So far we have not had any major problems storing the Achacha – there just haven’t been enough of them to store! But gradually as more trees come into production the supply will increase and you may wish to set some aside for a few days or weeks.
Last season we commissioned Primary Industries & Fisheries at DEEDI (ex DPI Queensland) to carry out a post-harvest shelf life study on the fruit. Their analyses show that the fruit is quite flexible and can be stored at a range of temperatures. However the ideal temperature for storage is about 20°C. But temperature is only half the equation; the other half is humidity. By retaining moisture in the skin, the fruit takes weeks to dry out. So if you need to store your Achachas, they will last a long time if kept at about 20°C in a closed container – for example a bag or box. In recognition of this fact, we will be packing premium fruit in bags in their boxes this season.
Amazingly, shops find it hard to store fruit at 20°C, which is more or less the temperature we like to have in our homes – “room temperature”. Most fruit shops have a cool room – which is kept at about 4°C, like a domestic refrigerator. Most vegetables and some fruits like this temperature. But bananas and some other fruits, especially tropical fruits, prefer warmer conditions, so the better shops also have what is commonly referred to as a “banana room” which is kept at about 12°C. The Achacha however prefers even warmer climes, so now we are embarking on a campaign to ask shopkeepers to store the fruit at temperatures not lower than 14°C, and ideally at 20°C.
An hour or so in the refrigerator before you eat the fruit will give it an extremely fresh taste, and we recommend that you serve it pre-cooled. It will last for several days in the refrigerator so don’t feel obliged to move it around too much!