The importance of the law of the season: cheaper and higher quality products
When it comes to eating in public and private kitchens, everybody should pay tribute to the diversity and variety of the Spanish pantry, its great products and those who collect, prepare and distribute them so that they can offer their very best when they reach the table. ()
The seasonal cuisine of each region offers the greatest benefits from all points of view. As there is time for everything, there will be an opportunity to discover the virtues and surprises of ethnic cuisine, which is increasingly present in our multi-cultural cities.
Needless to say, the products with the best known or most obvious cycles are fruit and vegetables. However, seasonality can also be extended to meat and fish, as seasons do exist despite the unstoppable global trends.
On one hand, autumn is the time of great rejoicing in the fields and of great expectation in the kitchens. It is time for harvesting many important agricultural products: time for wild mushrooms and slaughtering, hunting, chestnuts and corn. Then winter comes along, with comfort food to regain strength and combat the outside temperatures. Christmas products are winter references of the season of splendour and stocking up: home-made stews and spoon dishes, plenty of root vegetables and legumes. Gilthead, sea bass, swordfish and cod, among many other species are brought into the fish markets. On the other hand, wild rabbits, deer, hare or pheasant are first rate hunting gems.
Then spring comes along with its lighter meals: vegetable apotheosis of peas, broad beans, asparagus, tomatoes, aubergines, artichokes, courgettes and wild mushrooms; but also fruit, such as apricots, cherries or plums, tangerines or strawberries, and white meat, such as lamb, rabbit or poulard, not to mention fish like tuna, trout or turbot.
To close this fascinating cycle, summer is a special season in which practically all habits are modified. Informal cuisine presides over each feast, with barbecues, seafood platters and outdoor dining: tomatoes that really taste like tomatoes and the same goes for melons, peaches and watermelons. Blue fish, such as sardines or mackerel take centre stage at this time of the year, as do squid and conger eel. To combat the extreme heat, there is no shortage of ice-cream and sorbets.