Have you ever thought how to cut costs of food that you are buying home and improve the taste of your dishes? This is not only about your chef skills or looking for discounts in your local supermarket. The answer is much easier. Eat the seasons.
Whenever you visiting different restaurants for sure you noticed that dishes are changing regarding the time of the year. Chefs are using products being currently in top season to cut the cost of the dishes but also to get the best possible ingredient straight from the field, sea or forest. Natural would be to put this rule in your household. It seems to be obvious and easy but is it really?
It requires from you a little bit of study and creativity. To start to learn season you have plenty of aids on the internet. Try to search for fruits, vegetables, fish and meat which currently coming up and try to create dishes using them. A good idea could be to write them down on the paper and think what can you do out of this ingredient – soup, puree, roast, fry, boil them, eat raw, and start to create. Remember that there are no limitations. The best ideas coming out by accident. Simply enjoy cooking. (alternatively, you can always visit Food Trail for some advice 🙂 ).
Another problem might be where to buy them from. Some of the things might be difficult to find in the supermarket because they are focused on standardized products, which unfortunately have nothing to do with top quality or seasonality. Instead, put some effort and look for your local market, butcher and fishmonger where you can build relations with a supplier and get some news and tips about what is worthy of buying. Begining might be bit hard but, trust me, it will be an amazing feeling to have a fresh piece of fish or top quality meat garnished with seasonal vegetables full of flavour, colour and some of them that you possibly try first time in your life and all of it in the reasonable price.
I would like to recommend you book The Flavour Thesaurus: Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook by Niki Segnit which can help you in your creations and open you for some new, great ideas. I will share with you one of the kitchen secrets – many good chefs use it to create their amazing dishes, so give it a try.
Underneath I show you examples of ingredients in each season that you can find in your local shops
Beetroots, celeriac, turnip, swede, leek, kale, kohlrabi, salsify, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, carrots
Apple, pear, clementine, pomegranate, quince
Duck, guinea fowl, venison
Mussels, oyster, scallops, hake, lemon sole, turbot, haddock
Sprouting broccoli, spring onion, wild nettles, radishes, asparagus, new potatoes, sorrel
Lamb, wood pigeon
Plaice, sea trout, crab
Artichoke, aubergine, broad bean, fennel, spinach, runner beans, peas, tomatoes, courgette, green bean, lettuce, cucumberFruits
Peach, blueberries, cherries, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, currants
Lamb, beef, rabbit
Crab, mackerel, monkfish, plaice, sea bream, squid
Squashes, cauliflower, marrow, sweetcorn, pumpkin, rocket, truffles, wild mushrooms, chestnutsFruits
Plums, apples, blackberries, figs
Grouse, goose, pheasant, partridge, turkey, lamb, venison
Gray mullet, gurnard, mackerel, herring, wild sea bass, mussels, skate
All above ingredients are not the only one available in each season, obviously, but they should be the easiest to get. Anyway, I encourage you to study, explore and cook. It gives a lot of fun 🙂