This month you will begin to see hues and shapes you didn’t see in July. No, it isn’t the opening of a new art gallery, but a cornucopia of Mexico’s fruits and vegetables that are currently in season. Aromas that during other times seemed dull and bland are now stronger and more enticing. Or maybe it’s just because summer is in the air.
Although chile poblanos have been in the grocery stores since May, it is the chile serrano that is looking for space in the produce section, as you are reading this, until October.
Bananas that seemed greener and harder are now sweet. They are a beautiful bright yellow, and as always, are high in dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, making it a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C.
Green zucchini are in season for the next six months, making summer salads brighter. Other squash varieties like pumpkins will show up just in time for the holidays.
Most mango varieties have already ripened in June and July, including my favorite, the Ataulfo. There are still some late bloomers that produce fruit through August.
Make the most of preparing big tomato salads, because in another month they just won’t be as red, juicy and sweet. Just like back home, there is an array of choices. Just remember that if you are looking for a roma tomato they are called jitomate, while tomate is Mexico’s tart, green tomatillo.
Corn is sweetest when it is freshly picked, as over time the sugars gradually turn to starch. So grill a couple of ears, smear them with mayo and butter, and crumble some cotija cheese over them. Top them with a sprinkle of guajillo chile and a squirt of lime.
From now until the first months of next year is the ideal time to buy onions. Sauté them slowly until caramelized, then add some fresh veggies and you have the best side dish.
As you walk down the produce aisle don’t forget to pick up some blackberries, as they have just come back in season. They are loaded with vitamin C, and are low in calories and rich in antioxidants. They are really beneficial to our health.
So fill your cart and get cooking!