Have you ever wandered through a supermarket's fruit and vegetable section, gazed at all the produce, but been completely clueless as to what’s ‘en saison’? If you have, don’t worry – you’re not the only one!
Thanks to world-wide transportation, production, preservation and marketing networks, most products can now be found in supermarkets all year round.
For example, you might be able to find blueberries in the coldest depths of a northern hemisphere winter, but you can be sure that they’ve had a long journey all the way from South America to be there.
And their price tag will reflect that too – transatlantic travel costs of course mean that South American blueberries will be more expensive than local blueberries, picked and harvested when they are mature in our part of the world – that’s August and September in France.
French markets, however, are quite unique and special.
One of the reasons we love them so much is they tend to stock just the freshest of seasonal produce – on these markets, you can see the best of the seasonal and regional produce available. The Markets are packed with color and offer a stimulating sensory experience for visitors that will differ depending on the time of year and the location!
With many people shopping entirely at their local market, the French are well versed on their seasonal produce – they know what to buy and when and this is reflected in their cuisine throughout the seasons.
We think it would be great if everyone cooked more seasonally! So to help get you started on your seasonal culinary exploration, we’ve put together a calendar of what’s good and when (including some of the not-so-obvious French translations!).
One of the things we love about the Fall in France is that we start to see a beautiful selection of roots - 'légumes racine' (pannais, tompinambour, navet), a huge selection of mushrooms (Chanterelle, Cèpes, Trumpet de la Mort, Pleurotes, etc) and tons of the items from the squash family (courge, potimarron, potiron) returning to the market!
So if you're planning on visiting the market during the next months, you will find below a little list of ideas of what you should put in your shopping basket.
Soupe Froide de Melon
Ingredients for 4-6
Pinch of salt
Mix three ingredients in a blender until there are no lumps.
Pour into small glasses and garnish with Espelette Pepper.