Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Stinks (the fruit, that is)

Fruit, even more so than vegetables, I try to eat seasonally and locally as much as possible for one simple reason: it tastes so much better.

Since we are a family that likes fruit, each spring I face a similar conundrum. Long before March, apples and pears have become mealy and tasteless. The height of winter citrus season is over, and strawberries won’t grace my local farmer’s market until June bringing with them the promise of a summer full of berries and stone fruit… that leads to fall’s bounty of apples and pears. But for now – March, April, and May – I’m stuck.

So this time of year I tend to fall back on a couple of strategies that aren’t perfect. First off, we eat more dried fruit, which I love, especially dates, figs, cherries, and apricots.

Secondly, I spring for the imports: grapes, kiwi, mango, and pineapple. They’re bright-tasting and keep color on my daughter’s plate. I know there are many reasons not to eat fruit from abroad, food miles being chief among them, but as I said my solutions aren’t perfect.

This year, I’ve added a third arrow to my quiver: frozen fruit, which has the benefit of being picked and frozen at the height of ripeness, so at least it tastes pretty good. And while nothing will taste as sublime as a local, summer strawberry, in the fruit doldrums of spring a frozen one isn’t half-bad.


Alli said...

I always wonder about this time of year too. Frozen fruit is a great one. I wish we had a peach tree so I could can them in the summer and eat them in the spring! Our grapes are only good for a few jars of jam.

Anonymous said...

In the spring I always want the summer fruits. I can't wait until they come in season. Bananas are good for this time of year (although I eat them year around).
I like the forzen fruit slightly frozen, that way it don't taste so mushy. LH

Jenna Helwig said...

A peach tree sounds wonderful! I would kill for a fresh peach right about now.

And LH, whoever you are... I think eating the fruit slightly frozen is the way to go. While the taste of frozen is pretty good, the texture is definitely lacking.