Rhythm of cooking with seasons ‘under threat
as few know their veg’

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fewer THAN one in 10 people know when some of the UK’s most well-known fruit and vegetables are in season, a poll has revealed.

The research, which found 90 per cent or more of those quizzed could not name the correct months when produce such as broad beans, blackberries or asparagus are in season, suggests the “traditional rhythm” of cooking with the seasons is being lost.

The survey of more than 2,000 people by BBC Good Food Magazine found that just four per cent of people could correctly say when plums were in season and five per cent knew the three months blackberries were ripe for eating, while 10 per cent guessed correctly for gooseberries, and nine per cent for outdoor rhubarb.

Even for one of the most popular seasonal fruits, strawberries, less than a quarter –23 per cent – knew that they were in season in June, July and August. The scores were just as low for vegetables, with only seven per cent correctly naming that asparagus is in season in April, May and June. The best performance was for new potatoes, but only 13 per cent correctly named May, June and July as the key months.

Gillian Carter, BBC Good Food Magazine editor, said: “Cooking with the seasons has always given a delicious structure to the cook’s calendar, but our survey shows this traditional rhythm is under threat. Although many of the respondents could hazard a guess, very few knew the exact months that produce was in season.”

The vast majority of people – 86 per cent – thought it was important to shop seasonally, with 78 per cent claiming to look actively for food that is in season. But only a third felt supermarkets helped them do so.