Our calendar contains extensive listings of each month’s harvest: fruit, vegetables, meat, game, wild food, herbs, fish and shellfish – you’ll even find information on seasonal Scottish cheese and honey. It focuses on produce and harvest times specific to Scotland, so you might notice subtle differences to UK-wide calendars. Explore the varied tips from Scottish experts sharing food facts and advice, and the easy links to our revamped supplier Showcase that make sourcing Scottish produce simple.
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Not the lean month you might expect, January is full of game, root vegetables and peak condition fish. Interesting varieties of well-known foods like winter radishes can provide colour and new flavours.
A luxurious winter salad can brighten February’s dull days and make a break from warming stews. Langoustines are at their best now, and can be shown off on crisp winter salad leaves.
Though we enter Scotland’s ‘hungry gap’, the short sea kale season is underway – Scotland is home to the only grower of this unusual vegetable. Wild garlic, the clever cook’s free favourite, is easier to get hold of though.
Forced rhubarb isn’t grown on a commercial scale in Scotland, but the first garden grown might be coming through now. Honey bees are busy on the blossoms too, producing milder, smoother honey than the heather variety
The seasons don’t just affect fruit and vegetables: goat’s cheese is excellent just now as this is kidding season, and ewe’s milk cheese has also arrived. Asparagus, of course, is May’s traditional headline ingredient.
Summer begins to spoil us with the choice of great Scottish produce, particularly soft fruits. Scotland, and traditionally Perthshire, is famed for these, with polytunnels helping extend the season.
Summer is the ideal time to try the less obvious produce being harvested. Kohlrabi, crab and marsh samphire are all at their prime, and wild strawberries are the ultimate foraging treat.
The first of the autumn lamb is available - Scotland excels at this now rather than in spring. Keep an eye out on walks for ceps and bright yellow chanterelles (using an ID guide, of course).
Harvest time means wide choice across every category. From game to squash, shellfish to brambles (or blackberries), this is when it’s both easy and exciting to explore Scotland’s natural larder.
Fruit falls away for the winter, with apples and pears the mainstay of the coming months. This is a great month for fish, however, with everything from cod to razor clams (or spoots) in their prime.
Chestnuts, winter squash and pheasant: November is rich in autumn flavours. The season for wild duck and much other game is in full swing, so watch out for shot…
It doesn’t have to be just parsnips and tatties with the Christmas (farmed) goose – Jerusalem artichokes and salsify are excellent roasting veg, and oysters are pitch perfect for a special occasion starter.
© 2010 Scotland Food & Drink Ltd.
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