Like many people, I’m shocked that we’ve turned the calendar to September. Where did the summer go? I know we have a few more weeks until fall officially starts, but it feels like it’s already here, with cooler nights and less daylight.
But this change does bring one of my favorite things: the first apples of the season.
Every year I keep an eye out for when they show up at the Farmers’ Market, ready to grab a few. They’re early yet, which means I don’t have many choices in variety, but I don’t mind at all. I simply enjoy the fresh fruit.
This also got me thinking about the joys of eating more seasonally in general. If you’ve thought about trying to do this but haven’t given it a go, here are some reasons you might like it.
1: Produce Tastes Better
Before I started going to the Farmers’ Market, I didn’t realize just how bland a lot of the supermarket produce was. My taste buds had gotten used to less appealing flavors during college, and I assumed that was how things tasted as an adult.
But it’s not! My first eye-opener came with fresh tomatoes, and there’s really no comparison with the ones in the store. Yes, here in Maine we can get Backyard Beauties year-round, and those are pretty tasty, but it’s still not the same as getting a handful of Sungold cherry tomatoes and savoring each one.
Then I discovered similar taste changes with cucumbers, corn, lettuce, and blueberries.
But certainly one of the biggest differences was with Red Delicious apples. The ones in the store are so watery and mealy, I avoid them at all costs.
On the other hand, for a few weeks a year, I can get small, sweet, crisp, local Red Delicious apples at the Farmers’ Market. They’re a wonderful treat, and I’m looking forward to seeing them show up again.
2: You Appreciate the Food More
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and I feel like it applies to taste buds, too.
When I’m eating seasonally, it means that I go for at least a few months without having a certain kind of produce. When I add it back, I’ve haven’t exactly forgotten what it tastes like, but I’ve lost the immediacy of the flavor.
Then when I have it again, it’s almost new to me, and I enjoy it so much more!
I noticed this with the apples, but it comes up with other fruit, too. I refuse to eat melons during the winter, for example, and when I get the perfectly ripe ones at the market in the summer, the juicy goodness is all the more delicious.
3: Support for Local Growers
Another great benefit of eating seasonally is that you’re usually eating food that’s locally grown, or at least grown a little closer to home. This is great for your local economy, and it also means the produce doesn’t have to ship as far, which helps the environment.
And if you can have the option to go to a Farmers’ Market, where you can interact with the farmers, you develop a much greater appreciation of the effort that goes into your food. For me, at least, that adds to my enjoyment of it.
Your Seasonal Favorites?
Do you have any favorite seasonal foods? I’d love to hear them!
As for me, I’m looking forward to when those Red Delicious apples appear, and in the meantime, I’m enjoying the local peaches, plums, apples, melons, raspberries, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, and more.