The UK’s hungry gap is a few weeks after winter crops have ended and before the new season’s organic veg is ready for harvest. It’s a quaint concept now with 24hr supermarkets where seasonality hardly exists, but it’s an issue for British farmers where the cold UK winters aren’t optimal for growing.
Traditionally, the gap meant a diet of cabbage, potatoes and preserved fruit from previous seasons, and back in the day it was a far more serious issue – when there was a real risk of people going hungry. While today’s global imports help secure a steady supply of fresh produce, people are increasingly taking a mindful approach and buying local organic veg to support farmers and reduce their carbon footprint. It certainly brings an awareness that food supply is temporary and fragile. That said, while it’s a lean time on UK farms, there are some seasonal treats you won’t want to miss out on.
Hungry Gap Kale
Trendy kale has actually been in vogue since wartime Britain, as back then it had - and still does have - the ability to reduce the impact of the hungry gap. Full of nutrients, it has a mild flavour but shines in any dish such as salads, or when thrown into peasant-style soups and stews. For a quick side dish, lightly fry it with some oil, garlic and sesame seeds.