter (great career choice!) I hope you enjoy the photos of us all in our wet weather gear.

I hope you'll swing by and say hi to Lloyd. He's one of the most entertaining people an the markets and always happy to have a chat. You might even meet Apples amongst the apples!

- Mother Hen

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