Who has ever been tempted to throw some summer fruits into your trolley so that you can pretend winter isn’t here yet? Has anyone ever been able to say no to a custard-covered, homemade apple pie, just because it happens to have been unseasonably served on a dark February night?
The tendency of supermarkets to import food means that we are fooled into thinking we can eat what we want when we want. We give little thought to the carbon footprint involved in transporting these items halfway across the world. We are not even deterred by the fact that, for every unseasonal asparagus that has been flown into Tescos and landed in our refrigerators, there is a juicier and more timely carrot fairly nearby, waiting to be dug out from the soil and put our plates.
Falling for your best friend
In fact, our eating habits echo the classic romcom storyline: it is a case of ignoring the one who is right for you in favour of the cooler and more exotic option. Think Legally Blonde, The Princess Diaries or Clueless. At some stage, we are just going to have to realise that seasonal vegetables are not only our best friends, but also extremely easy to love.
For instance, the opportunity for shopping at farmers’ markets means that your relationship with seasonal fruit and vegetables can be easier and more comfortable than that you might share with their imported brethren.
Rather than shopping with a particular recipe in mind, complete in the knowledge that the faceless supermarket down the road will stock all the ingredients regardless of the season, why not browse your local market and choose what looks tastiest and freshest? You might even discover some vegetable previously unknown to you. The trader will probably be able to recommend some recipes to you on the spot, though with the readiness of smartphones and the Good Food app, it is easy to find recipes to fit your ingredients while you’re out and about. You might even meet some culinary-minded members of your local community who are happy to share a recipe or two with you.
Let your love grow
Perhaps your newfound relationship with your vegetables could turn into a real life romance – or, as one lovestruck farmers’ market shopper puts it, “Oh, how Steve could sling those 10-pound bags of potatoes!” What more could you want in a man?
What’s more, from this statement, we know that this particular couple met in either October, November or December, since this is when potatoes are at their best. Who needs facebook to track the blossoming of love when you have a handy chart to pinpoint the exact time when the vegetable you most associate with your beloved is in season?
So if your loved one’s birthday falls between September and March, this year swap those flowers for a leek! Or this Valentine’s Day, you could try presenting your other half not with roses but with a savoy cabbage, which are at their best in February. Go on. Try it.
All in all, the advantages to eating seasonally are numerous and tangible. You eat fresher food, protect the environment, and you are almost guaranteed to improve your love life. Better stock up on the celery and artichokes when you can – they are both well-known aphrodisiacs of the vegetable world.