Seasonal produce

Some things are exciting and enjoyable because they are occasional… even the person who loves Christmas the most would get fed up if it was every day, and the anticipation of a birthday or special anniversary is part of what makes it so enjoyable. We have lost that anticipation and specialness of the produce available in shops… I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it seemed that things like new potatoes and asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli tasted better because they weren’t available all the time, they came ‘into season’ we enjoyed them, and then they weren’t available and we had to wait till next year! Now any fruit, any vegetable is there, all the year round, with the exception of a few specialist items, grown on a small-scale for a small but no doubt very appreciative group of customers.

The National Mark Calendar of Cooking couldn’t really be written now, the idea of seasonal has largely disappeared in the global markets we can access. Back in the late 1920’s, early 30’s the ‘housewife’ – the main audience for this wonderful little book, would have gone to the market, gone to a greengrocer’s, used what was brought back from the allotment or grown in the garden – not flown from Kenya or Peru.

Here is what ‘she’ could expect in April:

  • asparagus
  • beans (forced)
  • beetroot
  • broccoli
  • cabbages
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • leeks
  • lettuce
  • marrows (forced)
  • mushrooms
  • mustard and cress
  • onions (salad or spring)
  • parsnips
  • radishes
  • savoy cabbage
  • scotch kale
  • seakale
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • turnips
  • watercress


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