We were in Cyprus a few weeks back. As usual I was interested in the local food economy – it being late winter the most visible signs were the omnipresent oranges which were in orchards, front gardens and ornamental park alike. Also everywhere were the blue plastic bunch covers which protect bananas from the physical and animal environment. We were pre-warned not to expect a lot of local fish.
There was a lot of local fruit and veg available in the (non-tourist) supermarket – I was initially jealous of the range of salad and mediterranean veg available; aubergines, scruffy but very tasty tomatoes, small sweet cucumbers, citrus, beans, aubergines, herbs…
But then, we can grow at least the vegetables here too, even up North, just not in the winter. But at this time of year, it’s not rataouillie or salad I crave (unless as a break from the routine) but hearty sweet and substantial vegetable – but is this peculiar? There really is so little evidence of the seasons in my local supermarkets. It would be interesting to know whether the permanent availability is actually hiding a major change in consumption across the seasons… I don’t know (but it occurs to me there might be a way to find out).
Anyway, I seem to be a bit unfocussed today. But if I have a point it’s this; about half of the veg in Cyprus was local. It’s nothing like that here. The food there was appropriate there – seasonal food here is pretty appropriate and tasty too.