Graeme Pallister, chef at Perth's 63 Tay Street, on Perthshire berries
Nowhere else in the world encourages eclectic cookery more than Perthshire, and it’s no more evident than during our berry fruit season. For decades now our local farms have reigned supreme producing the finest strawberries, rasps and blueberries. They’re a staple not only on national menus but also healthy diets with edible skins full of antioxidants.
I have always had an association with berry time, having grown up here. My childhood was filled with seasonal work; when I wasn’t pulling tatties I was scratching my hands at the rasps (eating more than I picked, of course), saving up for the next transformer toy. Nowadays I am just as excited to see and smell the big trays of berries being delivered to the restaurant in the morning ready for lunch. Sniff this, and if you don’t smile it’s time to seek advice on life!
As with most products from our local farmers, simplicity is the key in serving. More often than not their perfection can be dominated with balsamic ice creams and black pepper tuilles. Whether it’s for my kids at home or if I’m serving berries up for lunch in the restaurant, whipped cream with a spoonful of home-made lemon curd on freshly hulled strawberries explodes my senses and I am left wondering if anything can demonstrate the taste of Scotland more.
● Graeme Pallister is chef at 63 Tay Street, Perth, 01738 441451, www.63taystreet.com