What's in Season

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Food tastes better and costs less when it is in season. To eat only the food that is in season at any given time is unrealistic for most of us, we are spoilt for choice in the supermarket through year round availability and buying power.
But few can argue the merits of eating prime English fruit freshly picked at the height of their season, many of us have fond memories of scrumping apples, picking wild blackberries or collecting strawberries by the pound in the middle of summer.
The days of living solely by the season have long gone, the seasons have changed climatically, lifestyles have changed as indeed has our concept of food on the table. What I believe we should always strive for is an understanding of what food in season actually means followed by a determined effort to buy it at that time. This would go some way to restoring a little sanity into the food chain and, ultimately, improving the quality of the food we eat.
I cannot imagine an Italian eating a tasteless, barely ripe Dutch salad tomato in the middle of winter. I can, however, imagine him or her eating preserved tomatoes from the summer glut at that time and what a difference!
There is real logic to this, click on the relative month and buy (or forage for) it, you will be rewarded with a real taste sensation rather than some artificial force grown rubbish devoid of taste and texture.

January leeks, swede, kale
February onions, carrots, cabbage
March broccoli, garlic, leeks, chicory
April mushrooms, rhubarb, spring greens
May asparagus, sorrel, rocket, radish
June peas, garlic, beetroot, gooseberries
July fruits, beans, cucumber, artichoke
August aubergines, broccoli, french beans,
September tomatoes, sweetcorn, berries
October squash, apples, cardoon
November pears, quince, cauliflower, sprouts
December parsnips, celeriac, cabbage
Recommended Reading seasonal book guide

 

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