August In Season

Eat produce when it's at its best.

This months seasonal produce

Aubergines, peppers, tomatoes and apricots

Currants

Currants

Tantalisingly sharp and sweet, there’s much more to these enchanting little pearls than children’s cordial, says Clarissa Hyman. Recipes by Linda Tubby.

Ribena, perhaps Britain’s most famous cordial (sorry, Robinsons), takes its name from the Ribes family of plants known for their black, red or white berries. Around 13 billion inky blackcurrants, or 95 per cent of the national crop, go into the stuff each year. I still have a photo of me as a child sporting a big purple Ribena grin. Our national taste for sweet blackcurrant juice was reinforced during the Second World War when every schoolchild was given a free supply after oranges became hard to source. As a result, Britain is one of the few countries where blackcurrants are still planted on a relatively large scale. The bunches of shiny bead-like fruits that hang between the serrated green leaves like miniature Venetian chandeliers look delightful. Their intrinsic sharpness is tempered at peak ripeness by a fine fruitiness that amplifies a distinctive character, which works...read more

Other seasonal produce

Sweetcorn

Exploding with sweet flavour, the fleshy golden kernels are at their best just-picked. Eat simply with melted butter or add to nearly any dish, says Clarissa Hyman with recipes by Linda Tubby

The word ‘corn’ has confused many over the centuries. Zea mays has been the staple grain of Central America and Mexico for at least 3,000 years, and was the only cereal of the Aztec, Maya and Inca civilisations. Laden with myth and mystery, the plants were a central part of those cultures, the...read more

Sweetcorn

Aubergines

Dig beneath the lustrous black skin to the creamy, silken flesh to discover why these often misunderstood beauties, beloved in the Middle East, are worth cherishing, says Clarissa Hyman with recipes by Linda Tubby

The aubergine is a strange fruit. Not a vegetable, but a dark, ancient fruit cloaked in an aura of magic and mystery. It has many names and its deep, seductive colour recalls deadly nightshade, to which it is distantly related along with potatoes, tomatoes and sweet peppers: it helps explain why,...read more

Aubergines

Peppers

From hot to sweet and green to red, Helen Hokin discovers the ever-increasing species of the Capsicum genus with recipes by Linda Tubby

It was either a case of mistaken identity or just wishful thinking that brought peppers from the New World to Europe. When Columbus sailed home from his voyage to find a short cut to the Spice Islands he had a cargo of red peppers on-board. He’d stumbled across them in the Dominican Republic...read more

Peppers

Apricots

Their window of ripeness is tricky to pinpoint, but get it right, says Clarissa Hyman, and this subtle, delicate fruit can lend a sensual allure to both sweet and savoury dishes with recipes by Linda Tubby

Apricots are the best of fruits, and the worst of fruits. An under-ripe apricot is a vile thing: hard, sour and acidic. Eating one is like snacking on a canary yellow golf ball. The very thought makes my stomach wince in gastric protest. Unfortunately, apricots are delicate travellers. Although soft...read more

Apricots

Tomatoes

Striped, yellow, green or red; plum, round or pear-shaped; whatever colour or form they take, we British truly love our tomatoes, explains Michael Raffael with recipes by Linda Tubby

A couple of centuries ago, we called tomatoes ‘love apples’, a nod to the French pommes d’amour. The sexy name didn’t echo their status. The Gardener’s Encyclopedia (1825) damned them with faint praise: ‘When ripe, the fruit, which has an acid flavour, is put into soups, and the juice is...read more

Tomatoes

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