It’s interesting to think back to my childhood, and recognize my complete ignorance of seasons. As weird as that sounds. Having grown up in California, the weather isn’t always much of an indicator for the calendar. And fruits and vegetables weren’t in season, they were just there- under the bright fluorescent lights at the grocery store.
Now that I have spent two years in New England and eating fruits and veggies is no longer an obligatory task, seasonality has a whole new meaning.
I now understand why peaches are so expensive in April, why fava beans are only fresh in May, why strawberries seem to be overflowing all the way through the summer, and why root vegetables are so popular in November.
Especially this summer, as I keep up with the bounty of the Tufts Garden and watch the magic unfold at the Full Circle Farm (see older post), I understand that we have to stop depending on southern-hemisphere Chile to provide us with produce during its off season. It’s important to learn that we can’t always have it all. That’s what makes each fruit or vegetable that much more enjoyable.
In May, I could have bought a pound of plums at Safeway for $3.50 a pound. Instead, I waited for the obscenely juicy, ripe, local, $1.50 a pound ones that didn’t crop up at the farmer’s market until early July. I can’t even explain how excited I am for the flavorful and bright tomatoes that are taking over each stand right now.
The sublime FRESHNESS that comes with eating seasonally even reduces cooking time, I swear. I can’t bear to bake those gorgeous apricots into a tart, I’d rather bite into the plump meat, letting the juices run unchecked beneath the band of my watch. Pureeing tomatoes to make a soup? Criminal. I’ll eat those just like that apricot.
This may seem exaggeratedly crunchy, but I guess that’s why my friends tease me for lusting for green beans while they crave cheese fries.
But try it. “Eating locally” just comes along when you eat seasonally. It’s not about shopping at Whole Foods or making a point. It’s just that much yummier.
Pick something at the garden. Eat it right then and there.