She could have it with any meal but the fact that she is happy with Peruvian asparagus infuriates me! Why are so many people happy with an inferior product; just so they can have it all year round? We only really eat turkey in December; I have never seen anyone eating Brussels sprouts in mid-July. So why are there so many damn strawberries in Winter?
I am told that’s it’s the modern way and people are now only concerned with convenience and want everything on their doorstep all the time. I for one, don’t buy it. I have never met anyone who wants an inferior product just for the sake of having it when they want it.
I was privileged recently to spend the day on a farm with a new supplier of ours and have come away from that even more energised, enthusiastic and annoyingly passionate about seasonality and British produce. I am lucky enough to live in the heart of the Chilterns, surrounded by the amazing British countryside and all the glorious produce that comes with it. But going to this farm in Kent made me appreciate what actually goes into the products and all the work that we can often not recognise.
For all the non-chefs reading this, we don’t see the outside world very often. It is so easy to get disconnected since we just pick up a phone or type what we want into a computer and voilà! The next morning there it is. We see the inside of walk in fridges, loading bays, stainless steel clad kitchens and offices with no windows. So when we get the chance to spend some time with the people who make our job possible and get some sun on our pale, ill looking skin, we jump at it!
Walking along the what seemed like mile long rows of kale, spinach, carrots, turnips, beetroot, squashes, tender stem and beans; you cannot help but be inspired!
When you have produce of this quality why would you ever need to ship in other bits from only God knows where? Answer, you don’t!Just change the way you think about the food you cook. My Nan never used green beans from Kenya or Dutch tomatoes! If they couldn’t grow it they didn’t eat it. We need to get back to this approach. Seasonality must be king! It tastes better, is better for our health and costs us less to buy, there is no down side!
Christian F. Puglisi once put it perfectly when he was asked to describe his food style, “It is based on vegetables. I won’t even say that we are seasonal, because if you are not cooking with the seasons then you shouldn’t be cooking at all.”