We're heading towards peak soft fruit season at markets. Strawberries, and raspberries have been joined by blackcurrants, gooseberries, red currants and cherries.
These will be swiftly followed by loganberries, blackberries, apricots, nectarines and peaches, the first gages and plums, and the first apples in August.
We often hear people asking what gooseberries are; if you see a punnet don't pass up the opportunity; buy them and try them. If they're hard and green it's likely they'll be sour. Top and tail and cook them simply with a little water and sugar or elderflower cordial and eat when cold with yogurt or cream. Turn them into ice cream, crumbles, tarts and sauces for oily fish. Leave them out to ripen and they'll become softer and sweeter. Red dessert gooseberries are more forgiving, being naturally sweeter. We've also heard that gooseberries can be turned into a very acceptable flavouring for gin!
Gooseberries aren't grapes (although their texture is very similar), nor are they tiny plums. They're members of the currant family. You may occasionally find Jostaberries on our markets; these are a gooseberry/blackcurrant cross.
We love the fact that there used to hundreds of gooseberry societies in Britain, where growers compete to grow the heaviest fruit! Thankfully a few still survive today.
All of our weekend markets are open every week, apart from Ladbroke Grove.
Good news for North West London!
If you're on our email list you'll have noticed we've been asking you to bring your egg boxes back to market to be refilled. Here's why.