Archive for season

The Seasonal Chef

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2010 by smalltownhealth

Most people take for granted the awesome variety of fruits and vegetables that are available almost any time of year at the grocery store. Very few people, however, realize the many benefits of buying locally grown, seasonal food items.

In-season food tastes better; it’s fresh, crisp, and colorful. The better something looks, the more likely we are to eat it. And the less passage of time between garden/field to plate, the more nutritious the meal.

In-season foods are environmentally friendly. Consider the fuel cost associated with the transportation of “ripe” fruits and vegetables to the colder climates in the winter months. Any item that has traveled thousands of miles to get to your table was picked too early and gassed to ripen. Like an airbrushed photo, it’s false advertising. Ever taste a tomato or strawberry in winter? Blech.

Cost is another benefit of seasonal cooking. When crops mature, there is an abundance of perishable food heading to markets. No one wants waste, especially the farmers who worked so hard to produce the food. The prices reflect this. Farmers’ Markets are excellent venues to find some deals!

To make things easy for you, epicurious.com offers this peak season map. Just click on your state to see what’s in season any time of the year–great for planning your shopping list!

What about those mid-winter months when NOTHING is in season? Eat stored items from fall–root vegetables, apples, and pears all store wonderfully. I think I could live on those for a few months; don’t you?

Summer is about to wind down in my neck of the woods. While I’ll certainly miss the fresh corn salsa, strawberries and cream, and Catawba Island peaches, I am looking forward to the hearty stews, stuffed squash, and of course Catawba Island apples. ­čÖé Now that’s a delicious outlook!