Of all the fruits and vegetables, it’s probably the avocado that causes the most heartbreak. A properly ripe avocado is a glorious thing: the miraculous buttery texture, the nutty flavour, the smooth, voluptuous curves – it’s no wonder it inspires love poetry. But sampled in the wrong season, the avocado is a vile and vindictive creature: mushy, sour, brown and stringy, or rock hard and flavoured roughly like an acorn. The difference is so drastic that many restaurants include caveats on menus regarding seasonality, and one local pizza restaurant (Some Oaks Bistro) even displays an avocado ripeness graph on their wall to manage diners’ expectations.
In truth, though, the case for eating seasonal fruit and vegetables is similar for all vegetables. In season they’re tastier, cheaper and boast a better texture – no mealy apples or slushy strawberries. The upshot of eating seasonally is that you’re leaving a much smaller carbon footprint, supporting local farmers and encouraging a more sustainable model for agriculture. (Read 10 reasons why you should eat locally). It is, in corporate-speak, a win-win situation!
To help you keep tabs on what’s in season when, we bring you Eat Out’s printable seasonal calendar, a handy visual guide to South Africa’s fruit and vegetable seasons.
Download the seasonal calendar.