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"It would solve the problem overnight if we could double the price," said Mr Taylor."At £2 for a 400g punnet, we can't afford to invest in the fruit." Supermarkets are reluctant to take a risk on a fruit with such a short shelf-life, Mr Taylor claimed.Over the past two decades, farmers have invested heavily in extending the season for popular soft fruits, such as the strawberry.In addition, mainstream berries are imported from all over the world to ensure a year-round supply.It was the same story at the local fruit-and-veg stall.“Oooh, no,” said the man, “we haven’t had gooseberries for a few years now.The particular pleasures of an English gooseberry pie – syrupy juices seeping into buttery pastry, eaten in July or August – may become the stuff of folk myth.
Last weekend, however, I salvaged from the depths two lamb chops and three sausages to go with the scrambled eggs the next day.By such small rewards is a middle-aged man’s life cheered along.Also, a tub of gooseberry purée, which allowed me to make a fool of something and reverse the usual trajectory of life. For her, sour is good: she sucks lemon slices, for heaven’s sake.In the post-dinner dissection, however, my friend was swift to dismiss any chance of a rerun.The man's crime was to place his Black Berry on the café table as they sat down and then check his email every few minutes.