What produce will be on our doorstep this season?
Spring is a chance to dust off the winter cobwebs, and eating seasonally can help you do so! The sun begins to peek through the clouds, it’s no longer dark at 4pm, and new sprigs of life are evident everywhere. However, it isn’t only daffodils and croci that begin to flower; the return of spring brings the return of green vegetables and fresh produce to Scottish tables.
Eating seasonally has been lost in the modernisation of food politics today. It’s permanently summer in our supermarkets; we have constant access to every fruit and veg 365 days a year. We can eat strawberries in December and brussels sprouts in July. It’s damaging. A central concern is the environmental impact: shipping foods from the global south for the UK’s winter, with things like soft fruit being flown in on polluting air miles. We’ve become so accustomed to certain foods stocking our shelves year round that we’ve lost touch with nature. In the past we’ve been so intrinsically connected to the Earth and land as our source of livelihood, that we moved and ate in harmony with the seasons. We had greater respect for the Earth and more appreciation for the finite amount of time foods were available to us. The oversaturation of food we are presented with and the constant nature of produce is making us spoilt with choice.
As well as the environmental concern, there’s the fact that these imported or modified foods have little health value and have fundamentally less taste. Premature picking, long shipping distances and artificial modification to create bigger, more perfect fruit has reduced the vitamin content as well as the taste. The disillusionment of today's fruit and veg is understandable as it’s no longer natural. We are given food all year round, everyday of the year, we no longer know when apple season is. Instead of being excited for the return of apples to our shelves and anticipating the taste, we’re instead given constant access. We consider them a daily staple, always sitting in the supermarket, nothing special. Do you know when apple season is? Well luckily you have a few more months to enjoy UK apples; in Scotland. apples have a long season from October to May. A tomato ripened under heat lamps in plastic polytunnels, or picked when underripe and shipped thousands of miles, is obviously not as flavourful and juicy as a sun-ripened tomato. By reconnecting with the seasons we can reconnect with our love for fresh food.
As we move into warmer months, vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli persist from winter and are grown nationally, and the sunshine brings asparagus, spinach, and spring greens into season in Scotland. Scotland offers very few locally grown fruits in spring (berry season only starts in June), with only really the addition of rhubarb. However, further afield in Europe it’s still citrus season, with fruits like oranges preferring colder temperatures. Catch the end of blood orange and tangerine season.
Mustard Roasted Cauliflower
1tbsp Olive oil
1tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
1 head of cauliflower
Salt to taste.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and coat the cauliflower florets.
Bake in a 200 degree oven for 30 mins.
Serve as a delicious, simple side dish!