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Snacking with the seasons

Created: Wednesday, 16 August 2017 Written by Katherine O'Neill

One thing I have come to love, since living in rural SW France, is the seasonal availability of many fruits and vegetables.
I’m sure you can all google the benefits of eating seasonal fruit without me harping on about better taste, lower carbon footprint, or any other reason one could come up with. I just want to share my new-found appreciation.

Only now do I realise that I took for granted that I could buy most fruit and vegetables practically all year round. Despite often terrible and unpredictable weather -- I’m from the North of England -- ASDA and Sainsbury’s meant I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted.

The delightful array above is my summer fruit binge: peaches, apricots and, of course, the Quercy melon. This legendary melon, with its aromatic orange flesh, is a staple for many living here. While they are exported far and wide, they are cultivated just down the road from me.

And, my oh my, is Quercy melon just perfect out of the fridge on a hot summer’s day; cool, juicy flesh and, yes, it pairs excellently with a glass of rosé. They’re unique: you won’t find them tasting the way they do here. This, I’m told, is down to the very clay-lime soil being ideal for them, in particular for retaining moisture.

Would I appreciate these so much if they were available all year? Not likely. I didn’t often buy widely available melons, or apricots, back in England.
I see the tractors with their trailers loaded with produce and know I’m getting the freshest.

And then it’s all over. The weather cools, the beautiful autumnal tones start to appear; no more melons and apricots. But it’s OK -- It’s time for pumpkin soup.

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