Sorry, what are these things called?
I often enjoy a quiet smug moment when asked by a teenage part-time sales assistant if the bunch of herbs I am buying is coriander or parsley, or the bags of frozen fruit are blueberries or black currants – or if my vegetables are artichokes or celeriac, or avocados or aubergines etc. If feeling smug was not bad enough, I then start to think I should be trying to enlighten these innocent youngsters in the enjoyment and knowledge of food – I might offer an explanation: ‘That is coriander not parsley, you can tell by the deep lobed leaves with a feathery pattern to the leaf edge and by its scent of lemons…’
However, recently, I found myself in a very ironic turnaround: it was I that had to ask the assistant what the fruit is called. Here I am a self-confess foodie trying to educate the world about food and I did not know what the punnet of white berries was at Turnips in London’s Borough Market.
The berries were white currants. They are an albino form of a red currant with an identical taste. They come in very posh little punnets – just a small handful. But they are still good value – especially if they also provide decoration or the subject of a photograph before consumption. They burst with sharp flavour and look very distinctive in a monochrome-styled dessert.
So next time you are asked what a particular herb, fruit or vegetable is just casually say what it is – one day you may need to do the same yourself.
In the meantime, I thought I’d make a white currant tart with my new purchase!