Saturday, May 26, 2012

Eating seasonally

Eating seasonally is a skill. Trust me, to deprive yourself of fresh tomatoes for all but 2 months a year takes practice and patience.  (Well, not really, because who wants to eat those tomatoes grown in Florida's sand, picked green and hard as a rock, and brought hundreds of miles to your supermarket shelf, only to taste like mealy water the other 10 months of the year?)

Right now we are at the end of our "spring hunger gap" and starting to eat fresh vegetables again. We've polished off all of our frozen greens, pickled vegetables, and stored beets, potatoes and squashes. Our canned tomato sauce is running low. And I used the last of the blueberry jam to make a syrup for some homemade ice cream. Finally, wee have spring greens, herbs and chives coming up in the garden and the salad we had for dinner couldn't have tasted any fresher.

But our current food system has deprived most of us of the sheer joy of eating asparagus for just a few weeks a year, for example. Our culture of food has allowed us to have our favorite vegetable at any meal, any time... but so much so that it is no longer our favorite vegetable anymore.

Eating seasonally is a challenge, not only for your taste buds, but also for your cooking. (There are only so many ways you can make celeriac and rutabaga.) But it is so rewarding, because that first juicy spring peach is a little taste of heaven every year. It really makes you appreciate life and nature, and most importantly, food.

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