A green brush stroke at its base the last remnant of the life force that thrust into being its violaceous stalk, each tip pricked a muted gold…
The idea of local-seasonal food choices as a component of food ethics has been under my skin since it was first discussed in a food ethics class at the Oregon Culinary Institute.
Now that the seasonal tide has turned in favor of the freshest, most beautiful and most flavorful produce, the choices become easier.
Each week for the past month I’ve bought flats of tiny, early berries for strawberry-rhubarb compote, fresh strawberry sauce for strawberry-Moscato torte and as garnish for strawberry
shortcake and Baba au Rhum.
If I back this season up up by 45-60 days, my fruit choices are limited to Central Valley California, Mexico and Chile, a completely different depth of flavor and tenderness, and a whole lot of food miles.
I look at the issue professionally and personally. While baking and pastry is my profession, the Nicoletta’s Table pastry department also bakes daily savory tarts for the customer. Easy access to out-of-season zucchini, asparagus and onions, although convenient, does not equate to the baby zucchini, lithe asparagus and spring onions (particularly cipollini) currently in the market.
To me, choosing fruit and vegetables in season means not choosing them when they’re out of season.
If I’ve made a personal commitment to eat seasonally, I then must extend that commitment to my profession.
Let the sweetness of the season begin…