‘Country life has its advantages’, he used to say, ‘You sit on the veranda drinking tea and your ducklings swim on the pond, and everything smells good…and there are gooseberries.’
Anton Chekhov, Gooseberries, 1898
A key ingredients in our Wild Old Tom is the humble Yorkshire Gooseberry making it juicy, tart and full-flavoured. We now source our gooseberries from Ainthorpe outside Whitby, making our wild Old Tom a proper Yorkshire tipple.
The UK is particularly well-disposed to producing perfect gooseberries and on our doorstep we produce some of the worlds greatest. In the beautiful and isolated village of Ainthorpe, the world largest and tastiest gooseberry’s are produced. We has the pleasure of meeting Graeme Watson in July and he showed us impressive gooseberry crops and World Record Certificate for his 64.56g gooseberry grown last year. It is these gooseberries which make their way in to our Wild Old Tom.
The Yorkshire region is a special area and is world famous for its association to this green berry as it set up Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society, in 1801, which holds the annual Gooseberry Contest on the first Tuesday in August.
Indigenous to cooler areas of Europe and western Asia, gooseberries were first cultivated in Britain in the sixteenth century when they were used medicinally and recommended to plague victims in London. Gooseberries are the first British fruit to ripen and I think they should be celebrated just as much as the strawberry or raspberry. They are hardy, tart but sweet if you nurture them and have patience…. A little bit like the Yorkshire folk.
Gooseberries are low in calories and fat, yet packed with nutrients and anti oxidants.
So on this glorious Monday let's raise a glass to our Wild Old Tom packed with the Worlds Greatest Gooseberries!