Hail the red berries

I’ve been waiting for red berry season. I know I’m not alone. Rejoice, friends, for it has finally arrived.

The first strawberries of the season.

The strawberries were out a couple of weeks ago, later than usual, but still beating out the other berries. There are two types of strawberries commonly grown by BC producers: June-bearing varieties, true to their name, produce mainly in June; ever-bearing varieties produce fruit throughout the summer. There are differences in size and taste between the varieties, but I’m not one to quibble. Just hand over the berries.

It’s a good thing that I had already enjoyed the first strawberries of the season when a World Cup commentator during the Spain vs. Honduras game (round of 32) said rather wistfully in that ubiquitous British commentator’s voice during the 42+ minute: “Spain is producing a product you could pour on your strawberries.” I had eaten strawberries that morning on my granola, and had lined up a few select specimens to round out my banana smoothie at lunch, so I could absorb this comment in relative calm. Though it’s a mite dangerous to name an obsession while engaging in another obsession at the same time. What was he thinking? Discussing strawberries with a sporting British accent could start a riot.

Drying raspberries for freezing.

But now it’s already the end of June, and the raspberries are out. Oh raspberries! Just in time, as I polished off the last of my frozen hoard a few days ago. Whoever invented the freezer must have been a berry lover.

I eat raspberries because they are delicious, of course. But every time I do I can’t help but recall that they are also good for my uterus. Well, okay, it’s the red raspberry leaf when consumed as a tea that helps tone the uterus. But the red colour of raspberries and other red berries screams health. The anthocyanins in raspberries and strawberries give these berries antioxidant properties that protect cell structures in the body by neutralizing free radicals. In fact, red berries provide the triple benefit of antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic properties.

Now that I think about it, the commentator had it backwards. I don’t need to pour anything on my strawberries. I need to pour strawberries and raspberries over everything else.

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