You’re done with the wrinkled prunes, mousy raisins and dry figs. Sink your molars this season into the juicy splendour of fresh berries jostling for your attention. They pack in the vitamin cocktail and zingy taste that make your little heart sing. Move over spiced berry mojitos and sweet smoothies, here comes the berry brigade. Reinvented.
Strawberry devotees rejoice as the pink fruit unfurls in all lusciousness in perfect sync with the nippy breeze. Pepperazzi Pink comes crafted with perfection from the house of artisanal ice-creamery, Sucres Des Terres in Mumbai. “The dessert marries fire and ice as it brings in ice-cream created with plump strawberries, and carries a vein of charcoal black pepper for an unexpected kick. It is a perfect mix of the zesty spice of black pepper and the lingering sweetness of soft strawberries from Mahabaleshwar,” says founder Kunali Dattoobhai.
Dubbed as a power food, strawberries zip up your daily dose of anti-oxidants and Vitamin C, and add sheen to your hair and nails. Pastry chef Olivier Vincenot at food store Foodhall—which has outlets in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru—has come up with a lipsmacking spread of shortbread cookies. “Heart-shaped strawberry shortbread, shortbread with flowers and a large cookie toffee, wrapped together,” he says. And in a spin on the perfect aphrodisiac for the season, he brings in Tuxedo Strawberries in a sinful spread of strawberries dipped in white and dark chocolate.
Go berry blue
Jockeying close behind are blueberries in all their goodness. Called the DNA repair warriors, the little blue genies rev up your immunity beautifully. Gaurav Malhotra, Executive Chef, Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre & HICC, has come up with blueberry and chilli molasses laid out with glazed rack of lamb coupled with vanilla fondant potato and fresh blueberry and green mango salad. “The almost citrus-like but sweeter taste of blueberries with lamb make this dish one of my favourites. The blueberries add a bit of tanginess and sweetness to the lamb, balancing the spiciness of the chillies. It is a fabulous mix of antioxidants brought in by both chillies and blueberries.”
It was sheer serendipity for Sanyo Vaz, Executive Chef, It Happened in New York, in Mumbai as he dished out arugula and mixed berry salad with berry dressing. “We emulsify berry compote with extra virgin olive oil and mustard for lending a sweet, tangy taste to the dressing. The fresh raspberries and cranberries tossed up with with goat cheese, arugula and pickled red cabbage create a virtual culinary coup,” he says.
Fusion it is in Chef Albana Khatri’s unique Berry Rasmalai as well. A delectable mix of blueberry, raspberry and cranberry makes it way into the dessert specially created at modern Indian dining eatery, Umraan, in Mumbai. “The beauty of the compote lies in the taste of the berries cooked in their natural juices, and this adds a slight sour punch to the otherwise traditional dessert.”