Summer fruits are irresistible. Who can look at all that colour and not want to come away with a little of this, a little of that, simply because it all looks so gorgeous? Our markets right now are at their most vibrant, and we really should give in, because all this bounty is as fleeting as an English sunbeam.
Anyone who has ever picked fruit as a child surely feels a thrill at the first appearance of the real thing – berries that have ripened in the sun, mounds of fragrant cherries, peaches, apricots… Such scenes remind me of the blissful time I spent cooking at Chez Panisse in California, where fruits and vegetables were arranged instead of flowers like joyful still lifes to welcome guests to a meal cooked with simple respect for good ingredients. Boysenberries and loganberries, melons and magenta plums, fragile mulberries, alpine strawberries, wild raspberries full of sweetness from the foggy coast, were turned into tarts, pies, compotes, sorbets, bavarois, jellies, to delight the senses.