There are now more than twelve months of seasonal food options in Sherbhert’s bank of recipes and food ideas. If you want to search for a particular food, use the Sherbhert search option by simply typing in the food (e.g. Beetroot or Game) and hitting the “enter” key, to see what there is.
There are lots of good options for UK seasonal foods available to buy now. Look out for beetroots, fresh horseradish root, parsnips and brussels sprouts, as well as, perhaps surprisingly, sprout tops: Also, the essential leafy winter greens cavolo Nero, kale and purple sprouting broccoli for example. The challenge can be finding these quality seasonal foods – look out for them at Farmers’ Markets, Farm shops and fruit and vegetable box schemes.
Apples are still very good as are pears, but you need to buy them when they are firm and store them at a low temperature, taking out a few to ripen at room temperature for a day or so to enjoy them at their best.
There are also lots of delicious and nutritious UK grown nuts such as walnuts, cob nuts and chestnuts which can be cracked open with some sturdy nutcrackers (quite a calming experience actually) and eaten raw. They are a good addition to a cheese board too.
Sustainably fished halibut, hake, haddock and the fabulously majestic turbot are all good options in December as are clams, crabs, cockles and mussels.
And don’t forget foraged foods which, if you are not an expert forager, can be bought online direct from forager.org.uk or through farmdrop.com – these foods are unusual, interesting and delicious so do try them as there are so many things in season now: such as Pennywort, Purple Dew Plant and Sea Aster, which can all be used in salads or stir fries and Sea Beet, the highly nutritious and delicious vibrant leafy green which needs to be steamed for a few minutes.
And, some excellent news for wine production in the UK is that Langham Wines in Dorset langhamwine.co.uk have been crowned International Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year, seeing off some of the top champagne houses – Veuve Clicquot was last year’s winner – in the International Wines and Spirits Competition. This award was for the producer demonstrating the highest quality across their range (there were more than 700 entries). In particular, Langham’s Blanc de Blanc 2015 was given the Gold Medal.
And some recommended online sources of good foods:
wildmeat.co.uk – meat including game and poultry – you can even get pig’s ears and ready-made gravies as well as traceable and responsibly caught smoked fish.
fishforthought.co.uk – a wide range of sustainable Cornish Fish including turbot, hake, lobsters, crabs, cockles and mussels.
forager.org.uk – all kinds of seasonal foraged greens, berries and nuts and some preserves including vinegars.
ringdenfarm.co.uk – apples and pears and juice – delivery only in some areas but also available at some farmer’s markets but the website gives a comprehensive and helpful list of varieties of both apples and pears.
farmdrop.com – all of the above and more – they currently deliver to all Central London areas and are expanding outside of the M25.
In case you didn’t know already: –
Sherbhert champions local and seasonal produce, not least because it is fresh and delicious but also because:
- It reduces the energy needed to grow and transport food
- It avoids the premium paid for food that is scarcer and has travelled long distance
- It supports local economies (even more important now)
- It connects us with nature
- It reduces food packaging waste
- It is value for money
If you are interested or confused about food and what to eat or not eat, do read “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan. This easy to follow book of simple food rules makes so much sense and it’s a short read.