Food with the seasons

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Joined Jun 14, 2002
I may be crazy here, but does anyone know if there is any correlation between food and the different seasons. My boss and I are trying to do a featured item each month during the year but we have been unable to find any literature on which seasons go with the foods. Can anyone help??
 
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Joined May 3, 2002
What are you looking for. which food is fresh in which season?
lots of cookbooks and herb books have charts with the 12 months and what is fresh and or best in those months.
As far as I know the food that is ripe in June is a summer food. ect...
 
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Joined May 11, 2001
There's lots of cookbooks that are organized by season. Two recent and notable cookbooks are Gordon Ramsay: A Chef for All Seasons and Alfred Portale's 12 Seasons Cookbook. I don't know how good these are at explaining WHY certain foods are good for each season, but I'm sure they'll help you come up with menu ideas.
 
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Joined Jun 14, 2002
Thanks for the help guys. I'll have to run to Barne's & Noble to check out the books. In the meantime, does anyone know of any websites I could check out????
 
2,518
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Joined Nov 20, 2000
I don't know about the web sites, though I'm sure a search will yield some results. But try finding Jean Louis Palladins "Cooking with the Seasons" it's a great book from a great chef!
Sioux Falls, cool place, drove through there once.
 
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Joined Mar 3, 2002
There was a time when your question would not have made any sense, because all fresh food was cooked and eaten in its local season which is the only time it would have been available. Only preserved foods or those foods that would survive in root cellars or perhaps could be wintered over undug in the ground itself could be eaten beyond its harvest season.
 
1,046
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Joined Apr 19, 2001
Okay, ChefinSF - Slow down, take a deep breath and put on your thinking cap - I'm sure you know more than you think!

What do you think of eating when spring comes? What comes up in the spring? Asparagus, peas, cool crops like cabbage and broccoli, and all the greens, strawberries; lamb, spring chickens.

Summer - My first thought is corn on the cob!!! Tomatoes!!! Raspberrys and blackberries. All the wonderful bounty of the earth - green beans, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes; watermelon and all the melons. Barbeque - and salads, all kinds.

Autumn - Winter squash, pumpkins, nuts, dried beans, potatoes, pork roasts, more cabbage.

Winter - Comfort foods to keep us warm - stews, bisques; winter wheat, and the wonderful breads it gives us. Dried fruits and berries. Tomatoes and other produce that we've preserved from the summer.

Just a start, I'm sure you can get going on this!!!
 
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Joined Jan 5, 2001
If you don't already have it, Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenberg is a must. It gives you a guide, not only for cooking wth the seasons but also about pairing up flavours. It's not just a fuzzy essay, it's lists and lists of what goes with what. This book is a smart investment for any cook.
 

isa

3,236
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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Try The Cook And The Gardener by Amanda Hesser. It's one of my favourite cookbook. And it reads like a novel, a fascinating novel all about the relation of the cook with the gardener and the food he grows.
 

kuan

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Of course, the accuracy of this has to do with which zone you live in. For example, you don't get Apricots here in Minnesota. In California though, ask someone what winter means and you'll probably draw a blank stare ;) (I never knew what winter really meant till I moved to Minnesota). In the midwest, Cabbage is traditionally a fall item. Mainly because you can store it unrefrigerated. Potatoes are harvested in the fall. Knee high by the 4th of July is the mantra for corn here, but apparently this has changed with the cultivation of bicolor sweet corn which comes in earlier. In Illinois and Iowa summer pigroasts are grand affairs where whole towns turn out. Farmers these days raise so they can slaughter year round though. Suckling pigs are a delicacy during the spring and summer too but costly.

I myself can't wait for the first Strawberry-rhubarb pie of the season, or until I harvest the first wild blueberries out of my canoe :D

Kuan
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Love this thread...well yesterday I bought and made jam from black raspberries, blueberries are in....new potatoes numerous varieties, garlic scapes, lettuces, snow peas, baby fennel, radishes, turnips, beets (golden are soooo sweet), I snagged one of three pints of orange cherry tomatoes, swiss chard, parisian carrots, carrots, arugula, squash made a showing.....

So our "In season" section of the daily newspaper prints the voluminous list of what is in season and procedes to print recipes with new potatoes (yes in season) and WATERMELON.....4 recipes for a fruit that will not see the market for another 6 weeks.?????.....

There was a young whippersnapper cook on the market asking why big turnips sell for .75 a # and tiny little ones sell for $2.50 a #......he thought the larger were more desireable. the same that wanted to make gapacho now.....I said Aug. would be a phenominal month for it!! Or the crab, green bean, tomato, avacado dressed salad....in Missouri.... in June.....SOOOOO out of touch with local produce
 

kuan

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Hahah! I gotta say, coming from the land of plenty, I used to wonder about these things. It takes a few months to set in I guess. I remember years ago when I first saw cucumbers in a store at $0.50 each! FIFTY CENTS! I was aghast!

We have to wait till like August or September over here for local watermelon. In California they come available as early as April. I think they follow Strawberries. Maybe they're importing them from Texas? Who knows... these days, we ship our asparagus to Mexico, they process it there and send it back in cans.

Kuan
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
The main reason I started Mo. Chef's Collaborative was that local farmers (that were raising incredible products) were givinig up the 100 year old farms. They had been squeezed out of a marketplace by CHEAP food. If the quality wasn't there I would not have bothered.....they are doing phenominal work, there is a joy in visiting their farms and seeing and tasting as it grows. To have a new local "in season" page in the major newspaper with recipes that are using fruits not found here is eradicating ground work already laid. Part of the major plan is to introduce our coommunity, to those who raise our food ....then teaching them how to cook it. It is especially hurtful when I send in an exstinsive list of produce and something else is picked....
 

kuan

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Joined Jun 11, 2001
I feel for you shroomie, I really do. Unfortunately, the year round availability of produce is seen more as progress than anything else. We've even changed our conception of what constitutes a ripe tomato from sweet/juicy/red to plain red in order that progress may, for the lack of a better word, proceed. I fear it's a downward spiral from now on.

Case in point: My nephews love macaroni and cheese. So I made mac and cheese one day with plain old American Cheddar. They didn't like it. When they say mac and cheese, they mean the stuff which comes out of the box. I was shattered!! No, not really, but close. :)

I think you just have to take solace in the fact that there is a knowledgable customer base you can build on. It's worth the effort to hang on to your clients who bring their kids to the market each weekend. These are the few lucky kids who will grow up with a much better understanding of where our food comes from, what's wholesome, what's not, what's real, what's fake. Give them some wildflower honey, they'll be back!

Kuan
 

isa

3,236
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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Has anyone seen Deborah Madison's new book Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets?
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Not yet but her publicist is coordinating with me to set a date for her CFM booksigning.....late Aug/Sept.
 

isa

3,236
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Joined Apr 4, 2000
I hope it will be available here earlier in the summer. If you do have a look at it Shroom I hope you will share your impressions.
 

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