Most people consider “seasonal” to mean change that happens four times per year. But when it comes to cooking with fresh produce, there are actually closer to eight seasons, sometimes more. Yep, there are seasons within seasons (also known as microseasonality), which is something both chefs and home cooks should pay attention to, in order to get the best flavor out of their ingredients.
A recent article in The New York Times touched on the subject of microseasonality, explaining that vegetables and fruits have an early and late spring season, early and late summer season and so on, with slightly different flavors and textures for each, making them better for certain uses at certain times.
The tomato, for example, is hard and green in the early summer before it hits peak ripeness. Late-season tomatoes are overripe and overly soft, and much sweeter than early-season ones. Green tomatoes can be fried, pickled or made into chutney. Ripe tomatoes at their peak are great for slicing on sandwiches, salads or eating as they come, and late-season tomatoes are perfect for sauces, gazpachos and dressings.
SEE ALSO: What’s In Season – Summer
Being in touch with the seasons within seasons and connecting with agriculture is an important part of growing your skills at home. It allows you to get the most flavor out of your fresh fruits and veggies, and there’s nothing more delicious than that! What is some of your favorite seasonal produce? Do you have a certain time of the season that you enjoy it the most? Let us know in the comments!