Mar 5, 2013 by

Raspberries freshly picked from my garden

Part of my life in a previous existence was to buy industrial quantities of raspberries and strawberries.  I can almost tell you to the month what continent they are imported from.  When so many chefs, restaurants and the industry in general have realised that seasonal food is best, I am continually surprised that this does not seem to apply to soft fruit.

On Shrove Tuesday just past, so many people tweeted pictures of strawberries and raspberries with their pancakes.  Maybe and it’s understandable there is a longing for the summer and the taste of fresh soft, sweet fruit. But at this time of year, they are utterly tasteless and represent a huge waste of money.  Someone said to me recently when I mentioned this, that they are seasonal in the country they are being exported from. This may be so, but the varieties grown are chosen for their abilities to withstand transport rather than texture and flavour.  They are also picked unripe which further impinges on flavour.

When strawberries are grown and ripened naturally they have that lovely sweet smell and the flavour is so worth waiting for.

This summer past I had an unbelievable crop of the most luscious and flavoursome raspberries. I had for the previous two years cursed them endlessly, as I had bought the canes in Lidl and they sucker everywhere.  I was almost at the end of my tether with them and was just short of pulling them all up.  Something stopped me and I am so glad now that it did.

Apart from the apricot all the fruit grown by myself

I always feel it is a waste to make jam with such luxurious fruit but I was able to spare some this year so I went ahead and made it.  In these winter months I am delighted I did, because served with warm fresh scones or brown soda bread hot out of the oven the taste is incomparable.

Tags: Seasonal soft fruit  Strawberry  Raspberry  Raspberry jam Irish Recipes

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