Season’s Eatings: Follow the flavour

Asparagus, new potatoes and rhubarb are all in peak season before UK new season veg gets going next month.

Some of the absolute seasonal favourites from this time of year include the first British-grown broad beans, new potatoes (Jersey Royals, Cornish or Pembrokeshire earlies) and asparagus.

Although British asparagus is delicious and prized for its short season, you can still find the occasional Peruvian label lurking on packs so it’s worth double checking. During the so-called Hungry Gap, Spanish-grown broad beans and broccoli cover for new season greenery until the main UK growing season kicks in, alongside front runners like UK purple sprouting broccoli.

On fruit, some of the earliest English strawberries will soon start to appear, along with the first European summer fruit bringing the taste of summer holidays: pick up a mini Spanish watermelon and prepare for the first of the stonefruit. In June and July, celebrate the end of the Hungry Gap like the end of Lent with a full rainbow of British-grown veg and salad, as well as berries and cherries in their peak seasons.

In summer, supply of favourites like apples, pears and citrus moves over to the southern hemisphere countries. They might not be flown, but they have much further to travel – so for peak freshness, follow the seasons of countries closer to home and you’ll be rewarded with the best flavour.

Explore our top veggie recipes for spring for more inspiration on seasonal eating.

This piece was initially published in the spring-summer edition of Wicked Leeks magazine. You can order a hard copy of the magazine until 17 May, or read the digital edition online for free.


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