July is a wonderful time for fruit lovers! 

Cherries are thought to be introduced to this country by the Romans.  They say you can tell if it’s a Roman road if there are wild cherries lining it (after the Romans spat out the pips)!

British cherries have a much better flavour than many of the cherries we import.  Try morello cherries, they’ve got a wonderful flavour, but rather tart so you may need a bit of sugar!

In Cheshire gooseberry growing is taken very seriously!

They’ve been holding Gooseberry Shows in Goostrey since 1897.  Goostrey, and some other neighbouring villages, still have shows in July – and the competition is very fierce!

The gooseberries are picked in the presence of a witness and then put into boxes:

the one I’ve photographed is over 90 years old.  The boxes are tied with string and the knot is sealed with wax and stamped. The seal must be intact when brought to the show!

They are then weighed in pennyweights and grains.

24 grains = 1 pennyweight and 18 pennyweights = 1 ounce.

The worlds heaviest gooseberry was grown by a Cheshire grower, Kelvin Archer. His gooseberry weighed 64.49g (the same as a large egg).

Gooseberries make lovely crumbles, fools and pies.  Gooseberries are also rich in pectin, making them ideal for jams and jellies.  Gooseberry curd makes a pleasant change from lemon and can easily be made in a microwave.

The sharp flavour of gooseberries also goes well in savoury dishes to accompany oily fish like mackerel or duck.

Gooseberries also make great chutneys and preserves to accompany cheese:

Some Web Links

Have a look on the web for more ideas: