Choosing Vegetables

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You could say it’s never been easier to choose vegetables. There they sit under the bright supermarket lights, their skins shiny, taut and blemish-free, and no matter what the time of year we can always find what the recipe demands. But although supermarkets have done an excellent job in making sure that fresh produce is always available to us, my instinct is still to go for vegetables grown in season, preferably locally, and picked as recently as possible. There are several advantages to shopping this way: first of all, seasonal vegetables taste much better: tomatoes, for example, that have been left to ripen on the vine, under the hot summer sun, are bursting with flavour – unlike insipid, hydroponically grown winter tomatoes that look good but taste of nothing. Secondly, if you buy in season the price is lower because there is an abundance of produce. Thirdly, seasonal vegetables produced locally rather than on the other side of the world haven’t been sitting on ships or planes for days or even weeks, so they are fresher and their nutritional content should be higher.