The farmer’s market is very popular during the summer, however, winter fruit and veg are some of my favourites and going to market during the winter season is my preference. The farmer’s market in Croatia is very versatile, you can find yourself buying groceries, flowers and other goods along side the fresh produce – if you’d like you can avoid the supermarket altogether.
Buying local is very important, not only does it mean your food is more fresh and nutritious but it also means you are supporting a local business and therefore your regions economy. What defines local food? Food grown and produced within your region or county is considered “local”. Or it could also mean that it comes from farmers you know and can talk to. More and more people want to know where their food comes from and the farming practices of the farmers that grow and produce it. And this is important for many reasons: it helps you develop a connection with food, you become more aware of what you’re putting in your body, and every time you shop you support foods and growers you believe in.
(A few markets in Zagreb I would recommend you visit are; Dolac – the central market behind the main square offering a variety of homegrown fruit and vegetables or homemade cheese and cream, butchers, fishmongers and also a flower market; Kvatrić – smaller than other markets but more intimate; and Trešnjevka – a big market where one can buy anything, from vegetables to cheap clothes and you can also find some good fast food bars nearby.)
Buying seasonal food means fresher, tastier and more nutritious than food consumed out of season. Even though we all like to eat strawberries year round, the best time to eat them is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower shortly after harvest. Also, unlike out of season produce, crops picked at their peak of ripeness are also better tasting and full of flavor. Below I have compiled a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables for Europe year-round:
In the winter season, my shopping bag can be filled with lots of root vegetables such as parsnips, kohlrabi, carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale. Some imported fruits that can be found at the market all throughout the year are pineapple, oranges, avocados, bananas, clementines, grapefruits, kiwis and lemons – these are also a big favourite of mine since they’re major immunity boosting fruits which are perfect for the winter blues.
In the days to come, I will be sharing a few of my winter season recipes including preparing root vegetables three different delicious ways, and lots of yummy desserts to share with loved ones (or by yourself, I don’t judge) on these chilly days.