In some parts of the world it can seem like all kinds of food are harvested year round. We have lost our relationship with the seasons and are no longer surprised to find tomatoes on our plates in the middle of winter.
In actual fact, certain foodstuffs are often associated with a time of year, either due to the harvest or their flavour.
The seasons help us vary our diet and seasonal produce generally has more flavour.
You sometimes hear people say that winter is not the season for fruit. It is true that some countries, such as Switzerland, do not harvest any fruit in winter, However, citrus fruit such as mandarines are harvested in winter in southern Europe and apples or kiwis picked in the autumn can be stored in a cool place for the entire winter.
There are also plenty of winter vegetables such as leeks, chicory or lamb's lettuce. Think about where your food comes from. Depending on where you live, locally grown produce will not be the same.
In winter, we find warm food such as tea or soup more appealing. In Switzerland, some people enjoy foie gras or a ‘Chinese fondue’ at Christmas and New Year. Meanwhile, the turkey traditionally eaten at Thanksgiving in America has become the symbol of a Christmas dinner in the UK. Until the mid- 20th century, people gave oranges at Christmas, as in some countries they were seen as an exotic fruit.
Certain conditions favour the cultivation of certain foodstuffs. These conditions may relate to climate or even altitude. For example, pineapple is a tropical fruit and cannot be grown everywhere. It is grown in the Southern hemisphere and bears fruit in summer.
Let us not forget though that summer in the Southern hemisphere is wintertime in the Northern hemisphere. So, if you live in the Northern hemisphere, the best season for eating pineapple is winter!
Spring vegetables hit the markets at the start of the year. They include white, green and purple asparagus or radishes for example. As for fruit, strawberries start to appear in spring.
Other soft fruit such as raspberries and cherries arrive in summer. Fruit and vegetables are particularly plentiful at this time of year. For example there are peaches, apricots, courgettes and aubergines.
Tomatoes are at their best in summer, which is also the season for green beans.
In hot weather, we enjoy cool dishes such as raw vegetables and salads.
We also enjoy food which is refreshing and thirst-quenching, like watermelons which provide a rich source of water.
The arrival of autumn marks the return of cold weather. Autumn vegetables include beetroot, Jerusalem artichokes and pumpkins, of course. In countries where Halloween is celebrated, you can also see plenty of pumpkin lanterns. Most countries in the Northern hemisphere harvest wine grapes between the end of August and the beginning of October.
So you can also see grapes in the shops in autumn. Pears and plums are other examples of autumn fruit.
YEAR-ROUND FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
In conclusion, you can eat fruit and vegetables all year round, varying what you eat with the seasons!
This is vital for your body to function properly.