Summer

Summer warm days claim cooling dishes and with the bounty of summer vegetables, cold soups, salads and lightly grilled meat or fish take part in most summer menus.

All fruit is seasonal and there is not a better selection than during the summer, both locally produced and imported, and, specially when locally grown, fruit is at its best. Buy fresh, firm fruit and eat within a few days. Always store it in a cool dry place. Enjoy salad vegetables, also at their best, including a great variety of lettuces, with great flavor and firm texture.

Vegetables

Best quality: artichoke; beets; broad beans; carrots; corn; cress; cucumber; French beans; green beans; runner beans; lettuce; peas; peppers; radish; salad greens; tomatoes.

Available: asparagus; avocado; broccoli; cabbage; cauliflower; celery; fennel; kohlrabi; mushroom; onions; turnip; zucchini.

Fruit

Best quality: apricots and strawberries during the first half; all berries and soft fruits, bilberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, gooseberries, loganberries, raspberries, red currants, white currants; cherries; peaches; plums; melons; nectarines; watermelon; later, grapes, almonds and hazelnuts.

Available: bananas; figs; grapefruit; mangoes; pineapple; there are also walnuts and Brazil nuts.

Meat

Better to choose lamb or fillet steaks. There is also mutton; veal, beef; pork.

Poultry

Available: chicken, duck, goose, guinea fowl, and turkey.

Best quality: duck, which is at its best from the second half of the summer.

Game

Available: pigeon, quail, and rabbit.

Best quality: venison.

Fish

Best quality: Freshwater bass, hake, sole, and turbot, as white fish; carp, herring, grey mullet, red mullet, perch, pike, salmon, sardine, brown trout, sea trout or salmon, albacore or yellow-tail tune, and whitebait, as oily fish; mackerel from the second half.

Available: cod, dogfish, flounder, haddock, mock halibut, plaice, whiting; mackerel, pilchard, rainbow trout.

Seafood

Best quality: crab, lobster, scallops, whelks, winkles.

Available : clams, cockles, prawn, shrimp.