The definition of spring

violets

Spring has finally arrived in most of the Northern Hemisphere. It's a particularly welcome change after a harsh winter in the Northeast US, although everyone enjoys the longer days and greening of the scenery. As you might expect, websites are busting out the spring vegetable recipes.

The Guardian discusses seven ways to prepare ramps (aka wild garlic). These  mustardy, garlicky alliums are only available for a few weeks every year and are widely regarded as markers of the change in seasons. Peas factor heavily in Bon Appetit's 11 dishes that feature spring vegetables, appearing in seven of the recipes. Meanwhile at Serious Eats they're preparing 20 asparagus recipes to celebrate spring. Rhubarb recipes are also popping up all over.

While reading these articles I pondered which foods I most associated with the spring season. The above vegetables could certainly be regarded as harbingers, but what says "spring is here" most to me is the emergence of the violets in my garden. The dainty purple and white blossoms stand proudly in defiance of late frosts. I use the peppery flowers to adorn salads, cakes, and other desserts. They might not make up the bulk of any meal, but their arrival in the salad bowl lets me know I survived another winter.

What food says "spring has arrived" to you?

5 Comments

  • ellabee  on  4/28/2015 at 9:09 PM

    Eggs! I seem to know a lot of people who raise chickens, and they're giving them away like backyard gardeners do with zucchini in July...

  • hillsboroks  on  4/28/2015 at 9:15 PM

    When the fresh local asparagus arrives in the markets spring is here in the Pacific Northwesr. We tend to buy enough to have it 2-3 times a week and after week one I start looking for different ways to enjoy it. Knowing that it will be here and delicious for such a short time makes eating it so often feel ok.

  • Rinshin  on  4/28/2015 at 10:29 PM

    Seasonal ingredients are very important in Japan and luckily for me living in California, we have wonderful produce in every season. In California, I would have to choose asparagus, artichokes, spring sweet onion, ume fruits, and strawberries. In Japan, rape plants signal in spring and it is found in many recipes there during early spring months.

  • adrienneyoung  on  4/28/2015 at 10:47 PM

    rhubarb... Rhubarb crumble, rhubarb compote... Yum!

  • Rinshin  on  4/29/2015 at 9:04 AM

    Forgot bamboo shoots too and many mountain vegetables called sansai.

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