May 24 2017

Refreshing Flavors of a Late Spanish Spring

Spain has the good fortune of being located at a latitude which results in each of the year's four seasons having its own personality. Winter is behind us with its olive harvest, first extra virgin olive oil of the year, apples and winter greens. Now, we are relishing in the awakening of Spanish vegetable gardens and orchards, which fill European markets with flavors and aromas, while also making their way to far off destinations in Asia and the Americas where the refreshing quality of these goods are truly savored

 

Strawberries and berries

This fruit makes its appearance on the market at the end of winter, but it is at the end of summer when its enticing aromas take over at fruit stands and shops. Juicy, sweet, and of varying sizes and multiple culinary applications, the majority of Spanish strawberries are from Huelva (Andalusia) – the world's main producer and exporter of these fruits. It's also now time to start eating blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and currents, all cultivated with great care in conditions that often qualify as organic. Their satiating and antioxidant properties make these berries a must for consumers who are keen on maintaining a healthy diet.

Asparagus

The harvesting of the year's first white asparagus has always been a sign of spring in regions like Navarre where these delicacies are grown. Now's the time to eat them raw, but it is also the first step in their transformation into a year-round gourmet product by the Spanish vegetable preserves industry. Asparagus from Navarre even have a European quality guarantee (Protected Denomination of Origin). This is also the season for crunchy and flavorful green asparagus, some of the most exceptional of which is produced in the Andalusian province of Granada.

Other vegetables

Spring also gives a warm welcome to the year's first peas, onions, garlic shoots, new potatoes, artichokes and beans, all of which form part of numerous traditional Spanish recipes like menestra de verduras (with that touch of Spanish ham that so wonderfully enhances their flavors), baby lima beans with a fried egg and shaved truffle on top, artichokes with ham, or any wealth of regional meat stews that rely on large amounts of vegetables.

Loquats

Loquat or níspero season is relatively short, only lasting from spring to early summer. Fortunately, this is enough time for European consumers to enjoy this fantastic fruit. Of Asian origins, loquat cultivation in Europe it is almost exclusively limited to Spanish Mediterranean regions. In fact, the quality of this Spanish product is guaranteed by Protected Denomination of Origin Níspero de Callosa d’en Sarrià. These fruits are characterized by their pleasant texture and flavor, which is a perfect balance of tart and sweet – traits that make Spanish loquats one of the most sought-after stars of the springtime Spanish pantry.

A preview of summer

As spring comes to a close, typical summer fruits like apricots, red peaches, plums, melons and watermelons start appearing in markets. Anxious to immerse themselves fully in the approaching, glorious summer weather, consumers snap up these flavorful, refreshing, healthy and delectable summer treats as soon as they hit the stands.
 

Spain has the good fortune of being located at a latitude which results in each of the year's four seasons having its own personality. Winter is behind us with its olive harvest, first extra virgin olive oil of the year, apples and winter greens Rodrigo García©ICEX
Translation: Adrienne Smith/@ICEX
Refreshing flavors
Refreshing flavors
Refreshing flavors
Refreshing flavors
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