Winter vegetables

April 6, 2015 by Joshua
in Nature

I’m looking forward to spring fruit as much as anyone. I can’t wait for strawberries. I bought some last week, but they weren’t ready. I don’t think they were early for this season but shipped in from somewhere else. They didn’t taste like strawberries. I still remember the first strawberry I tasted in Paris the first Spring I was there. Best strawberry I’ve tasted, probably bred for flavor instead of size and color.

And forget about when cherries come in season. I’m liable to eat them until I feel sick, smiling the whole time.

I’ve been getting local vegetables through my community supported agriculture shipments. Winter shipments mean a lot of potatoes, carrots, radishes, parsnips, rutabagas, and other winter vegetables. They don’t sound that mouth-watering, but experience is making me glad I’m getting them. I wish I’d started getting these shipment earlier.

Some I’ve never had before, which is part of the reason I did it—to taste garden vegetables I never did before and force myself to figure out how to eat them. I knew I chose right when I saw and tasted my first sunchoke. Holy cow, they’re delicious! And they look bizarre. I reinforced that choice last night when I ordered some at a restaurant that deep fried them. Eating them fresh and steamed gave more flavor, nuance, and texture besides just the crunch of frying. I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Radishes don’t taste as pleasurable as fruit flown in from wherever, but parsnips taste good. You have to think of what to do with them, but you can. This winter was cold enough that a few shipments got delayed because they couldn’t get into the ground. Living in Manhattan means I can go to the store when I want to get what I want, but I like working with what the vegetable farms around me bring.

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