The English fruit season has started and we have a great selection of strawberries and raspberries from Chichester and the New Forest. The smell of fresh strawberries coming off these punnets is fantastic, just in time for the Bank Holiday. Add some meringues and lashings of cream, dunk them in Pimms, or simply gorge on them in the car as you head home; a decent English strawberry is hard to beat.
A 400g punnet of strawberries is £3.59, while the raspberries are £2.59. This is more expensive than the supermarkets, but we are dealing with smaller farms who pick the fruit when it is ripe, unlike the supermarkets with their lengthy supply chain who have to have the fruit picked unripe and then artificially ripened. The result is that you simply do not get the flavour from supermarket fruit.
We also have plenty of rhubarb, both in stems and conveniently bottled into a gin or raspberry liqueur by the Dampney’s of Meon Valley.
A classic recipe would be strawberry and rhubarb crumble which is a seriously good combination – the tart rhubarb, sweet strawberries and buttery crumble being the perfect early summer pudding. Then you might need to get a small tub of Caroline’s Dairy Ice Cream – Royal Bourban Vanilla should do nicely.