I love the idea of buying food in season, especially if it’s grown locally. The temperature and the weather suit certain foods in a way that delights me. It makes sense that sun-kissed delicate berries are perfect in warm months, and hardy roots and tubers are welcomed back in when it gets cold.
When I lived in Canada, being in an energy-sucking, self-entitled culture, I had uniform access to any kind of plant food at any time of year, but anyone with a sense of taste knows that mealy tomatoes aren’t worth eating, so why do we waste our time with greenhouse tomatoes in the dead of winter?
Living on continental Europe has sort of thrown off my idea of what is in season, though. There are seasons for things here that I never recognised before. Example: oranges. In my mind, clementines are Christmas food, but otherwise, I have no seasonal association with citrus. Citrus was never local, and available year-round.
It is now blood orange season. At least, it is in Spain and Italy, which is where the oranges come from here. It took me a while to get used to seeing places of origin such as “Spain” on a box of fruit. I used to think “That is ridiculous, buying fruit all the way from Spain” but oranges in Ontario come from Florida and Mexico, which are just as far and farther.
€3 for 3kg. That is the price of blood oranges right now. And in a few short months, you won’t be able to find them anywhere. The market was lousy with oranges today.
The problem is that I went to the market to buy lemons. Unwaxed, thick-skinned lemons. Luckily, the guy who sells heritage apples and pressed cider had some lovely ones.
Cross-posted at http://www.threebythree.ca/blood-oranges/ where one of the February themes is “citrus”.