Friday, 22 November 2013

Berry Berry Much

"It is easy to be bountiful with berries. I love a mix of crimson raspberries,           scarlet strawberries and dark-purple blackberries tossed together and                   heaped in a shallow bowl lined with strawberry leaves."

Stephanie Alexander, The Cook's Companion

Berries are a beautiful thing. I won't get into the whole "doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did" because Dr William Butler was talking about wild English strawberries which bear very little resemblance to the plethora of berries we see our on Market shelves these days.
Crackaberries at Damian Pike

But, the abundance of berries means that there is something for everyone. Whether you are after the esoteric nature of the Krimsonberries, the antioxidant power of blueberries, the sweet softness of the raspberry, the boldness of blackberries. Crackaberries, with their slight tartness, go amazingly with goat cheese and in savoury dishes.

Mulberries, fall into another category altogether, they are the prize of the berry bush. These are so delicate, so fragile that they have only begun to appear at the Market recently. Mostly they are eaten straight from the tree, pulled down with crimson-stained hands and treasured, briefly. But there are a few producers who have been able to supply them recently to greengrocers like Reliable Fruit & Vegies, so if you see them, pounce. Sometimes they need to be picked early, simple to survive the trip to Market so let them ripen a little first.

Even our flower sellers get in on the act, with bunches of blackberries making beautiful table decorations. And Max and Susie at Prahran Garden Centre will show you how to grow your own, with blueberry bushes and strawberries spilling out of planters.

That they are good for us, is in no doubt, that they are beautiful is not either. And now they are here in all their glory. So shouldn't you be too?