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In Season: Asparagus

British asparagus season is a national event in the world of restaurants. For a short period of time each year, chefs around the UK can source arguably the best asparagus spears available from right here on British soil.

The buzz it creates is astounding, but it’s well and truly deserved. The quality is sublime and its limited availability only adds to the hype.

As always, the start and end of the season shifts from year-to-year depending on weather conditions. But traditionally, the British asparagus season runs from St George’s day on the 23rd April through to Summer Solstice on the 21st June.

That’s just 8 and a half weeks to make the most of this fantastic crop. And in some years that window of opportunity can be even shorter.

Over and above supporting our fantastic asparagus growers around the country, the main reason why chefs go crazy for UK asparagus every year is due to how phenomenal the flavour is when it’s fresh.

All fruit and veg is at its very best when freshly picked, but asparagus spears in particular are known to decline in quality at a faster rate. So shipping it in from abroad after it was picked a week ago doesn’t make for the best quality product.

Serving British asparagus after it’s only been picked a day or two ago, however, is another story. As most chefs will know, it requires little fancifying and boasts incredible flavour that demands the attention of the diner.

Now in Season – Artichokes

As Lancaster’s top restaurant we know that New Year means new beginnings and resolutions and luckily there is also a wealth of lovely fresh produce to look forward to in January.

While we can rely on British soil for vegetables, meat and fish there are no new homegrown fruits in season at this time of year, with the majority of this month’s fresh crop coming from neighbouring countries with warmer climates.

Vegetables include beetroot, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), salsify, shallots, swede, truffles (black) and turnips

Fruit include apples, blood oranges, clementines, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, rhubarb and satsumas.

Meat include duck, guinea fowl, hare, mallard, partridge, turkey, venison

Fish include clams, cockles, dab, dover sole, gurnard, haddock, halibut, hake, langoustine, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, red mullet, scallops (queen), sea bream, skate, turbot, winkles