Spring Stinks (The Fruit, That Is)

Fruit, even more so than vegetables, I try to eat seasonally and locally as much as possible for one simple reason: it tastes so much better.

Since we are a family that likes fruit, each spring I face a similar conundrum. Long before March, apples and pears have become mealy and tasteless. The height of winter citrus season is over, and strawberries won’t grace my local farmer’s market until June, bringing with them the promise of a summer full of berries and stone fruit…that leads to fall’s bounty of apples and pears.—

But for now – March, April, and May – I’m stuck.

So this time of year I tend to fall back on a couple of strategies that aren’t perfect. First off, we eat more dried fruit, which I love, especially dates, figs, cherries, and apricots.

Secondly, I spring for the imports: grapes, kiwi, mango, and pineapple. They’re bright-tasting and keep color on my daughter’s plate. I know there are many reasons not to eat fruit from abroad, food miles being chief among them, but as I said my solutions aren’t perfect.

This year, I’ve added a third arrow to my quiver: frozen fruit, like the strawberries on Rosa’s oatmeal in the accompanying photo. Frozen fruit has the benefit of being picked and frozen at the height of ripeness, so at least it tastes pretty good. And while nothing will taste as sublime as a local, summer strawberry, in the fruit doldrums of spring a frozen one isn’t half-bad.

–Jenna Helwig, Rosaberry

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