Cookbook:Seasonality

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The seasonality of an ingredient refers to the period in which the ingredient is available or is at its best. Some ingredients, such as asparagus, are only available several months of the year whereas others, such as cabbages or carrots are available fresh all year long.

These days, there are many ways to get ingredients out of season. Some ingredients, like apples, will simply keep for a very long time, without much extra effort. Others, such as peas, can be frozen directly after harvest to make them available all year round. Other options include growing vegetables and fruit in greenhouses to simulate seasonal conditions or flying produce in from parts of the world where the seasons are reversed (ie. the season for asparagus on the southern hemisphere is six months later than on the northern hemisphere).

Seasonal EatingEdit

Because of the measures that are taken to increase availability of ingredients out of season, buying ingredients according to their season has some advantages:

Flavour
Fresh in-season ingredients are generally considered to taste better than those that are stored, frozen or grown out of season.
Nutrition
Research has shown that most produce has a higher nutritional value in-season
Price
In-season ingredients grown locally will usually be cheaper than those flown in from other parts of the world or grown in greenhouses.
Environmental concerns
Some methods of producing ingredients out of season, such as flying it in from another hemisphere, or artificial heating of greenhouses can take their toll on the environment.

Seasonality TablesEdit

The following tables show the seasonality per ingredient for each month.

As the seasonality of ingredients depends greatly on the climate in which they're produced, these tables are intended to be used as a loose guideline. Depending on the location, the season may be longer or shorter.

When buying ingredients, check the country of origin if possible. Locally produced vegetables that are far out of season are likely to have been grown in greenhouses.

VegetablesEdit

Northern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Acorn Squash
Alfalfa Sprouts
Artichokes
Arugula (Rucula, Rocket)
Asparagus
Avocado
Beet
Bell Pepper
Bitter Melon
Broad Beans
Broccoli
Broccoli (sprouting)
Brussels Sprouts
Butternut Squash
Eggplant
Spinach
Sweet Potato
Zucchini


Southern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Acorn Squash
Alfalfa Sprouts
Artichokes
Arugula (Rucula, Rocket)
Asparagus
Avocado
Beet
Bell Pepper
Bitter Melon
Broad Beans
Broccoli
Broccoli (sprouting)
Brussels Sprouts
Butternut Squash
Eggplant
Spinach
Sweet Potato
Zucchini

FruitEdit

Northern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Apples
Apricots
Asian Pears
Bananas
Blackberries
Blueberries
Cherries (sweet)
Cherries (sour)
Pawpaw
Pineapple
Plums
Southern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Apples
Apricots
Asian Pears
Bananas
Blackberries
Blueberries
Cherries (sweet)
Cherries (sour)
Pawpaw
Pineapple
Plums

NutsEdit

Northern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Almonds
Southern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Almonds

Herbs and SpicesEdit

Northern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Basil
Southern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Basil

Meat and fishEdit

Northern HemisphereEdit

Northern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Turkeys

Southern HemisphereEdit

Southern Hemisphere Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Turkeys

Turkeys are often eaten for thanksgiving in the fall just after fattening up in the summer. Pigs and other animals are also often slaughtered in the fall after freshly fattened up. Ham is traditionally paired up with the autumn apples. Salmon are popular according to their spawning cycles. In Portugal sardines are a famous festivity as Saint Anthony's day in the summer days of June.

OtherEdit

Other examples include certain cheeses and alcoholic beverages. Feta cheese, for example, is aged for at least 3 months at certain conditions. Winter lagers also have to be fermented at lower temperatures for several weeks.

External LinksEdit