When it comes to the vegetables you bring home, is buying local produce always best? While we love supporting our community farmers, we’ve found that sometimes, local veggies don’t do the job. That’s why some of Tommy’s veggie blends include vegetables from Europe – veggies with a passport 😉.
If you’re curious about why we source some of our vegetables from Europe, keep reading!
European Produce: What’s the Difference?
Of course, there are positives to both local and imported produce. But things like flavor, variety, and accessibility vary between the two. Here are some of the things we like about vegetables from Europe.
A Focus on Quality
For many farmers in the U.S., the focus is on creating a greater quantity of produce, rather than quality produce. That’s not surprising, considering many farmers are paid for the amount of produce they provide, and not how that produce tastes. Here’s a disheartening but true story about taste not being number one: a farmer and researcher from Gainesville, Florida has created a nutrient dense tomato that also happens to be quite delicious. However, Harry Klee has been told his tasty tomatoes are too small, which means they cost more to pick and therefore, you can’t find them in grocery stores. Sadly, the nice flavor doesn’t really matter when it comes to what sells in the U.S.
We’ve traveled all across the world looking for the freshest, highest quality vegetables, and in Europe, we frequently find veggies grown for quality and flavor not just yield or cost per pound.
As noted above, flavor isn’t always top of mind for vegetable producers or consumers in the U.S. But European consumers are more demanding, which means the producers will strive for a rich flavor profile more readily. We aren’t the only ones who have noticed this – not too long ago, Vox published an article appropriately called, “Why fruits and vegetables taste better in Europe.”
Variety and Accessibility
Buying fresh, seasonal produce brings new and exciting elements to our meals. But buying that produce out of season often means it loses taste and/or has a less ideal texture. However, by importing produce we’re able to find a wide variety of vegetables year round. This is where the magic of frozen comes in.
Frozen vegetables, even those that have crossed an ocean, retain their natural taste because they were grown and picked in season. Even better, our vegetables are flash frozen immediately after harvest, sealing in the taste and nutrients at their peak. So by going to Europe or other parts of the world to find the best tasting veggies, then by immediately flash-freezing them, we can virtually guarantee a tastier, healthier veggie than is found in the “fresh” section of the grocery store – at any time of year.
Tommy’s Vegetables: Bringing You the Best
When we create our unique vegetable medleys, we search far and wide for the best taste and quality available. From green chickpeas in Washington state to brussels sprouts in Brussels, Belgium, and beyond.
We’re dedicated to providing our customers with the best of the best. That’s why we do our research and continue to sample and source a wide variety of vegetables for our unique veggie blends. As Michael Pollan, a professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and known expert in the food movement said in a New York Times interview:
It’s easy to criticize food that comes from far away, but if the question is whether this is good for your health or not, in general it is.”
Frozen vegetables – including those grown in Europe – are a great addition to any meal or diet, especially if they make it easier for you to eat more veggies every day.
Do you have questions about vegetables from Europe or anywhere else in the world? We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment and let us know.