The fruit and leaves of the cloudberry
Virtually unknown outside northern Europe, the cloudberry is Finland’s favourite fruit. The tiny, orange-gold bubbles, growing one fruit to a plant, emerge in July and remain ripe for only three weeks of the year.
Cloudberries grow well off the beaten path in marshes and wet meadows, and are especially abundant in the wetlands of Lapland in Finland's far north. The start of cloudberry season is a cue for Finns to put everyday chores on hold and get picking. Every year, the small town of Ranua on the southern border of Lapland becomes the capital of the cloudberry, hosting Lapland’s annual Cloudberry Market where more than 300 cloudberry vendors bring their freshly picked wares to sell. The price per kilo is chalked up on a board in the central tent and, like a stockmarket, fluctuates according to supply and demand.