We are nearly halfway through the year. Its July, summer season is in full swing which also means that this is the best time of the year to taste some fantastic seasonal produce. I just can’t get enough of all summer berries, stone fruits and veggies like tomatoes, courgettes, peppers and the list is long! I keep thinking that I will use some of the fresh fruits in my baking but I guess that can only happen if I can stop myself eating them just like that.
Such is the magic of seasonal produce - fresh and so delicious, that you tend to think like me, ‘You know what, let me eat now, I will buy some more for baking later!’ I can be a little crazy when it comes to fresh and seasonal produce.
Right, its time again for another account feature for my #letseatseasonalandlocal series. And this time I am taking you to Canada. I came across Annika’s work through The Supper Club Magazine, a wonderful seasonal magazine that I feel so happy to be a part of. Her love for seasonal food, the way she writes, her moody photographs and her concerns about the environment were more than enough reasons to connect with her.
I wish to meet her in person someday, shop at her local market and cook some amazing seasonal delicacies with her. She has a collection of some wonderful recipes on her blog, do hop on, you will surely find something delicious to make!
A little about her –
Annika lives in Montreal, Canada with her lovely husband and 3 beautiful kids. Their favourite market to shop is Marche Jean-Talon which transforms into an open-air market during warmer summer days and moves indoor during the cold winter months. Its actually one of the largest and oldest open-air markets in North America, dating all the way back to 1930s. Annika has fond memories of going to the market with her parents as a child and as she recollects her childhood memories she still finds the market very similar to what it was some good old years back. In her words, ‘The sights, the smells, the conversations between urban dwellers and rural farmers, the medley of people from all across the world, makes it a really magical place’.
Why she supports seasonal and local?
Some good few years back while on a journey to start eating healthy, this lovely family figured out it wasn’t complicated at all, they just have to eat seasonal and buy local. Simple as it sounds, its not always easy for them to find something local because of the geographical location. But that doesn’t stop them from choosing local and seasonal whenever they can, and in recent years their family has become more eco-conscious. She mentions that there are lot of talks happening around the footprint of local greenhouse produce versus imported produce. There is still a long way to go but she is quite hopeful that herself and others are becoming aware about their carbon footprint and are willing to take actions to safeguarding our environment.
Her favourite seasonal produce for the months of June and July and how she uses it?
June and July are the months when local markets start filling up with summer produce like beans, peas, peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes but her favourites have to be strawberries and zucchini flowers. Kudos to her family, they waited for their local strawberries and resisted buying imported ones. And they were rewarded with the sweetest taste! It’s difficult to resist when the produce is so delicious and I wasn’t surprised at all when she mentioned that it soon disappeared. But she does manage to save some for pies and crumbles that she pairs up with some of her home-grown rhubarb. At the end of the season, she also makes some strawberry jam.
For the blossom flowers, she keeps it really simple. A ricotta stuffing flavoured with fresh herbs, a light coating of batter and then pan fried - simple, delicious and fresh!
Thank you Annika for your valuable time, your wonderful story and beautiful photographs! I hope you will continue educating us all about the local and seasonal produce that your region has to offer.
If you would like to be featured, show me your seasonal produce, where you buy it from and how you use it. Whether you are on Facebook or Instagram, just tag me @simpleandsustainable and use the hashtag #letseatseasonalandlocal. I am keen to hear your stories and lets encourage everyone to support buying locally and seasonally!