Why Choose Seasonal?
The type of vegetables grown in any country at a particular time will depend in the first instance on the weather patterns, soils and amount of sunlight available to the growing crops. Certain crops can be grown easily in Ireland all year round (e.g. cabbage, cauliflowers), while others cannot be grown at all (e.g. citrus fruit, bananas). In reality many of our common fruit and vegetables are sown in the Irish springtime, grow in the Irish summer and are harvested in the autumn. The end result is that Ireland has its own unique range of fruit and vegetables that can be grown within its own climate and this to a large degree has contributed to the evolution of our national food culture, as it has developed throughout history.
The advantages of choosing in-season fruit and vegetables include:
All fruit and vegetables taste their best and are at their nutritious best when harvested fresh from the field close to where they were grown. Freshness is the single most important criteria for shoppers who primarily judge freshness through the physical appearance of the produce, including the produce display, when looking at the choices available on the shelves.
The mixes and combinations of fruit and vegetable ingredients are endless. Bord Bia seek to encourage you to try tasty options made from the freshest ingredients available at any given time of the year. Most top chefs and high quality restaurants are great advocates and vocal supporters of locally grown fruit and vegetables available fresh daily and in-season. These chefs often remark on the definite and real taste advantages of seasonally available fruit and vegetables.
Bord Bia actively promotes the consumption of at least 5 or more fruit and vegetable portions per day. The health benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is well documented.
Bord Bia hopes this website will inform you on a wide range of issues concerning the availability, selection, versatility, use, preparation, storage and convenience of fruit and vegetables. The key to unlocking the knowledge of ‘Best In Season’ is to understand the Bord Bia calendar of availability for fresh produce in terms of what is actually in full season (i.e. Best In Season), what is either ‘coming into’ the new season or what is just about ‘going out of season’. Even when ‘out of season’ there are plenty options to get locally grown fruit and vegetables from ‘storage’ throughout the year.