Blackberries are in season from August through to October. I welcome them as an early Autumn berry despite their fantastic pairing with a Summery double cream, lightly whipped. Generally I love using these delicious berries in cooking, not least because their taste and tanginess stand up to some of the richer flavours in Autumn cooking.

Try an Autumnal Crumble to warm you up in the colder evenings. We also have a recipe for a visually stunning Warm Duck Salad. And if you fancy a pretty healthy cocktail afterwards, try our Blackberry Martini.

Blackberries help fight free radicals and thus increasing the body’s chances of avoiding cancer. These berries are also good at supporting the health of the liver, lowering the risk of diabetes and even decreasing blood pressure. Another useful feature of this fruit is that it will help your skin to recover from exposure to sunlight over the Summer by preventing the breakdown of collagen. Blackberry is also a great source of fibre, and we all know how that benefits the digestive system. Try this blackberry smoothie to kick start your day.

Blackberries can easily be incorporated into salads, meaty main courses and puddings alike, but the nutrients and health benefits are most pronounced when they are eaten raw and fresh.

On a less scientific note, the blackberry is one of few foods that humans have consumed continuously for millennia and on a near-worldwide basis. During the World War II, British children even picked blackberries to send off to soldiers in the form of juice, as many believed this would keep them healthy. Also, if you like to go blackberry-picking yourselves, avoid doing so after October 11th, as the Devil claims all unpicked berries from this time, at least according to folklore.