Regency Food

We’ve been provisioning the boat for our eight to ten day passage from the Caribbean to Florida. Most of the shopping was done in St. Martin on the French side. After having lived in Europe, especially Germany for many years, I found myself craving asparagus. Why you ask. Because May is asparagus season in Europe. Unfortunately, it’s still a little too soon.

In Europe, people tend to eat much more seasonally than they do in North America. Which is how folks during the Regency ate. Until late April and May, people were still eating many fruits and vegetables that had been stored from the previous season. Exceptions were lettuces grown in cold frames. The list includes  Asparagus, Cauliflowers, Lettuce, Mint, New potatoes, Radishes, Rocket, Sorrel, Watercress, Artichokes, Aubergines, Broccoli, Fennel, and New Potatoes. Typical meats and fish were Lamb, Wood Pigeon, New Potatoes, Elderflowers, Samphire, Duck, Cod, Crab, Herring, Sea Bass, Lemon Sole, Salmon, Sea Trout, Mackerel, Plaice, and Sardines.

You’ll notice that fruits such as fresh apples and pears were not available. Most people had a kitchen garden. Those who were fortunate had walled kitchen gardens which protected the plants from the cold and allowed one to grow fruit trees against the wall.

Kitchen garden Kitchen garden in MayTell me, do you try to eat seasonally? Or do you prefer to be able to buy what you want when you want?



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Ella Quinn is the bestselling author of The Marriage Game series, published by Kensington. Her new series, The Worthingtons, will release in spring 2016. All of her books are set during the Regency. After years of residing in Europe and the Caribbean, she is living on a boat with her hero of over thirty years, a dog and a cat.

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4 Responses

  1. Barbara Monajem

    I eat seasonally of a few items that aren’t available all year round — such as persimmons and quinces. Raspberries are best when in season… But so many vegs and fruits are available all year round that it can be hard to remember when they’re in season and when they aren’t.

  2. dholcomb1

    food tastes really good when it’s in season, but we’re really spoiled to be able to eat many foods all-year-round.

  3. jessicajefferson

    I started to be a lot more food-wise after the “intervention” from the AHA (lifestyle makeover). Now, I do actually try and cook what’s in season. I’ve also been eating more from local farmers. But, I’m not above eating strawberries imported from other countries to get my fix in January.