Eat The Seasons: Summer

Written by: Stefano Cuomo
30 May

With a birthday that falls on the first day of the first summer month, I am, as a good Gemini, apparently witty, wise and whimsical!!

Debates about that aside, what I really am, is in thrall of the bounty that our temperate Kentish summer gives us! 

Pimms & potatoes

Our new potatoes are in... soft, creamy & giving! Perfect doused in nothing more than butter, churned from the milk of cows enjoying this rich early summer grass, and a few sprigs of mint, now in full flush, to be shared with jugs of Pimms.

Our Pimms invariably houses cucumber, Faversha strawberries and, for a bit of Mediterranean bliss, leafy navel oranges (unwaxed of course). 

The battle of the soft fruits

For most Brits, Kent strawberries are the star summer fruit (after all, they do fuel Wimbledon!), but for those of us in the know, true Kent folk, it is the cherry for which we pine through the dark months of winter, finally gorging ourselves over long July days, knowing that even the wizardry of modern farming (shout out to NIAB and all they do for the sector here in East Malling) cannot extend this precious season any longer! We should expect to see them in early June and we cannot wait.

Pork on the barbie

BBQs & picnics are now de rigueur…I am huge fan of capocollo (a beautiful piece of pork – just come and ask our butchers!) steaked, seasoned, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil & oregano and flashed on the grill. Julie’s Sandy and Blacks from Snoad Farm, having ‘snuffled and truffled’ the woodland meadows of Shottenden all their lives, are firm favourites. And whilst the BBQ is fired up, you can also enjoy David’s fish from South Coast Seafayre (available every Saturday morning!), our pasture fed beef or slabs of artisan Cypriot Halloumi (the differences is palpable!).

Fruit is always the ideal accompaniment… from doughnut peaches and ripe figs finished over fire, to great hunks of watermelon, straight from the fields of southern Italy as the kids break from school. Pink juice running down their faces completes the soporific effect of late summer feasting and long hazy days.

A refreshing rosé... or a sparkling red

As for wine…Kent’s rosés are having a moment (well, they are finally being appreciated!!) and we have a wonderful range, not least from Brenley vineyard, less than a mile from Macknade, which is delicious, ‘light, bright and easy to drink’!! 

Perhaps something a little different, and perfect for the melange of summer flavours, is a frothy red Lambrusco or, if you prefer a touch of sweetness, a lovely sparkling shiraz.

Summer delivers us the most wonderful of ingredients and every Macknade counter glows with the fecundity of this verdant season. As a team it brings us huge joy to share such produce with our community, to tell its stories and enjoy it together. So keep your eyes peeled in-store over the next few months and enjoy what we hope will be a summer to remember!

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