Eating seasonally is how I operate my life. I don’t buy berries in the winter, and I don’t buy beets and carrots during the heat of the summer. However, at the end of every season something happens: I get seasonal fatigue.
Last week at the Market, I didn’t buy any produce. Seeing that yellow squash still piled up on the tables made me angry. This is when I realized that I really don’t care for summer squash. The taste for me is just bland and unimaginative. I’ve made grilled squash, sauteed squash, fried squash, squash casserole, squash gratin, etc etc… and nothing has been memorable. In Nashville, I feel like the season of squash lasts way too long. We are now transitioning into fall, and we still have summer squash hanging around. It is times like this where eating locally is hard for me. I get bored with the things that don’t inspire me. Slowly but surely the season is changing, and with that comes the excitement of new seasonal produce. Hooray!
The hardest thing with eating a mostly local diet is dealing with the fact that you might not like everything out there, and if you do – chances are you’ll get sick of it. We have become so used to having any option of food that we are in the mood for, that the idea of depriving ourselves of that pleasure is hard to swallow.
For example, today I went to Whole Foods to buy a few staples I couldn’t get locally and ended up buying oranges, a pineapple, some olives and imported cheese. I felt a little guilty as I was checking out and then realized that becoming a conscious eater is not adopting an all or nothing mentality. It’s about being aware of where our food comes from and allowing ourselves the pleasure of enjoying some imported treats every once in a while. After all, who doesn’t love a good orange? I love good food, which is one of the biggest reasons I champion local food because it simple tastes better. However, I will admit that eating the same seasonal food for months on end is hard and I am not above that.
I am thankful that we are entering fall, and the summer produce is winding down and new flavors are starting to show up. I’m so ready to be done with squash! Enough already! This is what I face at the end of every season. Sick of one season and ready to embrace the next.
When does seasonal fatigue set in for you? What are the hardest vegetables for you to enjoy for months on end?