Friday, 4 June 2010

On things grown locally

I, and I assume, like a lot of my fellow foodies try and buy produce locally, rather than the sort that is shipped in from other countries (obviously with exceptions where some fruits and vegetables just can't be grown in the British climate).

Since I moved to the UK five and a half years ago, I've made a lot of firsts when it comes to eating food in season. It DOES taste better, lasts longer and without the overwhelming guilt of air miles. I remember the first time my future-mother-in-law cooked me asparagus, it was the beginning of the very short season and she simply steamed it and served it with salt, pepper and butter. It was heaven.

Jersey Royal potatoes are another and I make a point of buying a couple of bags every year, savoy cabbage too...the list goes on.

Today brings me to my newest discovery, while feeling a little peckish, I was about to pick up my usual tub of blueberries (sadly grown in Turkey) when I glanced up and saw these strange extra large blackberries grown in Kent. I've never been a major fan of blackberries because of the tartness, but thought I'd give these a go. My lord, they were delicious, the right amount of sweetness and tartness and with a size that makes it feel like a proper snack food – I scoffed the lot.

A little research (I read the label) led me to discover they were Karaka Blacks, originally from New Zealand, but grown in the UK and are the sweetest variety. They look like mini corn cobs to me, but definitely a new favourite. I bought them in Waitrose, but I'm sure they'll be available elsewhere.

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