In season

July 21

In now: It’s time to taste the tropics as fruit season peaks in the tropical north. Carambola has a mild sweet flavour. Slice it horizontally to see why it’s also called star fruit.

At its best: Parsnip is said to become sweeter after frosts. Test the theory by cooking some now. Peel only if necessary and make a judgement call about the core.

Best buy: Brussels sprouts store well in loose plastic in the crisper.

In the vegie patch: Order tomato seed from online suppliers, sow into jiffy pots and germinate on a warm windowsill to plant out in September.

What else:

  • white and red cabbage are both sweet and good
  • buerre bosc pears have a creamy texture and lightly fragrant flavour
  • there is plenty of horseradish around to spice up a steak
  • the blood oranges are coming good

2 thoughts on “July 21

  1. Sherry Cook says:

    Dear Robin,

    I am inquiring regarding if you know if jerusalem artichokes have been developed so that they don’t have any of the group of carbohydrates called inulin, which results in a lot of flatulence after you eat them? I have a recipe for these which I used to make as it was absolutely delicious, but stopped because of the gas problem. Please advise by emailing me at Thanks.

    Sherry Cook

    • Robin Powell says:

      Thanks for your question about gassy Jerusalem artichokes.

      I’m afraid I can’t help you with news of low-inulin varieties. Some gardeners believe that leaving the tubers to overwinter allows them to convert some of the inulin to starch, so if you grow your own you could try that. Some cooks say if you cook them slowly over a long period of time, the inulin changes and causes no problems, so you could also try that.

      But I think the essential problem is that inulin is a great thing and you wouldn’t want to get rid of it. It’s an insoluble fibre which is great for digestive bulk, and also for feeding the army of good bacteria in the gut. (It’s their digestion which causes the gas problems.) So good are inulin’s effects, and its ability to bulk up food without adding calories, and give a creamy texture, likewise with no calories, that it is used by lots of food manufactures in the process of making ‘health foods’.

      I’m sorry you have had to give them up. I am not affected by the problem, so love making Ottolenghi’s roast chicken with jerusalem artichokes. Especially at this time of year!

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