I know this is a loaded question. Somehow I always find myself using food/ingredient when it is NOT in season (but I suspect I am not the only one...). As a result, it is one of my new year resolutions to eat and cook food/ingredients when they ARE in season in order to appreciate their taste at its prime.
My plan is to put together a chart with months in chronological order and associate all the things I like to eat and try to the corresponding month(s) when they are bountiful and taste the best, which will then be used as a reminder for me to plan menu. Below is my first attempt and I have no doubt it will continue to grow.... and I would love to know what are the things you will only eat during certain months of the year to help me explore food that I have not tried but should have. And if there are specific locations or ways that certain food should be enjoyed to taste the best (including mail-order sources), I would appreciate the suggestions and corrections too! (The ones with * are to be tried in 2008.)
Jan.: Honeybell* (mail-order)
July: Cherry (mail-order)
August: tree-ripened peach from Michigan (U-Pick orchard or farmer's market)
Sept/Oct: Apple from U-Pick orchard
Oct: Dungeness Crab* (Port Angeles, WA), Oyster
Dec. Harry & David Royal Riviera Pear (mail-order)