In recent times I ve begun to realise the importance to eating local and seasonal. Why eat seasonally ? Becoz it connects us to the fruit and vegetable calendar.It reminds us of the joys of that first slice of sweet juicy mangoes, eating a fresh Litchi or Mangosteen, hearing the call of the man on the road selling the ice apples (thaati nungu) watermelon on a hot summer day, having a summer barbecue and more.Secondly, when we pick produce at its peak and eaten, it has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than foods harvested before they’re ripe and then shipped long distances.
Eating seasonally often means eating locally grown foods, which makes it good for the environment too.It supports the local farmers, cuts down on pollution from shipping and trucking food and reduces your carbon footprint. And if all that’s not enough to get you to make some simple switches in your diet, consider this: In-season foods save you money. So out went the highly priced Blueberries and raspberry boxes and I started being more aware of the food I was eating.
In that spirit here are the current season’s fruits that you should savouring right now.
Mango – No words needed to describe Mangoes. Our indian ones are juicy and tasty. You can even make Squashes, Jams, chutney, Pickles to continue savouring it even after the season has passed.
Grapes – All varieties of grapes are in season, as are plums.
Watermelon – Very few people can resist biting into this fruit on a hot summer’s day. When its refrigerated and cut, it tastes even better. I even make watermelon juice and put it in an ice tray with a mint leaf to make little ice lollies. It’s a big hit with the kids for sure. Also you can also make the watermelon salad with feta cheese.
Ice apples – Youve heard the man with cart shout loudly every evening as he pushes his wares. It’s a childhood memory when during the summer holidays we would wait to hear the call of thaati nungu and then rush out to sample his wares, and hoping that little bit of the juice you get from the ice apples is sweet.
Litchi – It’s so local that it grows just outside Bangalore city. Sweet litchies are in season.
Jackfruit – I love jackfruit and can easily go overboard eating this fruit.
Among the vegetables all the gourds are in season now Snake,Bottle,Bitter,Ash and Ridge Gourd. As are Cucumbers, pumpkin, amaranth and Ladies Finger.
Enjoy your summer cooking with your seasonal produce and locally sourced fruits.
Pic Credits – Pic 1 Pic 2