Some foods are available all year round; others such as asparagus are at their best for a very short time, so if you want to incorporate them in your cooking, you need to be quick off the mark.
Modern supermarkets make it incredibly easy to buy food. They stock a wide variety of different produce from all over the world and whatever a recipe calls for, the chances are good that it will be available in your local store. However, if you have a passion for organic, locally sourced produce, you need to be more aware of what is in season so you can plan your shopping accordingly. So what delicious food is currently in season right now?
Spring is the time we see cute little lambs gambolling in fields, enjoying their first taste of the sunshine. Spring is also the time when we are able to enjoy the taste of freshly cooked UK reared spring lamb, (although imported lamb is available all year round). If you love lamb, look for meat with a delicate pink tinge to the flesh as this indicates it is nice and fresh. There are lots of ways to cook fresh lamb: roast a leg, grill a loin chop, or even BBQ a butterfly of lamb if the spring weather permits (or you are a hardy soul).
Fish is a seasonal catch, so if you enjoy a nice fish dish, March falls right in the middle of the cod season. Halibut is just coming into season, as is salmon, whereas mussels are at the end of their season. Fish is good for you all year round, but make sure you incorporate some fresh salmon into your diet when it is in season because it is high in protein and essential amino acids.
Spring is a funny time for vegetables. Many winter vegetables are going out of season and therefore not so readily available from local markets whereas the summer veggies are not yet in season. However, there are a few types of vegetables that are at their best around March time, including purple sprouting broccoli and early spring greens (the first crop of cabbages). Other veggies such as peppers, watercress, spinach and certain varieties of potato are just coming into season, so look out for them when you visit the local farmer’s markets.
Imported fruits are available all year round, but home-grown varieties of apples go out of season in early spring. Some fruits are at their best at this time of year. Grapefruit, oranges and rhubarb are all easy to get hold off around March and April time (check out Glut.co.uk for some great rhubarb crates), so make sure you buy them and use them in your cooking. Other such as blackcurrants, strawberries and gooseberries will be coming into season around May time, so keep an eye out for them.
Sticking to seasonal produce will help to keep your food bills down. If you want locally produced, organic food, check out your local farmer’s market or buy online from reputable suppliers. That way you can enjoy tasty food at reasonable prices.