Shopping changes with every season. Even though you are still able to find everything that you need at the supermarket, you still have to be very careful about what you buy and eat, even more so if you manage a restaurant in Florence or anywhere else!
Buying seasonal products, in order to create a seasonal menu both for ourselves and for our customers, allows us to be more aware about responsible nutrition, which is not only good for our health but also for nature.
One of the best things that has come out of the ever growing “green” movement in the past few years is the gradual and constant search for different kinds of food, local foods, independent from the common market. That logic dictates that we can consume any product during any period of the year, regardless of our body’s needs, which, on the contrary, respond better to whatever nature has to offer us seasonally.
The rebirth of small producers and the growing tendency to return to original methods, in contrast to the speedy globalisation process, is directly linked to a cuisine that uses seasonal products and determines a different mode of shopping.
Good reasons to buy seasonal products
(without delving into ethical, political, social or economical arguments)
A – Food is tastier and more nutritious. This first statement is more than enough reason in itself. If fruit and vegetables are local, cultivated organically and ripened in the sun, not only they are rich in both organoleptic properties and minerals from the earth but you can also fully taste the numerous flavours and aromas that they have. The products that you find in the supermarket are cultivated in a very different way (grown hydroponically, with artificial lights and chemical fertilizer) and harvested before they have ripened, because quite often they are shipped a long way in a refrigerating cell and then they ripen thanks to the Ethylene gas. Wonderful.
Besides, let’s not forget that vitamins start deteriorating as soon as a fruit or vegetable has been harvested. What nutritional value is left in a fruit when it’s been stored for a long time in a refrigerating cell? None!
B – Buying seasonal products, we support the local economy: small agricultural producers are the ones who have suffered the most due to the globalisation of food processes. They grow products that are always fresh and very often they do so without the help of chemicals, offering us nutritious and healthy ingredients. So why don’t we help them?
C – We protect biodiversity: small organic companies commit to preserving biodiversity and the balance of ecosystems (by rejecting the monoculture model) and to helping rediscover native species. This, in our opinion, is a fundamental value, linked to the preservation of our cultural and biological identity. Not bad, eh?
How to shop seasonally
It’s easy if you know which fruits grow naturally and are available during particular periods of the year. Here is a brief list to help you out with your seasonal shopping:
Great classics in Autumn: beetroot, broccoli, chard, spinach, cauliflower, kale, mushrooms, fennel, celery, squash, chestnuts and walnuts.
You can also find the last of the cucumbers, peppers and aubergines, because we have had a dry, hot start to Autumn.
These are the best elements to create a tasty menu, rich in flavour and totally nutritious! The combinations are endless and so are our appetites!
Do not hesitate to write us for further advice or to reserve a table to taste one of our recipes on our seasonal menu!