These days, with modern transport and refrigeration systems, we can all eat what we want at any time of year. Strawberries in January? Asparagus in November? No problem! Having so much choice available all year round is great, but we’ve started to lose our awareness of what is actually in season at which time of year. What we gain in choice and convenience we might be losing in other areas.
For example, seasonal food that’s come from a UK source rather than being imported usually tastes better and contains higher levels of vitamins and other nutrients. This is particularly true of vitamin C, where the levels start to deplete as soon as the fruit or vegetable is harvested. We naturally tend to gravitate towards food that’s in season – most of us would choose a hearty winter root vegetable soup at this time of year, rather than a plate of salad. Experts at the British Nutrition Federation recommend seasonal eating, saying that ‘fruit and vegetables have a higher vitamin C content, and they are also cheaper and more available.’ Produce with a longer shelf life will have more preservatives added, so if you can, shop locally at farmers’ markets and eat your purchases as soon as possible. Anything you can’t eat quickly fresh can be frozen to preserve the nutritional value.
Eating fruit and vegetables in season means also means getting the very best flavour, and stops us getting bored with eating the same thing all year round. Here at the Swettenham Arms, our menu changes along with the year’s cycle. On our winter menu, you’ll find seasonal produce including cabbage, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, as well as seasonal meats like venison and game. Come and enjoy a place of our delicious food in the cosy atmosphere ofy our real log fire.