Seasonal Food: February

Note: This article is the first in a new series, whereby Seasonal Food is highlighted at the start of each month, hopefully enabling people to buy and eat fresh produce.

February is a perculiar month – and a fairly miserable one, too. With Christmas’s festivities and the New Year’s celebrations firmly behind us, this is the time of year when we truly begin to get fed up with all the cold weather.

Where the start of Winter brings exciting promises of comfort food and snow, by February we’ve settled on the fact that really all we can expect are more grey skies. Depressing, to say the least.

February this year (at least where I live, in the North of England) is also a little suprising; due to the warm Winter, Spring’s flower shoots can already be seen poking out from the soil. Global warming, or just a temperature “blip”? Time will tell.

  • In terms of food, there’s not an awful lot happening at this time of year either. All of Christmas’s vegetables such as Cabbage, Celeriac and Sprouts can still be found, and a few others are in mid-season – notably the Endive (Chicory) and Leeks.
  • Of course fruits are nothing but a dream at the moment, and the Apple season is behind us – but you may be lucky in finding the years early Forced Rhubarb – with a more delicate taste than the naturally grown variety.
  • Winter’s Game season has just finished, but of course that means you should be ok to buy any number of Pheasants for the next week or so – or longer, if the butcher has some in the freezer. You’ll also find your local fishmonger stocking Crab, Mussels and Oysters for a good while yet.

In summary, while the weather may be depressing and we’re all secretly hoping for Spring to come along a little faster (or at least some real Winter weather, with snow and suchlike), we can still george ourselves with a selection of Shellfish before finishing it all off with Rhubarb Crumble…So it isn’t all bad, is it?