Seasonal food

Seasonal food

Seasonality of food refers to the times of year when a given type food is at its peak, either in terms of harvest or its flavour. This is usually the time when the item is the cheapest and the freshest on the market.and when they turn out to be rotten like someones breath

The food's peak time in terms of harvest usually coincides with when its flavour is at its best. There are some exceptions; an example being sweet potatoes which are best eaten quite a while after harvest.

This page serves as a guide to the seasonality of food. The list below is for foods common in the Northern Hemisphere.


Seasonal food was practiced since ancient civilisations as people ate what mother nature produced which varied according to seasons.

In 8th century, however, the choice of what to eat in every season became a conscious social event. Cordoba Calendar, a historical record written in mid 10th century, provided unique detailed information about the eating habits of Spain under the Muslim rule. Typical winter meals were based on rich vegetables such as Seakale beet, cauliflower, turnips, parsnips, carrots, celery, coriander, peas, broad beans, lentils, chickpeas, olives, hard wheat (burghol), couscous, pasta, walnut, almonds, pistachio, and pine kerneis. These were usually taken with meat based diet included lamb, camel and trotters, while fruity desserts consisted of dried figs, dates, raisins, and prunes, accompanied with drinks from syrups violet, jasmine, aloes, medicament spices, fruit pastilles and gums.

In contrast, summer diet consisted of green beans, radish, lettuces, chicories, aubergine, carrots, cucumber, gherkins, watercress, marrow, courgettes, and rice. The meat accompanied these vegetables consisted mainly of poultry, ostrich and beef products. Fruity deserts included fruits such as lemon, lime quinces, nectarines, mulberry, cherries, plums, apricot, grapes, pomegranates, watermelon, pears, apple, and melon. Meanwhile, the drinks involved syrups and jams. Fruit pastels, lemon, rose, jasmine, ginger and fennel. [ al-Hassani, Woodcok and Saoud (2007), 'Muslim Heritage in Our World', FSTC publishing, p.30.] In Autumn meals included cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, gourd, wheat, barley, millet, turnips, parsnips, onions, acorns, pulses, and olive oil. Drinks incorporated aromatic herbs and flower distillations of essential oils.

In Spring meals consisted of onions, gourd, spinach roquette salad, asparagus, lettuces, marrow, fennel, artichokes, fresh broad beans, lemons, cardoons, truffles, peas, wild artichokes, beetroot, basil, mint, sweet marjoram, saffron, green barley, pigeons, lamb and dairy products. Drinks involved lemon and mint syrup, distillation of orange blossom, rose and other herbs for winter.



*Bamboo shoot
*New potato




*Flying fish
*Red sea bream
*Skipjack tuna



asparagus, Eggplant, Green Bean, Baby Turnip, Courgette, Bell Pepper, Samphire, Basil, Cannellini bean, Trompettes de Mort, Broad Bean, Runner bean, Swiss Chard, Peas, New potato, Tomato, Borlotti bean, Sweetcorn cobs, Chanterelle (mushrooms), Cucumber, Okra, Bitter melon


Cherry, Greenguages, Blackberries, Nectarines, Apricot, Mango, Victoria Plums, Watermelon, Fig, Strawberry, Peach, Rhubarb, Blackcurrant, Raspberry, Walnut, Cantaloupe Melon, Ume


Soft shell crab, Crayfish, Sea Bass, Sea Trout, Sardines, Clams, Skipjack tuna, Aji, Rainbow trout, Ayu, Unagi (Japanese eel, Pacific jumping squid, hamo, John Dory


Grouse, Hare

Autumn (Fall)


Carrot, Chestnut, Pumpkin, Sweet potato, Lettuce, Renkon, Turnip, Shiitake mushrooms (though they are not technically vegetables.)


Apple, Pear, Grape, Fig


Mackerel, Salmon, Oyster, Pacific saury


Big game, e.g. deer, elk, moose, etc.





Carrot, Daikon, Chinese cabbage, Swede (or Rutabaga), Celeriac, Turnip, Brussel Sprout, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Parsnip, Red Cabbage, Leek, Cabbage, Shallot


Pear, Tangerine


Duck, Goose


Sea bass (Grouper), Scallop, Pacific yellowtail, Pacific cod, Monkfish, Halibut, Lobster, Mussels, Stone Crab

ee also

* Simple living


External links

* [ BBC Good Food] - Seasonality table (UK)
* [ BBC Food] - "In season" section
* [ Seasonal food calendar] (note: this site requires you to enter a New York zip code.10003 is one that will work)
* [ SYUN] - Japanese-English Syun 旬 Seasonal Dictionary with photo (JP)

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