Florida has quite the advantage when it comes to the variety of fresh, delicious foods available all year long. Thanks to the state’s tropical climate, the growing season is significantly longer than most other states in the country, making Florida the primary source of winter produce for much of the Eastern U.S.
“It’s important to stay informed and understand the growing season in Florida,” says Justin Timineri, chef and international culinary ambassador for the state of Florida. “At peak season, you know you’re getting the freshest produce, the price is going to be better and we’re supporting farmers when we eat fresh and in season.” He adds that Florida’s agricultural diversity makes being a chef in the state a huge treat.
While January may bring cold and gloomy weather in many other parts of the country, Florida’s mild climate provides fresh avocados, oranges, strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, snap beans, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli and tangerines, among other fruits and vegetables, for consumers to enjoy. Crops including mushrooms, peanuts and guava are available fresh throughout the entire year.
Timineri says that the diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables that is available not only allows consumers to vary their diets, but also helps to foster the different cultures of Florida.
“Not only do we have very different amazing fruits and vegetables, livestock and seafood, coming from the Gulf and the Atlantic, but when you pair that with the different cultures and cuisines we have as well, it’s incredibly diversified and amazing. We have the entire spectrum here,” he says.
For an in-depth look at when certain types of produce are in season in Florida, refer to the seasonal availability chart below, and visit www.freshfromflorida.com for more information.