Whilst mooching around Streatham on Saturday the girlfriend and I came across the butchers stand at the Greyhound Lane Farmers Market outside the Railway pub, near Streatham Common station.
We got chatting to the butcher about the produce he had on and picked up a joint of beef sirloin and some flank of venison. It is the venison which I was particularly interested in. I hadn’t cooked it in a while and casually mentioned to the butcher that I thought it would go very well stewed with veg and juniper berries. His response was ‘yeh mate it’ll be lovely, and that’s the last of it from this season.’
This got me thinking, I try to buy in season, the benefits are pretty obvious: it reduces the energy needed to grow and transport the food we eat; supports the local economy helps us to reconnect with nature’s cycles and the passing of time and should (in theory make things a little cheaper).
Most importantly (for me) when it comes to taste, eating in season is the way to eat flavoursome food with optimum nutrients, colour and texture.
As I’m based in London, which is one of the biggest markets in the world, it sometimes gets a bit tricky to eat in season, as I can usually get my hands on whatever food I want, whenever I want. And I quite often lose track of what is in season as food is forced or transported here. But for those of you that care about the taste of your food, let alone the environmental and wallet impacts of eating out of season, the impetus is clear, we should be doing more to eat what is in season.
(click on chart to take you through to full chart with all food types)
Something that I spotted that might help me to cook and eat the right food at the right time of year is this handy little chart, I’m going to print it off and stick it to the fridge – http://www.carta.co.uk/beebstuff/seasons.htm. ‘Eat the Seasons’ also offers a wealth of information on the subject, so why not check them out.
We should remember though that the seasons don’t always run like clockwork, for example this year the seasons are several weeks late due to the unusually cold spell recently.
Oh and…..’yeh mate, the venison stew was lovely,’ even better tasting knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat it ‘in season’ for a little while.
Here to a tasty spring and summer.