I have to admit Spring is my favorite time of year. That is except for Summer, Fall and Winter, which also tend to be my favorites. I think what I love about the arrival of each new season is the myriad of new food choices it brings.
Because I live on the edge of a one of the countries most prolific farming communities I have gotten spoiled. Most of my friends in this area eat seasonally. That is to say that when tomatoes have gone out of season, no one eats them again until the following summer.
Eating seasonally not only assures that you will be consuming the freshest products at their peak of growth, in addition to supporting your local communities. It also signifies, (at least for me anyway) as a time where I can pig out on foods with the knowledge that I will only be doing it for a short while. When strawberries appear in late April and early May, I go ballistic making all different kinds of strawberry desserts. In fact I eat so many berries during this three week period, that I am literally sick of strawberries by the end of the season.
I believe that this is a wonderful thing. It not only promotes a love an appreciation for foods as they return every year. But it fosters a knowledge of foods and their origins.
As a chef in a restaurant, I also prefer to cook for my customers in the same way. I believe that they feel the same sense of excitement and if you are lucky enough to stay in business over the long haul, your clientele will look forward to these changes, year after year.
Besides, who the hell wants to pay the exorbitant prices for fruits and vegetable which are literally being shipped across the globe. Last night for dinner at my house we ate fresh first of season artichokes from the coastal fields of California This evening we enjoyed penne pasta with fresh Morel mushroom. What a treat. Unless of course you ask my two young daughters, who would tell you that mushrooms are disgusting and macaroni and cheese is the only way to go.