Farmers, allotment owners and anybody else who plays an interest in growing crops and fresh produce will know about the saying “the hungry gap”. If you don’t, here is what it is.
The hungry gap is said to be one of the hardest times throughout the year for UK farmers. Usually between April and early June, after the winter crops have ended and the new seasons crops are not quite ready or ready to harvest.
Traditionally, an empty field meant an empty stomach, a time where you would have to go hungry. Today this is not quite the case. It is very rare to come across a person that has a local and seasonal diet. Supermarkets can easily top their shelves up with imported goods or produce that was grown in controlled conditions.
But how can we survive eating only seasonal foods? Well, we simply do the best with what we’ve got. Between April and June, asparagus is fan favourite, there are so many dishes you can whip up with this versatile ingredient.
Sticking traditionally wild, dig out some pasta and add some fresh asparagus, wild garlic (which can be found in its masses in your local woodland), wild mushrooms (be careful with the ones you pick!) and a handful of peas. Whilst combing the ingredients, gradually add fresh Parmesan cheese to create a rich and gooey consistency.
Pasta not up your street? Don’t worry about it, potatoes are also in season. Try our Balsamic Roasted New Potatoes with Asparagus!
Beetroot is another fantastic seasonal veg which can be utilised in other ways than just a side for your summer salad. A Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Tart may not appeal to all, but it is a perfectly balanced dish. The earthy yet sweet flavours of a beetroot combine beautifully with a crumbly soft goat’s cheese. Simply line a tray with puff pastry (homemade or shop bought, no one’s judging!) and begin to layer your beetroot which is thinly sliced onto the base. Once you’ve done this, add the goat’s cheese. Depending on your love for this type of cheese, either add with caution or fire away. Once baked, season with salt, pepper and rocket.
There are so many fun things you can make up with seasonal produce within ‘the hungry gap’, it’s all about experimenting and making up new things you want to eat over and over again. Obviously, being Wild Cornwall, we like to add a wild element to our concoctions, but you don’t! Do some research and see what can be made up quickly and easily with some fresh, seasonal produce.