Spring 2018 officially kicks off on Tuesday, March 20th, and I couldn’t be more excited! In addition to more daylight and sunshine, I’m eagerly awaiting a new crop of produce. March signifies a transition from dense root vegetables to light, vibrant ones.

Following the seasons has such a positive impact on our health, our environment and our plates. As we progressively move toward warmer days, our fruit and vegetable bounties will adjust to provide us with the nutrients and flavors we crave this time of year. As a chef, I base my menus around these natural cycles. Here are just a few reasons why you should, too!

4 Reasons to Eat in Season:

  1. Better tasting: Local, season produce is fresh produce. It hasn’t traveled on planes or across oceans. It hasn’t been stored in a freezer and it’s not artificially grown. Seasonal produce is naturally harvested and picked at just the right time, producing exquisite flavors. Asparagus, for example, is available mostly year-round. But try it in spring, and you’ll discover an entirely different texture and taste.
  2. Easy to source: If I were to base a winter menu around rhubarb, I might have a difficult time finding enough (or any at all). When you plan menus that are seasonal, you’ll almost never have trouble sourcing ingredients. Seasonal produce is what’s most abundant in a given time of year. It’s also what will yield the best results.
  3. Less costly: Supply and demand affect cost, right? So let’s say, you’re looking for sorrel in the fall. If you find it, you may discover that it’s way more expensive than sorrel in the spring. Why? Because it’s a rarity in fall. When food is plentiful, it’s typically available at a lesser cost.
    Bonus Tip: Check out CSAs and farmers’ markets for the best deals on fresh, sustainable foods.
  4. Improved nutrition: Mother Nature is a smart cookie. She knows that in the winter we need warming, dense foods to protect us from the cold. In spring and summer, we require lighter fruits and vegetables to keep us active, cool and hydrated. If we continually eat in season, our bodies will get the nutrients we need all year long.

If you’re excited about enjoying the season’s best this spring, check out this short list of some of my favorite produce coming in March, April and May.

Chef Michael’s Spring Produce Guide:

Asparagus (+ White Asparagus)
Fava Beans
Fiddlehead Ferns
Morel Mushrooms

Not sure how to use sorrel or need a great rhubarb pie recipe? Contact us! Our Artisans are always happy to help you whip up something delicious!