Welcome to Gooseberry Season, population: few. Gooseberries are ripe in late summer, so by the time you’ve turned to them you’ve already gorged on tomatoes and peaches, juicy nectarines and sweet dark cherries. You’re sick of strawberries, bored with the selection of green and gold and black plums, and want something different. In German the word is Stachelbeere, the Sting Berry, which sounds perfect. The berry itself is pleasantly daunting, with funny stripes and a tail at both ends. Raw, it is tart and complex. It tastes like it is very good for you.
The most common recipe on the internet for gooseberries is the Gooseberry Fool: berries boiled with absurd amounts of sugar, then folded into whipped cream.
So, that’s gooseberries. Turns out they’re kind of like the mean kid in junior high: interesting at first, but pretty boring once you get to know them.
Countdown to first meal in France: 83 hours.
Countdown to first meal in a 2-étoiles restaurant: 100 hours. I’ve been watching an absurd number of online videos about the chef and the restaurant (that absurd number is 6. It’s absurd because I have no idea what’s going on in them – I don’t speak French.) Here’s what the French media had to say about the restaurant when it received its second star:
Après l’obtention en avril 2009 d’une deuxième étoile au guide référence en matière de gastronomie, l’hostellerie le Castellas méritait bien une nouvelle toilette.
And here’s how that translates into English:
Close the achievement in April 2009 of a second star to guide standard for cuisine, the inn Castellas deserved a new toilet.
Obviously, I can’t wait, even if the toilet won’t be quite so new by the time we get there.