It amazes me how most people don’t really know what is in season. First off, a good indicator is that is the least expensive thing in the produce section is usually in season. Second, it looks like it did not travel far, or does not have a thick skin. Or perhaps it is ugly, and not “perfect” like the hothouse variety of veggie.
Let’s face it. Local veggies are not as “pretty” as the things shipped in from other countries. My tomatoes, for example, are Rutgers, which is an heirloom variety. They literally burst in your mouth with the seeds, and the skins are so thin that they would never make it to travel even if they were shipped down the street. In other words, don’t look for Rutgers tomatoes in your local grocery store. However, and I wax eloquent, they are the sweetest, most juicy and prolific tomatoes that I have ever known. Absolute YUM. This is true of many vegetables. They don’t ship the best, only the thick skinned veggies that can survive the shipping and storage in the grocery store. My poor Rutgers tomatoes, with all their amazing juiciness, would be a flat out bunch of seeds and pulp. However, which one would you like to eat? Ahh..I can tell you. There has never been a comparison to a fresh tomato.
“In season”. This little phrase says so much. Peas are not in season in North Carolina in July. Nor are tomatoes in season in February. If you see such things in the produce section, they are from far away. Frozen is preferred for having less pesticides and for the thicker skins bred into the vegetable to enable it to be shipped from far away.
I prefer fresh. My second choice is “fresh frozen” which is taking something at the height of it’s freshness and freezing it. I do that myself when I have an avalanche of fresh produce. However, a February tomato from Mexico will not darken my door. Frankly, I need to ask where it has been. It amazes me that this time of year (July in NC) that they are still selling absolutely “perfect” looking tomatoes at the local store from Mexico when we have so many local tomatoes that may not ship as well or look as perfect, but they are REAL tomatoes. I have to say “really????”
I know this is my soapbox, so I stand aside with great reluctance. I know that if even one person turns from processed and out of season veggies to noticing what is fresh, local and in season, that I will not be in vain in my efforts. I am saving seeds from my Rutgers tomatoes, and would be glad to ship some to anyone interested. Just provide postage, and I will send some on to you. Fresh press…over and out.