I love the idea that we live in a time when we can get any produce at any time, at least hypothetically. Yet recently, I’ve come to notice that foods that are forced to grow out of season just don’t taste as good. The out-of-season foods may be uniform in size and shape, and they are made to pack and travel well; that makes them reliable in a sense. Yet what is missing, for me, is the concentrated flavor and organic variation that makes the food visually and aesthetically pleasing. As an artist, I cannot imagine wanting to draw a perfect apple or raspberry; that would make for an artificial-looking image composition at best, more like wax than something edible. Apparently my taste buds feel the same way!
Lately, I’ve been making fresh fruit snacks from whatever fruit is in season, usually from local growers. Organic is a preference, where available, though a good wash removes most of the chemicals. I choose fruit that is just at, or nearly past, its peak, firm but starting to get a little soft. Ready to eat today or tomorrow is my general rule, and it has to be “smelly”, that is to say ripe. If there is no scent to the food, then I walk away. From May onwards, local farmers markets are opening in school parking lots and community centers, and that’s my favorite place to shop for fresh produce. It’s always good to learn something new from the grower, and the sensory experience of seeing the food and being amongst community members makes me feel connected. Being in the moment, and noticing what my body wants to eat is also part of the experience.
Balances of sweet and savory appeal to me most, things like pears with curry cashews and chopped dates, pistachios sprinkled over nectarines, accompanied by a sharp cheese (Beecher’s Flagship), some pickled onions, snappy crackers (Ritz baked). Here are some snacks I’ve enjoyed from March through May in Seattle.
Author, Artist, Maker, and Publisher. I worked as a Senior Design Manager at Microsoft for 16 years. My passionate hobbies include illustration, writing books, cooking and making. I also like to tell stories about my fictional friends - I love the alchemy of cooking and the art of making jewelry and perfume.
June 19, 2013 at 9:05 am
There is nothing better than stone fruit in its season. That luscious combination of sweet tart juicyness is just irresistable. For Australia the peak of this season is December – just in time for Christmas parties and summer cocktails. My favourite combination is a green leafy salad with brie and thin slices of nectarines gently drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Yummy…
June 20, 2013 at 5:51 am
Sounds fabulous! I particularly like the combination of hearts of romaine, or butter lettuce, with fruit.