Before the days of freon, so many foods signaled such a particular time of year that they were symbols of the seasons more reliable than any calendar. Even today asparagus heralds spring more surely than any number of robins; blackberries mean July, hot weather, and chiggers. Persimmons avenge themselves on those who try to jump into fall. And when the months of cooler weather—the “R” months—return, so does the oyster.
Before acceptance of refrigerated food transport (for meat only,