Discover How to Use Seasonal Ingredients in Australia
Depending on your location, Australia experiences four seasons in a year. The weather can change abruptly. Or gradually over a few weeks. The seasons bring a constantly changing selection of seasonal ingredients.
For the average person, seasonal variations in produce may go unnoticed. That is until the price of certain items drastically changes. However, for restaurant owners who purchase ingredients in bulk, it is not a good idea to ignore market fluctuations. Restaurant bookkeepers all say this can significantly impact their bottom line. Let’s look at the importance of seasonal ingredients. We look at which produce to use in each season. We cover how to substitute ingredients throughout the year.
What are Seasonal Ingredients?
Seasonal produce refers to anything that thrives at a specific time of the year. This applies to fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables, as well as livestock and others. The availability of these ingredients changes throughout the year.
For instance, tomatoes require warm temperatures, lots of sunshine, and no frost. This means that they thrive in spring and summer. That is when they produce the most fruit. That makes them “in season” between October-February. Obviously, that also depends on the weather.
Using Seasonal Ingredients
Showcase and dress them with good olive oil, salt, and pepper before cooking. Building a strong relationship with your supplier is also a good idea. Ask them about upcoming seasonal ingredients. What is
Substituting Ingredients Throughout the Year
When an ingredient is out of season, finding a suitable substitute can be a daunting task. We have provided some suggestions to guide you in this regard.
1. Avocado & Garden Peas
When Hass avocados are out of season, consider making a garden pea pureé as a substitute. It has a fresh green taste and mimics the texture of smashed avocados.
2. Carrots & Beetroot
Beetroots are a good substitute for carrots as they share a sweet, earthy flavour when roasted and come in a variety of colours when in season. And matching textures.
3. Brussels Sprouts & Cabbage
Cabbage can imitate Brussels sprouts when roasted or grilled.
4. Basil, Mint, & Dill
These three herbs can be used instead of each other in many recipes.
The Importance of Seasonal Ingredients to Your Menu
There is a difference in freshness when an ingredient is in season versus when it’s not. The cost of out-of-season ingredients is also a vital variable. Supermarkets import produce from regions where the ingredient’s season differs from ours, which increases the cost of storage and transportation.
Sticking to an out-of-season ingredient could result in a fatal increase in COGS. Ask your restaurant accountant. A good chef develops new dishes every few weeks. You have to be aligned with the seasons. It is vital to keeping your menu appealing and profitable.
If you need help with any of this, please contact us, your friendly restaurant accountant.