In many countries and regions, it is normal to have all different kind of fruits and vegetables all year round. Having all the choices and variety at any time of the year, we somehow got used to eating mango in winter without questioning the origin or sustainability.
In southern Italy, this notion is still not widely spread. The mild and warm climate of Apulia makes it a perfect region for Agriculture and fruit cultivation. While some hypermarkets are following the trend and start also importing non-seasonal products, the majority is still local. Even in restaurants, the fruit salad is made out of seasonal, regional fruits.
In many super – and hypermarkets, there is a list that indicates which fruits and vegetables are currently in season and locally grown. They are not just healthier and better for the environment but also a lot cheaper than imported goods. The even more authentic option is to go to a small local vegetable and fruit store or markets in the morning. They only carry local fruits and vegetables. The difference between imported and regional is also noticeable in the taste – fresh from the field and sun-ripened guarantees an intense flavor experience.
From whichever country you are maybe Apulia inspires you to integrate this approach for your next food purchase. It is easy to look up online which fruits and vegetables are in season and the timeline for them. Additionally, the products in supermarkets must usually be marked with their origin.
Whenever you are in Apulia, you should not miss the opportunity to enjoy the big variety of regionally grown delicacies. Here is a little guide to the seasonal fruits and vegetables of Apulia and the majority of the Italian regions:
Summer: Eggplant, cucumbers eggplant, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, peas, peaches, watermelon, melon, berries, figs, plums
Autumn: Fennel, spinach, mushrooms, truffles, pumpkin, chestnuts, figs, prunes, grapes, apples
Winter: Kale, potatoes, fennel, broccoli, artichokes, cabbage, onions, spinach, carrots, radicchio, oranges, clementines, mandarins, kiwis, persimmons, pomegranates, pears
Spring: asparagus, artichokes, zucchini, peas, beets, garlic, cherries, lemon, kiwi, strawberries
Modern technologies and globalization make it possible to almost eat almost all vegetables and fruits throughout the entire year. But a visit in Apulia means having the opportunity to enjoy regional, seasonal products bursting in flavor and enjoy them how they are originally meant to be.
Cover Picture © istock/jax10289
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