A seasonal ingredient, or seasonal food, is a type of produce that you purchase and/or consume around the same time it’s harvested. Many restaurants utilize seasonal ingredients by buying fruits, vegetables, and sometimes meats from local farmers.
Even if the restaurant isn’t buying or using the ingredients as soon as they purchase them, they’re still seasonal ingredients in that they have limited availability. Local farms grow enough for everyone, but for a limited time for some ingredients as they can only grow in the spring and be ready in time for the summer. Some ingredients grow in the summer fast enough to go to restaurants and keep them well supplied, but can’t grow in the fall and winter.
This leads restaurants like Kevin’s Restaurant to change up their menu to incorporate the popular ingredients of the season and replace what isn’t available.
Why Are Seasonal Ingredients a Good Thing?
It’s a common idea that restrictions and limits breed innovation. Having limits on what ingredients we can use forces our kitchen to get creative and experimental. We can test dishes with the minimal amount of ingredients available with our specials in the off-seasons, for starters. This way we can search for what our guests enjoy and keep them coming back for more. If something becomes incredibly popular, we can even consider it for our regular menu for when the ingredients are widely available.
Why Aren’t Seasonal Ingredients Shipped in from Other Countries?
While the United States is in the dead of summer or winter, other places around the world are experiencing the opposite season. On first consideration, it may make sense to think that these ingredients can be grown somewhere else. In reality, most other countries don’t have the same environments as our local farms, and can’t recreate the climate for many ingredients. That’s not to mention how many ingredients spoil as they’re being shipped.
Even if there are ingredients that could survive the trip and grow somewhere else, they would be too expensive and rarely taste as good as our local farms. Not to mention, we want to support our local farmers first before anyone else when possible.
Why are Some Ingredients Available Year-Round?
Not all ingredients are seasonal. Some plants and ingredients grow so fast or are so resilient that they can grow in most climates year-round. Some are grown or raised using techniques and technologies that the environment becomes a non-factor.
A good example of this is meat, such as poultry or cattle. Chickens and cows can be raised all year round, so there’s never a time when chicken and steak aren’t on the menu.
What Meals at Kevin’s Use Summer Ingredients?
There are many seasonal ingredients in Pennsylvania available during July. We don’t use all of them, but there are several that we use in the dishes from our summer menu. This includes:
- Mandarin Arugula Salad: This salad uses two seasonal ingredients, arugula and cherries.
- Vegan Orecchiette: Basil, corn, garlic, and onions are seasonal ingredients in this dish.
- Kevin’s House Salad: This salad uses carrots and cucumbers, which are seasonal.
- Cheese Board: Our cheese board uses seasonal cherries.
- Chilean Sea Bass: Corn and onions are seasonal ingredients in this dish.
- Ginger & Soy Glazed Salmon & Veal Schnitzel: Both of these dishes use snap peas, which are currently in season.
Eat at Kevin’s Restaurant for the Best Seasonal Ingredients in Pennsylvania
We’re proud to support our local farmers and serve our guests with only the best and freshest of ingredients. From our vegetables to our fruits and our seasoning, we have several ingredients that are best when they come from local sources. To try out some of these superb dishes, make a reservation today!