What’s hot in food on the Northern Rivers right now?
YOU only have to look out the window at that verdant patch of rainforest to guess what's hot in Northern Rivers' food right now.
Native foods and those familiar from the rainforest are making their way into a range of stand alone and value added products.
So what sorts of foods are we talking about?
Macadamia nuts, spreads and oils, Davidson's plums, finger limes, Lilli Pilli, small leaf tamarind, lemon and anise myrtle.
According to Anthony Hotson of Rainforest Foods what was one considered a "fad" is now becoming more mainstream.
"Finally this time it's coming much deeper into food culture and our Australian identity than it has over last 40 years," he said.
"There have been times when we have expected great things from this section of the industry and they haven't come through. They have been a fad and then moved on.
"But now they are going much deeper into our cuisines and consciousness than they ever have.
"It's really a wonderful time for the native foods industry."
Rainforest Foods sells through health food shops, tourism outlets, gift hamper suppliers and also five farmers markets.
Another supplier of native foods is Playing with Fire Native Foods, based in Ballina.
"I think the flavours of the food are starting to get recognised because they are absolutely delicious and also the functionality of the foods and the nutritional qualities are getting more and more known," Playing with Fire managing director Rebecca Barnes said.
Both businesses have gone through a downturn in the early days of COVID-19 and are now bouncing back.