With the development of technology, the so-called “seasonality” of products is practically gone. We can find tomatoes, figs or mushrooms at any time convenient for us and in any place. And only the price matter.
You see, the problem is that winter figs cannot be found everywhere and its price will be five times more high, winter tomatoes do not have a good taste, and watermelons in December usually taste like water.
Some recipes call for unseasonal ingredients like fresh strawberries for Christmas table or figs for you cozy winter pie, and I strongly do not recommend to buy them off their seasons. The quality of seasonal products is ten times better.
Today, we will figure out which products are best to buy during the fall and how to use them.
Chanterelles. End of August – early November.
The season of chanterelles begins in the middle of summer. However, they do not arrive at the market shelves until the end of August and beginning of September. Their season can last until early November, however, in some countries their yield is highly dependent on the amount of rain.
In cooking, they are best used in sauces for pasta, risotto, and stew. To get an adequate portion for four people, you need about 1 kilogram of mushrooms, as they have the property of shrinking after being exposed to heat.
Figs. End of August – end of September.
The season for figs is ridiculously short – from late August to early October max, however, sometimes it’s hard to find ripe berries. In some cases, after buying a fig, you need to wait a day or two before it becomes ripe enough so you can enjoy. Ripe figs should be soft, but not too soft for you to crush them.
If you suddenly want to do something with figs for Christmas (God, I’ve seen so many recipes calling for figs in winter!), it’s better to freeze it, because a fresh product in winter will cost a lot and probably will not be as good as the fall one.
The fig will go great in salads, pastries or ducks. It also can be baked and served along with a cheese plate with honey. Ah, yes, pizza with balsamic, mozzarella, arugula and figs will also perfectly complement your fall table!
Tomatoes. Early September – early November.
Supermarkets that sell tomatoes 24/7 365 days a year have taught us that tomatoes do not have seasons, but that’s not entirely accurate. Only some of their variations grow almost all year round, but delicious tomatoes are found from early September to the beginning of November.
In good restaurants, even Italian restaurants, fresh tomatoes are used seasonally, and for the rest of the time, they use canned ones from Italy. They are called San Marzano and are good!
I remember how shocking that was when I found out that tomatoes disappeared entirely from our menu by early November and did not return until the next season. The exception was cherry tomatoes.
Watermelons. The end of August – middle of October.(different in some countries)
Melons and watermelons begin to appear in early September, and this is the time when you should have them. Their season is also abridged: until the end of October max. Both products can be found in winter. However, you must know that there will be a small gap between its price and the quality.
Despite the fact that watermelons are most delicious when consumed raw, they also go great with salads with croutons, ice creams, sorbets and even pokes, which I’ll show you soon (vegetarians, you will love it!)
Pumpkin. Beginning of September
Pumpkins come to the stores in early September and, stay there until winter, although they are still considered as a Fall product. There is a competition in the US among farmers who are trying to find out who has grown the biggest pumpkin this year.
Pumpkins have several varieties, but the most popular ones are Muscat and butternut. They go well in soups, pasta, mousse, salads and even desserts. Starbucks started the tradition of adding pumpkins to coffee and now every fall we are looking forward to pumpkin spice latte.
Apples. End of August – end of October.
In fact, apples, like tomatoes, never end, but a large crop is harvested in late August, and it is believed that during this period that they are at their best.
The most popular product from apples in fall is a charlotte pie, and we’ll talk about it a little later in a separate post.
You can also add apples to salads, bake them, make jam with spices and compote.