Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Tasting Springtime

As suddenly as the daffodils began to spring from the green verges around the city, my senses stopped wanting the warming, comforting foods that I have been craving week-in, week-out since November. Melted cheese, soft root vegetables, warming cumin and turmeric and chilli in everything that passes my lips - my tastebuds are no longer quite so interested. Instead I find myself drawn to vibrant colours, sharp tastes and that delightful crunch of fruit and raw vegetables.

The first cucumbers of the season, peeled and chopped into thick wedges. The pungent aroma of fresh coriander scattered on warm bulgur wheat, seasoned with flaked sea salt and groud black pepper. Radishes and celery soaked in white wine vinegar, creating a delicious contrast in sharpness on the tongue. Flat lettuce drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and scattered with sunflower seeds. Slightly over-ripe Conference pears, chopped and topped with sour natural yoghurt.

As my eyes, ears and nose tune in to the new colours, sounds and smells of spring, my tastebuds seem to be asking to be in on the action, too. Sharp vinegar and smooth olive oil, spicy radish and mild cucumber, sweet pear and sour yoghurt: it seems to be a time for contrast and unsubtlety in texture and in flavour. I'm quite excited to see where this is taking me; allowing my senses to determine how and what I eat is the essence of how I cook. I'd almost got bored of being in the kitchen - the same ingredients and meals every week had started to cause a sort of apathy which was starting to worry me! The greengrocer's is getting an evermore exciting place to visit, and there will undoubtedly be some kitchen adventures to come in the weeks ahead! Now I want fresh, crunchy ingredients as oppose to soft, warming ones; I already feel that spring of good health that comes from eating well. There's something so holistic about spring: as my senses discover the goodness that is around me, it is somehow internalised with how I eat, and reflects externally in how I feel and how I see myself. I feel so alive right now, so hyper-aware of everything I encounter. I wonder if I feel this way every March, or if there is something extra special about this March in particular?

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