In Season

Part of the joy of eating well is the joy of eating food that fits with the season. And that does not just mean fruit and vegetables – meats, fish, even cheeses and wines have their best times of the year.

Remember the anticipation of the first asparagus of the spring (and now we are enjoying it by the plateful, and cheaply). or shucking the first cob of corn, and the smell of the first peaches from Central Otago (and resist the temptation to buy those tasteless ones from the other side of the world in the middle of our winter).


Eating seasonally means the best food that our bodies need at particular times to keep warm, or cool, or ward off bugs is available at the right time – citrus in winter for example. Eating with the seasons is the least expensive way to put food on the table – at the peak of its season, produce tastes the best, and is abundant and cheap. And local.


The best way to know what’s in season – from the earliest teasing tastes to the abundant bargains through to the final tail-end tastes – is at your local farmers’ market. Then here at Kai. But often you have to be in quick because seasonal food can come and go very quickly.

But you can make the seasonal food last by preserving at the height of the  season - you can feel justly smug opening a preserving jar of peaches and enjoying with hot custard in the middle of winter.


Here’s what to look forward to in each season (and leave on the shelves when it is imported and/or out of season):




pumpkins, brussel sprouts, celeriac, chokos, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, shallots, spring onion, squash, watercress, Swedes; apples, feijoas, figs, grapes, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, nashi, oranges, persimmons, quinces, tamarillo



yams, cavalo nero, Jerusalem artichokes, cauliflower, cabbages, broccoli; grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, pears, tamarillos, late apples.



asparagus, globe artichokes, broad beans, pea and bean shoots (plus all micro greens and baby mesclun), green garlic, kumara, pak choi, early radishes, new potatoes, baby radishes, zucchini/courgette flowers; lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, the last (and juiciest) oranges, tamarillo, tangelos and lemons.


aubergine/eggplant, avocados, beans, beetroot, carrots, leeks, new potatoes, peppers, early pumpkin, spring onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, zucchini/courgettes; apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, limes, melons, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, late strawberries, early apples, early figs, grapes, melons, passionfruit, early pears.


Year round:

various lettuces, mushrooms, rocket, broccoli, spinach, silverbeet, various potatoes and carrots, kumara; perennial herbs such as parsley, rosemary, mint, oregano, majoram, thyme.

For more detailed information check out the vegetable site or 5+ a Day.

Usage Ideas

Use the old standby of pumpkin to make  a big pot of soup, and serve with fresh artisan bread.


Follow up with the perfect winter crumble - apples, pears or add some frozen berries. Top with vanilla custard.


Make a warming chicken casserole with sweet winter vegetables

Kai Finder
  Kai NZ Foods Limited
Company Registration 3461931
19D Triton Drive, Albany
P O Box 34008 Birkenhead 0746
0800 524 500
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