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The “Hero of Mataura” Harvested for Wattie’s

Media Release June 8, 2010

The “Hero of Mataura” Harvested for Wattie’s

It’s the hero of Mataura and the toast of Southland – the humble swede!

About 50 tonne of this popular Southland vegetable is currently being harvested and graded at Winton, near Mataura, for Wattie’s, and will be transported to Christchurch for processing,

Known for its versatility, if not its looks, these swedes will soon be peeled, diced, blanched and quick frozen at Wattie’s plant to become one of the ingredients in hearty winter soups produced for the domestic market and for export.

Swede is an iconic winter vegetable in the south, which is gaining favour further north as an off-beat gourmet dish, when combined with potatoes.

Related to the turnip and also a member of the cabbage family, the swede is used in three Wattie’s soups for its colour, flavour and texture – Wattie’s Very Special Winter Vegetable, Pumpkin & Vegetable, and Chicken & Vegetable.

Wattie’s agronomist Anthony White says this vegetable needs to be dug at precisely the right time to achieve the sweet swede flavour and avoid bitterness.

Marketing Manager for Wattie’s soups Kerry Allen says that swedes are an important winter soup ingredient contributing to the texture and taste.

“Swedes are an iconic vegetable in the deep south, and another of the wonderful locally grown vegetables used in Wattie’s products. They contribute to the total of around 130,000 tonne of local fruit and vegetables grown for our branded products annually.”


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