Recently, I looked up a restaurant online and was surprised to see a note in their menu that said that they don’t buy tomatoes and peppers in winter and thus can not offer all the food options. This made me think about my own consumption of fruits and vegetables in winter. When I opened my fridge I saw that I had carrots, tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, which I usually have all year. In my fruit basket were apples and bananas. I usually try to buy fruits and veggies that are produced in Europe, but did not make an effort yet to change my convenient “mediterranean” diet in winter time. However, when I saw the restaurant’s notice, I realized that I was behaving a bit hypocritical, as I knew that tomatoes, peppers and zucchini can not be produced in a sustainable way in winter. Luckily, I found on Utopia a calendar that shows the seasons when certain local fruits and vegetables are available from field and greenhouse growing. I immediately checked the fruits and veggies that I had at home and found out that peppers, zucchini and tomatoes should only be eaten from June/July to October. While the main season for carrots is also June to October, they can be eaten through storage all year round. The same applies to mushrooms, potatoes and cabbage. Of all local fruits, only apples can be stored and eaten all year round. Unfortunately there are no other local fruits in winter, but one can eat corn salad. The local vegetables that can be grown or stored in winter are pumpkin, spinache, leek, Brussels sprouts, savoy and red cabbage, beetroot, radish, and parsnip.
At my university a student organization organized a weekly bag of local and organic fruits and vegetables, which one could buy for 5 EUR. I really liked this concept of the “Groentetas“. In their weekly newsletter they also give very good recipes, which is why I posted some of them for winter vegetables here to give you an idea on what you can cook with them.
References: http://www.die-essgefaehrten.de/19102013-kraut-und-rueben/; https://utopia.de/ratgeber/der-utopia-saisonkalender/; https://www.facebook.com/groentetasutrecht/