You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again… eating seasonally is a must and here at Bancone, we’re all about just that.
“We work with seasonal ingredients to make the most of the best tasting produce. This even means in some months we’ll go without tomatoes until they’re back to their best, despite them being a staple in Italian cooking.”
– Louis Korovilas, head chef at Bancone.
But we appreciate that the idea of letting your diet be dictated by the seasons isn’t that straightforward. Firstly, what is eating seasonally? Well, simply put, it means eating food that is grown at the same time of the year you eat them. For example, that means strawberries in the summer, and sprouts in the winter. For far too long we have been given unfiltered access to any fruit and veggie that we fancy – only to be disappointed by the end product.
Here’s 5 benefits that you’ll enjoy from choosing to eat seasonally…
Getting your seasons in a muddle and choosing produce that hasn’t been allowed to ripen in the sun will mean you’ll pay the price for flavour. Food naturally grows at different times throughout the year and if you stick to what’s in season, it’ll taste much better. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder so allow your produce the time it needs and you’ll certainly appreciate it that little bit more.
And, it’s not just the added benefit of flavour, eating with the seasons will mean you’ll save on your weekly supermarket shop too. When farmers are harvesting a large abundance of produce due to the crop being in season, the price tag will reflect that so you won’t be paying a premium on your food.
There’s a pressure today to eat ‘5 a day’ to keep your health in check but this shouldn’t mean sacrificing quality for quantity. In season fruit and veg are picked when they’re ripe, fresh and in their prime. Giving the plant more time to fully develop increases it exposure to sunlight which means it’ll be packed with antioxidants.
Take those delicious Sicilian Blood Oranges by example that we all love to indulge on during the harvest months of January – April. Eaten out of season, the naturally occurring Vitamin C contents will rapidly decline when they’re farmed, transported and chilled for lengthened periods of time.
As we move through the year, we instinctively crave different foods to satisfy what our bodies want. Colder months bring all things citrus and a welcomed increase in Vitamin C to combat unwanted colds and flu. During the summer, we often have a hunger for more refreshing, lighter ingredients that provide perfect salad ingredients.
Letting nature do it’s thing and produce grow when the time’s right will also mean that there’s a limited need for human interaction. This will reduce the use of pesticides that can be harmful for not only the environment but also our health too.
Like Louis referenced the tomatoes, from time to time, there are “hunger pangs” in the year where produce is not readily available. But, with a little bit of imagination, you can work with what’s obtainable. Challenge your creativity and keep cooking fun by researching recipes that allow you to eat with the seasons.
However you choose to do your bit to eat more seasonally, keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate your every day eating. Your bank balance will certainly thank you and you can enjoy the added benefits that eating with the seasons can bring.
Here’s a great site to help you eat seasonally – http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk/
And if you fancy eating out, you can be confident that our menu here at Bancone is chosen with the season in mind. Book your table here.