Correct me if I’m wrong, but there is very little obviously seasonal produce in the U.S. for the average consumer. Pumpkins come to mind. You go to the grocery store in October and suddenly there are huge crates of pumpkins everywhere.
But what about the rest of the produce? Any time of year you can get onions, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, oranges, apples, blueberries, lemons, kiwis, etc. The price may vary a little, but it’s not that significantly more or less expensive at different times of year. Am I right? That’s the way I remember it.
I remember being able to go to the grocery store and picking up whatever I felt like having that particular day. It was always there, no matter if it was the dead of winter or the middle of summer.
Armenia has made me appreciate seasonal produce so much. (Well, during the season, anyway.) In the regions of Armenia, it’s impossible to be ignorant of what is in season and what isn’t. There are drastic differences in availability, price, and quality between “in season” and “out of season” produce.
For example, tomatoes in the summer are delicious, firm, red, and 250 dram/kilo. In the winter, they are soft, tasteless, and as much as 1,200 dram/kilo. Green peppers are overly abundant in the summer, and also very tasty and absurdly cheap. You can hardly find them in the winter and the price you pay for one is what you would pay for a kilo of them in the summer. Fruit in the winter is limited to apples that are slowly going bad, and expensive bananas.
As winter slowly changed to spring this year, I waited impatiently for summer produce to start emerging. Finally it did. I remember my first purchase of cherries and how they felt like heaven in my mouth. I made strawberry shortcake. I bought eggplants and peppers and peaches and apricots and peas and cucumbers and tomatoes and mulberries. This summer has given me a wonderful abundance of produce, and I am so grateful for it. I haven’t eaten a potato in weeks, because I don’t have to; it’s not the only food available anymore!
And yesterday I ate a half of a watermelon all by myself. It was delicious.
I waited all winter for this, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
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