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Asparagus and rhubarb - the seasonal May cuisine

The culinary calendar allows us to enjoy very different specialties throughout the year. After the winter, which includes meat, groats, root vegetables and pickles, it is nice to welcome a lighter, spring cuisine. Today - that is, in times when wild strawberries are available in the middle of winter - the cuisine does not change so drastically with the changing seasons, but invariably the best dishes on our tables are those prepared from seasonal products. Apart from their taste, they also have a lot of charm, because everything you had to wait for a long time brings the most joy. Everyone will probably agree that mushrooms taste best in the fall, and rhubarb and asparagus in May.


Spring always brings an appetite for spring vegetables, and with it more tasty features in the stalls and markets. Fresh fruit and vegetables make it possible to use the recipes which are part of a healthy, light cuisine.A lighter diet allows you to think a little more seriously about reaching for summer clothes and maybe fit in a bathing suit with your #beachbody. 


The turn of April/May is traditionally the time when the vegetable and fruit season begins. Of course, weather changes may cause small shifts, but that' s perfectly natural. In the era of globalism, we got used to the fact that you can eat strawberries in January, but invariably the true taste and aroma is hidden in what is fresh. Nowadays, on the market stands in Poznań and its surroundings we can find new potatoes, beans, carrots as well as asparagus - the latter closely associated with May. For several weeks now we have been also able to buy rhubarb and the first strawberries of the year. 


If you're looking for hints on what's seasonal and what's worth buying, we suggest you get peas, sorrel, a whole range of lettuces, but also early apple varieties or underestimated gooseberries.  The apples and gooseberries, but also the aforementioned rhubarb are very charming and tasty products to use in the production of many kinds of desserts and compotes, for example. When the prices of rhubarb and fruit start to drop, we recommend that you use the recipes for preserves and compotes refreshed by renowned chefs and restaurateurs. There is no doubt that home preserves will not be surpassed by any industrial production, and they are not only a tasty addition to the home pantry for the next few months, but also an idea for a nice little thing that we can bestow on family or friends who share our enthusiasm for good and healthy cuisine.   



Does the arrival of these vegetables and fruits translate into the restaurant offer? Of course it does, although not all of the products mentioned above are equally popular among chefs. Asparagus is the absolute star of May's culinary compositions. Well-known and popular in Poznan but also in the whole Wielkopolska region, asparagus can be found in practically every possible menu. It is served as a main course or starter in combination with hollandaise sauce, eggs Benedict or with breadcrumbs, but also as an addition to fish, pasta or risotto. You can also find asparagus in hamburgers and even sushi. The most daring use of asparagus we have encountered in recent years is asparagus cakes, ice cream or compotes. We can also expect that at the end of the asparagus season, this delicate vegetable will also appear in pickled form - and you may very well consider making some yourself. There are plenty of recipes online on how to pickle them in a salty or sour brine. Asparagus can also be frozen - of course it will not be as tasty as when it is fresh, but it can serve perfectly for a pasta or risotto.


After years of oblivion, gooseberries and rhubarb also return to the tables. This happens both at home thanks to bloggers and culinary celebrities, but also in restaurants, where chefs are very eager to use traditional recipes, often giving them a new life. These are ingredients with character you need to have an idea for, but if you find it, the result can be stunning. Both products are commonly used in desserts, cold soups and compotes and increasingly daringly in main courses and soups. 


Whenever you find rhubarb and asparagus on a menu, we recommend that you try them.It can be assumed that chefs do not use these ingredients by accident and have their own ideas for them. 



It is worth making a compote at home and experimenting with gooseberries as an addition to baby cabbage. Rhubarb is perfect in yeast dough and in the form of jams and sauces. If you are more experienced in the kitchen, we recommend using rhubarb as an addition to duck. Sweet and sour rhubarb, just like apples or cabbage with wine vinegar, will be a perfect match for oily, distinctly flavoured meat.


The beginning of May is also a slight relaxation of restrictions related to the attempt at counteracting the coronavirus pandemic. With moderation and common sense, we look at the catering market in Poznań and its surroundings and check how seasonal products will be included in the menu. We encourage you to look for them on your own and choose the dishes based on seasonal products. Most of the produce which appears in the spring and early summer is considered healthy and balanced dietary products. You can read up on the many advantages and benefits of rhubarb and asparagus online. One notable thing about rhubarb is that it should not be consumed raw - you can also find more details on this online.

Given the circumstances, it will probably be easier to meet someone you know at the marketplace than in a restaurant. However, food has the great advantage that it can be enjoyed even in a small group. We wish you successful shopping and interesting culinary discoveries while browsing through the May menus. 





Poznań in Bocuse d'Or 2020