As you may have understood, cooking and eating seasonal products is a big part of the French habits. There is definitely a cycle in the French diet and every season we discover again the foods we know are at their best only during a short amount of time.
Seasonal eating is a real and serious thing in France
My mother always told my brother and I to make a wish every time we would have a food for the first time in the year : the first strawberries, the first melon, the first chestnuts… Every year, the same routine. That way, we really enjoyed the food, we really had that mindfulness about what we were putting in our mouth. We were aware that it was ephemeral and how special it was.
I still have that state of mind when I buy my first persimmons, Bolets, walnuts and butternuts of the season at the Autumn market.
And it is a wonderful feeling.
I want you to feel the same, go buy those seasonal products and enjoy how they are at their best!
ADD IT TO YOUR CART
Having seasonal fresh, flavorful fruits is not only a summer time thing. If you are like me and really enjoy juicy, sugary fruits, definitely consider persimmons. The taste and texture is close to a combination of mango and plums to me. And Autumn/winter is the ideal season to get those perfect little orange balls.
You can eat them as is, as a topping to your morning porridge or in a fresh wintry fruit salad (combine oranges, persimmons and kiwis).
As I always like to finish my meals either with a fruit or a yogurt, persimmons are my first choice during the cold days.
Moreover, as in all fruits and vegetables, persimmons are a wonder regarding nutritional values.
Ah mushrooms… girolles, bolets, morilles, pleurottes… We are blessed in France with a wonderful variety of mushrooms which make them available almost all year long. But my favorite, the Cèpe (yellow bolletus), is only found in Autumn in the woods.
I am sure you can find local varieties in your country as well! As they can be a little pricey and if you feel adventurous and want to go hunt mushrooms by yourself in you local forest, be sure to check that all of them are edible and non-toxic.
You can ditch them into almost any recipe. But my favorite one, especially if you have high quality fresh mushrooms, is to eat them in fricassée (sauteed with butter on high heat for a few minutes) or in an omelet (try this recipe). Tastes like heaven.
Again, mushrooms are a real gift regarding vitamins and minerals.
Nuts are at their pick in Autumn. You have a tremendous amount of types you can choose from: hazelnuts, almonds, pecan, chestnuts… My personal favorite is walnut.
It reminds me of my grandmother’s backyard where there are big walnut trees. Every year, those trees provides us with a good supply of fresh walnuts. You can add them in your salads, do a crust for a roast or even create a dessert (my grand-mother walnut pie is to die for).
As I enjoy nuts for my morning snacks, walnut is a natural choice.
We also make walnut oil and believe me, it is just THE best oil in the entire world for salads. The taste is just unique. I urge you to buy a little bottle and try it.
Go check the nutritional values, they are amazing as well. The good fat protects your heart and coronaries.
I could not write a post about seasonal stuff in Autumn without talking about butternuts.
It is cheap, it is ultra versatile : in soups, roasted, sauteed, steamed, salty, sweet… You can literally live with butternuts and nothing else for 4 months.
My tip though would be to try adding strong spices when you prepare it : as it is very sweet and soft, you can counterbalance by adding a huge amount of spices. I am talking smoked paprika, ginger, turmeric, coriander, hot pepper… even cinnamon. Try and find your best combination.
A bit of nutritional values to finish ?
What kind of food do you put in your cart in Autumn ?
Author: Emilie Durand
Emilie is a French food lover, proud Parisian and founder of thefrenchwaytohealth.com. On her website, she shares delicious recipes, health tips and tricks. Her goal is to gather and share the habits and rules that have been used and approved by French people for decades. That means cooking your own meals efficiently, enjoying whole foods, eating mindfully and never ever using the word diet again while losing weight.