2013-07-19 11.45.59Gooseberries have had something of a fall from grace latterly, it seems.  Evidently commercial growers have abandoned their cultivation, presumably to switch to the now ubiquitous strawberry/raspberry/blueberry combination currently in all the fruit sections of supermarket shelves.

I can’t say that I had really noticed the lack of them, being rather partial to the red and blue variety of soft summer fruits, but when we saw them on sale at a local farm shop it reminded me of what a feature of childhood summers they had been.  Picking them, and eating them.  I was a reluctant picker, probably because they are too tart to be fun to eat raw, (in sharp contrast to the strawberries or raspberries, or my own particular favourite,  the baby garden peas; you know the drill ‘one for me, one for the basket…..’)

We bought half the available stock.  I’ve not seen one of these cardboard baskets for years either, possibly because most of my food shopping is generally confined to large supermarkets in north London, so it was all slightly nostalgic.  It took two of us about 25 minutes sitting in the sunshine to top and tail the hoard.  They’re in the freezer now, pending a couple of spare hours in which to make some jam.

Are they going the way of the ‘rare breeds’?  It would be a pity.  We need a plan to keep up their production…….. Some fringe nutritionist needs to tell the Daily Mail they’re a super fruit……..

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  1. I have never seen these fruit – though I have read of them in stories.

    • They are the sort of fruit that should be in stories – hopefully involving long English summers!


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