The distinctive, slightly bitter/metallic flavour of spinach makes it something of a ‘love it or hate it’ food. Spinach is available year-round, but the freshest, but most tender spinach is most easily obtainable in the spring. It is thought that spinach was first cultivated in southwest Asia. Trade routes through the Middle East took it to North Africa, from where it was introduced to Europe by the Moors by the twelfth century.