British seasonal food in January

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Here’s the comprehensive guide to the best British seasonal food in January. We have a few tasty fruits, vegetables, herbs, fish, meats and cheeses to enjoy at their peak right now.

Ingredients can be somewhat sparse this month, being mainly roots and greens, but it’s good for filling and hearty dishes such as casseroles, stews, soups and pies. It’s helpful to supplement your diet with imports or stored ingredients to make more varied and healthy meals, especially if you’re looking for lighter bites or vegan recipes at the moment.

Fruit in season in January

British seasonal food in January fruit UK and imported
Clockwise from top left: apples, blood oranges, pears, pomegranates

British-grown seasonal fruit

  • apples (from store)
  • pears (from store)
  • rhubarb (very early forced)

Best imported seasonal fruit

  • blood oranges
  • clementines
  • dates
  • passion fruit
  • pineapples (Caribbean)
  • pomegranate
  • Seville oranges
  • tangerines

Nuts in season

  • hazelnuts (from store)
  • walnuts (from store)

Recommended seasonal fruit inspiration:

Seasonal fruit inspiration book recommendations

Vegetables in season in January

British Seasonal Food in January vegetables veg UK
Clockwise from top left: Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, swedes, Brussels sprouts tops

  • Brussels sprouts and their tops
  • cabbages (Savoy and other winter types)
  • celeriac
  • chicory
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • kale
  • leeks
  • parsnips
  • salsify
  • scorzonera
  • swedes

You can also find leafy crops grown under cover (endive, lamb’s lettuce, mustards and other winter salad leaves), stored pumpkins and winter squash, crops that can store in the ground or boxed in sand (beetroot, turnip and winter radish) and very early varieties of purple sprouting broccoli.

[Available most months in good condition: broccoli, button mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, maincrop potatoes, onions, rocket.]

Herbs in season in January

  • chervil (grown under cover)
  • winter savory

[Always available: chives, coriander and parsley grown under cover; older leaves of hardy perennials like bay, rosemary, sage, thyme.]

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Recommended seasonal veg inspiration:

Foraged / wild foods in January

British Seasonal Food in January wild foraged food uk and imported
Left to right: White truffle (Italian), black truffle

A very quiet month for wild and foraged food.

  • truffles (mostly imported)

[Take great care when foraging as it’s very easy to confuse edible and poisonous ingredients.]

Foraged and wild food inspiration:

Fish in season in January 2023

British Seasonal Food in January fish shellfish seafood UK
Clockwise from top left: cockles, pollock, whiting, scallops

Fish stocks change from year to year and vary around different parts of the UK’s coastline, but here’s a rough guide to the latest information.

Sustainable British fish

  • brill
  • clams
  • cockles
  • dab
  • flounder
  • gurnard (grey, red)
  • haddock
  • hake
  • halibut (farmed)
  • mackerel
  • monkfish
  • mussels
  • oysters
  • pike
  • pollock
  • pouting / bib
  • prawns
  • sole (Dover / common, lemon, witch / Torbay)
  • spider crab
  • sprat / whitebait
  • trout (rainbow)
  • turbot (wild)

[To the best of my knowledge, the list above excludes critically endangered fish, but this can change at short notice. Visit The Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society for latest lists.]

Less sustainable fish

You should also be able to source some of these from a responsible fishmonger in January.

  • cod
  • halibut (wild)
  • langoustines / scampi
  • razor clams
  • scallops (king, queen)
  • seabream / black bream
  • squid
  • whelks

[In good condition almost all year: arctic char, herring, farmed sea bream and turbot, megrim sole, sustainably-fished monkfish, rope-grown mussels, prawns, rainbow trout.]

Recommended fish & shellfish inspiration:

Meat, poultry and game in season in January

British Seasonal Food in January meat game and poultry UK
Clockwise from top left: guinea fowl, venison, pheasant, partridge

  • capercaillie
  • duck (wild)
  • goose (wild)
  • guinea fowl
  • mallard
  • partridge
  • pheasant
  • snipe (common)
  • teal
  • venison (fallow, red hinds, roe doe, sika)
  • widgeon
  • woodcock

[Always available in good condition: beef, chicken, pork, rabbit, farmed venison, wood pigeon.]

Recommended meat, poultry & game inspiration:

Cheese in season in January

British Seasonal Food in January cheese cheeses UK French
Clockwise from top left: Mrs Appleby’s Cheshire, mature Stilton, Morbier, Munster

British-made January cheese

  • Appleby’s Cheshire
  • mature blue cheeses (Stilton, blue Wensleydale)

Imported seasonal cheese

  • Morbier
  • Munster

[Many quality mature cheeses are available year-round, especially hard cheeses.]

Recommended cheese & wine inspiration:

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Favourite British seasonal food in January

Here at Golightly Gardens we’ve mostly been eating up lots of Christmas leftovers so far this month, including Stilton and other cheeses served with crackers, and celery and sliced pears on the side. It’s one of the simplest ways to have a quick ‘picky tea’ after a long and busy day, but it somehow feels like a feast too.

On a recent rainy evening we cooked up carrot and swede mash to go with veggie sausages, greens and onion gravy, because it’s perfect mid-week comfort food for this time of year. Looking further ahead I’m adding a few seasonal treats to my shopping list, such as blood oranges and chicory for winter salads, some parsnips to add to curried soup, and early purple sprouting broccoli if I can find any.

What’s on your shopping list this January? Do you have any favourite British seasonal ingredients this month?

Recommended general seasonal inspiration:

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  1. Thanks for the info. I especially like the Nuts In Season section as my favourite nuts are hazelnuts and walnuts 🙂

  2. As for Jerusalem Artichokes. I love them (though I don’t enjoy peeling them) but it’s rare that I see them in shops. I am from Denmark and used to see them in supermarkets all the time, but in London, I only think I’ve seen them a few times and only in specialised food markets/shops. Do you have any recommendations on where to get them in London?

  3. Dear Penny, love to hear from you. I’ll be happy to join the self care week mid-january. I am doing an empty storecupboard right now in order to prepare this coming spring. I have so much harvests to eat from last year that my challenge is going, up until end of april, 3 meals per day 7/7 a week oups….Someone forgot to do the stocktake….

  4. Ida,

    Have you checked Waitrose? I bought Jerusalem artichokes last week.and they were delicious.

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