Seasonal food is important for extra freshness, value and flavour, find out ‘what’s in season’ this month and how to make the most of seasonal flavours from our Farm shop.
Pumpkins & Squashes
Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween lanterns. Inside the hard orange or yellow skin, the bright orange flesh is sweet and honied. They are a particularly good source of fibre, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals. Great for roasting in their skins, soups, curries and for their seeds, pumpkins are a very hearty versatile squash!
The term venison was originally used to describe the meat of any furred game, the meat is dark, lean and generally tender, though wild venison might be a little tougher. Availabilty from about 21st October to middle February, use the meat in stews, casseroles, pies and roasting, this meat love to be marinated for over 24 hours to Ooze flavour.
Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are over 7,000 varieties in existence, many of which are grown in Britain but, despite that, only around 12 varieties are commonly sold in UK. Colours range from red, to yellow and green, but all varieties fall into one of two categories: eating, also sometimes called dessert apples, Pippin, Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths, Braeburn, Gala, Pink Lady and Jonagold or cooking, with the latter being more tart in flavour, a result of their higher levels of malic acid (the best is Bramley), the texture can be very crisp and juicy or more yielding, according to variety. All apples are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fibre, great roasted with meat such as pork or made into delicious james and jellies or desserts like crumble or pies, one of the most used fruit this time of year!
The cabbage, or brassica, family is huge, and includes everything from the familiar red, white or green varieties with tightly packed leaves, the round, crinkle-leafed Savoy cabbage and the pale, lozenge-shaped Chinese leaf are considered to be two of the best to cook with. The flavour of cabbage varies from type to type, ranging from savoury to gently sweet, but one thing they all have in common is a pungent smell if overcooked, so brief cooking is key, try gentle frying with a little butter or brasing in some stock cubes to get the flavour just perfect!
The juiciest fruit in the stone fruit family, plums come in many different varieties, some sweet, some slightly more tart. All plums however have certain characteristics in common, with smooth, richly coloured skins and a hard central stone, great for making pies, jams and chutneys.
The world’s favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of the nightshade family, like tomatoes and aubergines, it originated in South America and has been grown in Europe since the 16th century. Shapes vary from small (‘finger’) potatoes like Anya to large, round types like the King Edward. Most have pale brown skins and cream or yellow flesh, but some speciality varieties are differently coloured, like the Purple Peruvian. Floury potatoes such as Maris Piper are ideal for mash and baking this time of year to make all your warming dishes such a delicious delight.
Fresh from our own herd, autumn Lamb has the sweetest of flavours. Many different cuts of lamb are available, which you buy depends on how you want to cook it. For roasts, the best cuts include leg, breast, best end of neck (also known as rack of lamb), shoulder, saddle, rump and loin this time of year. Lamb is also available minced (good for shepherd’s pie) and you can also buy lamb offal (mainly the kidneys and liver but also, less commonly, the heart and the sweetbreads), which is quick to cook, cheap and nutritious. Our butchers cut any size to suit…