The Third Leader: Sounds and scents of summer

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The Independent Online

Suddenly, summer is upon us. The short lease is set, the green is ungirded, the drowsy air is bloom-heavy, the willow and the leather are gamely at it, and everywhere is the rich promise of berry, currant and succulent strawmato.

Suddenly, summer is upon us. The short lease is set, the green is ungirded, the drowsy air is bloom-heavy, the willow and the leather are gamely at it, and everywhere is the rich promise of berry, currant and succulent strawmato.

Ah, yes, the strawmato. Twice as sweet as your average tomato and shaped like a strawberry. Set to seize British tastes by the bud. Developed by Lancashire tomato growers. Can, apparently, be dipped in chocolate. Ah, yes.

Down here in the Third Leader Department we embrace ingenuity and innovation. We also salute Lancastrian resourcefulness: it is, after all, the county that gave the world fish and chips, Vimto, Uncle Joe's Mintballs, the Co-op, and Johnny Vegas. And we like strawberries, in the summer, unjetted in. (Did you know that the Americans do them in batter?) And we like tomatoes (although not everyone does: try www.tomatoesareevil.com; scary). No, it's the name. Strawmato.

You say Strawmato, We say it's an ugly confection. Like Cambozola. I once saw a tigon at Belle Vue Zoo, too, and he didn't look very happy. And I used to think Banoffee was the name of the small, picturesque Highland village where a sweet old lady had come up with this deadly rival to the aforesaid McMars creation. Actually, it might have been a liger.

Strawmato sounds like what diplomats call it when the Foreign Secretary goes off at the deep end. But I have the perfect solution, based on provenance and the practice of honouring the devisers exemplified by the greengage and the loganberry. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ... the lancamato! Rain later, by the way.

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