Friday, July 10, 2009

Seasonal Cravings

What to do when you are craving something totally out-of-season? (Assuming you are trying to more or less stick with seasonal produce of course. If you are an asparagus-in-January kind of person then this question probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense.)

Please weigh in here: what do you do when you have a hankering for cucumbers in March or strawberries in December? If you buy these things at the local grocery store (where they have likely been shipped in from California or a South American country) how do they taste? Do they satisfy the craving?

I have found that the more I eat with the seasons the less I can imagine eating something that's out-of-season or not grown locally. Not because I'm trying to be a local-food zealot, but because my cravings for certain foods have totally fallen into line with what's available at the farmers' market. I have found that the out-of-season foods create the wrong temperature in my body, which can lead to feeling imbalanced and, if this persists, a tendency to illness (for example, eating lots of cooling food like raw salads or melons in winter can bring down the body's internal temperature and lead to feeling cold and "catching" cold).

As I have become more sensitive to these things I've observed that certain foods feel really appropriate at certain times, and these times seem to be when they are in season. This is a bit like what happens when you become more sensitive to sugar and it doesn't feel good any more to eat something that's really sweet: you simply don't want it any longer -- it's not even a matter of deprivation. Have you noticed this at all?


  1. Hmmm this is a really interesting idea! I will pay attention to this in my future eating :) I am not sure if eating produce out of season makes me feel weird, but it is sometimes disapointing. Buying seasonal produce from my local farmer's market has made me appreciate the real thing more than ever, so I really notice the difference between small but super-sweet local strawberries and those giant mutant fake strawberries sold in the grocery store. Shopping local definitely improves one's palate. (Although I must admit, I love eating asparagus all year round!)

  2. I had no idea about local food until a couple years ago. Now I feel more connected with the cycles of nature. I do crave out of season fruit and whenever I eat it...I can tell that it wasn't as fresh as I'd like it to be. You raise an interesteing point about asparagus in winter. I've noticed that my husband, Owen, craves brussel sprouts in the summer and asparagus in the winter. hmmm, very interesting.