For a couple of years now I’ve been buying a vegetable box each week. Some people think that it is a waste of money and are quite entitled to their opinions, but for me it has allowed my kitchen adventures to take on a whole new lease of life.
So, what could be so amazing about a vegetable box that it changes the whole way you cook? This past week mine contained parsnips, swede, sprouts, potatoes, pak choi, celeriac and cauliflower. None of that is particularly exciting, you might think, but what it does is allow me to do is eat tastier food, all of the time. And next I’ll explain how.
If you head to your supermarket for your food shopping you’ll see how the fruit and vegetables they have remains fairly constant the whole year round. This is because they source them from multiple places so that when something isn’t in season here it can still be sold. Unfortunately for the consumer this means it has been transported sometimes for thousands of miles across the world, losing vitamins and becoming starchy and flavourless as it does so. The types of fruit and vegetables they stock haven’t been selected for flavour, instead for regularity of appearance, long shelf-life, and high resistance to the travelling distance. Anyone who has tried a shop bought tomato against a home grown variety will testify; they taste watery and have a thick, tough skin.
When my box arrives it contains fruit and vegetables grown usually at one particular farm and always grown locally. As such the shelf life is short; the products selected have to be in season here and now. As a result I get forced rhubarb in February, Asparagus in May, Strawberries in July…you get the idea. All of it is full of flavour and healthier for it. We never have to wonder what is for dinner, instead we are led by whatever happens to have arrived in this weeks vegetable box – our dinners are therefore determined entirely by what nature has provided, not what the supermarkets have decided to put on the shelves to make the most profit.