Tag Archives: asparagus

Amazing asparagus

amazing-asparagus-blue-plate

I had never tasted asparagus so tender and young before. Out of this world.

Asparagus in the UK has a short season from May to mid-June.

Well, it used to.  The season now starts  in April in the UK. When a fellow food blogger bought hers last week, I was surprised – that’s climate change for you.

In supermarket-land, they appear all year long, spears the regulation length, lined up in rows in small plastic boxes. They look pretty – and are pretty tasteless.

The supermarkets now race to get seasonal British-born asparagus on their shelves.

Waitrose failed the test yesterday according to my mum, the queen of real food lovers. Shocked by its offering of Peruvian asparagus, my 80+ mum made a special trip to Marks & Spencers for the British kind. (Reader, thus is my provenance).

It’s not that I am jingo-istic, set against Johnnie-foreigner.

Nooooo, hardly. a) I believe in a world without borders b) I am of foreign-blood myself.

My love of seasonal stems from common sense. Eating food grown as near to where I live tastes fresher. Looking at the bigger picture, my spears’  journey-to-market is less polluting too.

My asparagus came 10 minutes away by foot thanks to the local organic grower setting up stall in the self-build eco-houses at St. Werburgh’s every Thursday afternoon until 6.30pm.

Mike is going to check the name of the grower for us next week. We hope to find out more how it was grown, as growing it organically is supposed to be hard.

He barely steamed the young spears then latticed them over fried brown rice, chilli and mushrooms (above).

We love brown rice but let’s face it, that’s hardly local.

So, Little Englander or bigger picture and more taste? Why do you like local food?

Stop press: Wrington Greens sell their fresh organic veg every Thursday 4.30-6.30pm at the Self-Build homes at Ashley Vale, St. Werburgh’s – please buy if you like to be wowed…

wrington-green-notice-at-st-werburghs

Mackerel, summer fish

I went for a walk with Mike and his friend Alan on the coast of north Cornwall, down a farmland path to the secluded beach of Tregardock where the sea is wild against the looming rocks. The nearest town is Port Isaac where this Cornish mackerel came from, landed that day.

Alan baked it for 20 minutes in the oven with butter and served it with steamed broccoli and asparagus. Opportunistically, it dawns on me that Alan was serving up a dish fit for a blog competition on seasonal eating.

Mackerel, said Alan, is a summer fish, while broccoli is also in season. But asparagus? Feeling like the Seasonal Police, I quizz Alan about its provenance. Oh dear, has seasonal-awareness turned me into an officious and impolite guest? He assures me Cornwall’s warm climate allows asparagus a longer season, and is not offended. Nevertheless this moment sums up the fine balance I tread between being a real food lover – and a prig.

Alan serves the dish with a leek-and-cheese sauce which adds a luxuriousness to everything and soon all thoughts of seasonal-criteria fade as I give myself to the pleasure of eating. It was delicious, tasty and went down a treat. What more do I want?