That’s a question that has been bouncing round many greengrocers this week. The simple answer is No! What with the bad weather hitting Spain, courgettes, aubergines and spinach have all been on the missing list this week and this got us thinking, is this the future?
With Britain’s exit (at some point) from the European Union this could become the norm, well when I say the norm I doubt £25 for a 5kg box of courgettes will ever become the norm even when we do leave. So what do we do? Well maybe we the consumers need to have a rethink in what we are consuming.
I mean does it make sense eating courgettes, aubergines and spinach in January when we have perfectly good UK grown produce, bang in season and cheap! We all have an in-built database of ‘go to’ dishes, such as a pasta dish with courgettes and peppers, ratatouille or cottage pie etc so do we now have to treat this database also like our wardrobes?
We have a summer one and a winter one, not many people dig out the shorts and flip-flops in January, so why do we cook a summer dish in winter and vice versa!?? The wardrobe way is a much cheaper option and you’re getting the produce at it’s very best. If you’re not sure what’s in season there’s a great website http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk this gives you a week by week, month by month update of what is in season.
You can’t go wrong!
Take the humble Brussels Sprout, they are at their very best now, yet after Christmas most of us forget about them, you don’t often see food bloggers or TV chefs mention them after the festive period. Yet they’re cheap, local and bloody good for you. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K so a perfect start for your January health kick.
There is also my favourite the Red Cabbage or as Shelly pointed out it should be called purple cabbage as it is purple after all. This beauty is so versatile you can have it raw, braised, pickled with fruit in a kebab or with a roast dinner or even in a sandwich I could go on but best of all its available throughout the year and its from the UK.
Not only is it good for you it’s a beautiful veg, amazing inside and lasts for weeks in your fridge. Also Red cabbage is rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins and it’s an ideal weight loss aid as red cabbage is very low in calories, but high in dietary fibre it’s a win win!
What I suppose I’m trying to say it’s about time we had more confidence in our own produce, this country has come a long since the rest of Europe rightly so dismissed our cooking, we have since absorbed all of the world’s different types of food and become really great at reproducing it. But now we need to start taking it to the next level by using our own seasonal veg and show the world what we have to offer.
So ditch the out of season stuff that’s going to cost you an arm and a leg and find dishes closer to home, that use red cabbage, beetroot, brussels sprouts, celeriac or purple sprouting broccoli and who knows maybe in the future the Spanish greengrocers will be hearing the question Tienes repollo rojo?
Translation: have you any red cabbage?