One of the things many visitors like about Japan is that there are many seasonal foods. I’ve been asked by my Japanese friends and students if Australia also has seasonal foods. In my opinion, we do, but it feels like it is much less obvious or culturally defined in comparison with Japan. Traditionally, many seasonal foods were based on seasonal crops and the markets would be fully of produce matching the season. These days agricultural technology enables growers to bring produce to market in the off-season, so it is sometimes hard to notice the variety of fruit in shops change at all. Still, things like fruit are cheaper when they are in season, so people use them in their cooking more at that time.
One well-known summer crop is apricot. Apricots are often used in deserts and are also a popular dried food. Dried apricot is common in Australian breakfast cereals – like muesli – and in trail mixes.
Some types of grape are best picked in autumn. Most of these are used in wine production, but many people enjoy eating them them raw. Some people like to make jam out of them or even use them in salads.
Kiwi fruit is still mainly only available in winter. They are mostly used in deserts or salads. They are also often seen atop Pavilova – an iconic Australian desert.
Strawberries are very popular and are abundant in spring. They are especially common in cakes and jam. Children seem to love them in particular.