Strawberries

Strawberries. The strawberry was esteemed by the late Dr. Abernethyas the most wholesome of all fruits, "balsamic and refreshing, and one of the most precious gifts of Providence!" It is mildly acid, contains a medium proportion of sugar and mucilage, and the seeds act on the bowels similarly to those of the fig. In some cases the seeds are said to have accumulated in the stomach and produced alarming disease. The occurrence is rare, however, and need no more deter us from eating strawberries than the fact of a person being choked with a fish-bone should deter us from eating fish. According to Linnaeus, strawberries are an excellent prevention of gout and gravel. Wine is supposed to be injurious to the beneficial action of strawberries when taken in connexion ; and the usual appendage of cream and sugar, although highly nourishing to the robust, is not adapted to weak stomachs. The fruit should not be too freely indulged in after dinner, or any other full meal. In warm weather strawberries are very grateful for breakfast or lunch, and a foreign fashion of preparing them has lately been adopted : it is as follows: - Take off the stalks from as many berries as will form one layer at the bottom of a dish; sift some fine loaf-sugar over them, then place another layer, and sift again, each layer being smaller than the other, and the heap raised in a pyramidical form. When you have several layers, squeeze the juice or a fresh lemon over the whole. Before they are served out, they should be gently disturbed so as to receive the full benefit of the lemon-juice and sugar. They may be eaten of heartily when thus prepared, without danger.

Raspberries

Raspberries resemble strawberries in most of their qualities, and may be used in the same manner; but their flavour is too strong to be agreeable when eaten fresh : they are, therefore, mostly used for tarts or preserving. In picking, great care must be taken to abstract the small worm which will generally be found on withdrawing the stalk when quite ripe.

Gooseberries

Gooseberries. According to Dr. John, an eminent continental chemist, the ana-lysation of this fruit gave the following substances, but in what proportion he does not state: - Water, sugar, citrate of lime, ditto of potash, malate of lime, ditto of potash, resin, gum, fibrin, ammonia, phosphate of lime, and phosphate of magnesia. Next to the strawberry the gooseberry is esteemed as the most wholesome and digestible of our native fruits. Like that, it possesses a good mixture of sugar and acid, but abounds more in mucilage and hard seeds. The skin besides is astringent, acid, fibry, and indigestible; from the latter of which qualities it acts upon the bowels by irritation, and proves laxative; for which reason some have recommended the skins to be eaten. Of this we do not approve, for the seeds answer the purpose sufficiently well without loading the bowels with a mass of indigestible and irritable substances. Gooseberries are recommended in cutaneous diseases - being cooling to the blood - and also in deficiency of bile. Heat, whether applied to the stewing or baking, proves as in the case of apples) an excellent corrector of the crude juices of unripe or inferior fruit, and the green shoots of rhubarb, which are likewise sub-acid and saccharine, make a wholesome addition to pies and puddings in the early part of summer.