What to eat in October

What to eat in October

What to eat in October

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Before Thanksgiving in America, the U.K. celebrated Harvest festival, our very own giving of thanks for the bounty of crops harvested at this time of year. Traditionally, it takes place at the harvest moon: the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, a.k.a. tonight (it’s set to be a good one, so don’t miss it!). And since next month will see the celebration of World Food Day, as well as being Vegetarian Awareness Month, what better time to take a look at what’s in season?

Below you will find a list of the fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and even cheeses that should be right at home in your shopping trolley this October, and tips and recipes to help you use them will be popping up on my social media channels throughout the month (see right). But first, because this website’s enthusiasm for food is equalled only by its love of language, here’s a little linguistic treat I’ve put together for you. I never would have guessed that the annual Harvest celebration is linguistically linked to the cliché Latin expression “carpe diem”!

The etymology of the word 'harvest' in European languages English, German, Dutch, Spanish, French, Latin, Spanish and Portuguese

*Asterisks denote reconstructed words

And now on to the food.

Fruits in season in October:
Going out of season: Brambles/blackberries, grapes, melons, nectarines, plums, tomatoes
In full season: Apples, figs, pears
Coming into season: Cranberries

Vegetables and other produce:
Going out of season: Aubergines, broccoli, carrots, courgettes, fennel, peas, peppers, rocket, sweetcorn
In full season: Artichokes, beetroots, butternut squash, celery, kale, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, watercress
Coming into season: Shallots, turnips, wild mushrooms

Going out of season: Prawns, salmon
In full season: Crab, haddock, mackerel, mussels, pollock, scallops*
Coming into season: Oysters
*Look out for Fried Scallops Day in the U.S. on the 2nd of October!

Going out of season: Lamb
In full season: Duck, goose, rabbit, venison
Coming into season: Turkey

Bet you didn’t know cheese has seasons too! Well, some do, at least. Cows have been domesticated for so long now that they can be milked almost year-round, but sheep and goats have defined milking seasons; so if you’re looking for the best cheese made from fresh (not pasteurised) milk, October could be your last chance to get your hands on some un-aged varieties of sheep and goat’s cheeses:

Sheep’s cheeses: Halloumi, Manchego, Ossau-iraty, fresh Ricotta, Roquefort
Goat’s cheeses: Caprino, Feta, Crottin de Chavignon, Rocamadour

So finally, what can you do with all this produce? Well, celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month, for a start! With so much earthy, wholesome produce at its prime, it’s a perfect time for it, whether you want to go the whole hog (if you’ll pardon the expression) and cut out meat entirely for the month, or simply cut down and try incorporating more vegetables and fewer animal products into your diet. Vegetarian or not, if you’re stuck for ideas, the BBC’s Good Food website provides a more detailed list of the foods in season and links to recipes incorporating these ingredients. And in case you need some more detailed instruction, look west: the U.S.A. loves a good National [Insert Food Here] Day, and with over 30 foods honoured during October, they’ve got you covered for the whole month. From the general (National Nut Day) to the specific (National Sausage Pizza Day), the traditional (National Apple Betty Day) to the downright wacky (National Fluffernutter Day), you’ll find the full list at the National Day Calendar.

Wishing you all a delicious October!

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