Cherry Tree and Bakewell Tart

The Botanic Garden has announced on their website that one of their cherry trees, the Cambridge Cherry, is in full bloom. Japanese students worried about missing cherry blossom season, take note.

Photo: Keith Edkins

Photo: Keith Edkins

The tree in question is a sub-species of prunus pseudocerasus, known as ‘cantabrigiensis’ since it flowered for the first time here in Cambridge in 1917, having been brought from northern China. Examples can be seen adjacent to the South Walk, and just to the west of the Limestone Rock Garden.


The Botanic Garden website notes that the scent of the cantabrigiensis is akin to the Bakewell Tart (a very fine slice of which one of my students brought into class for me earlier in the week).

English readers will be nipping out already for a box of Mr. Kipling’s, but for the rest of you, a Bakewell Tart looks like this:

Bakewell Tart  Photo: Brynn

Bakewell Tart
Photo: Brynn

The tart is made with a layer of jam and almond sponge, and is most certainly not to be confused with the Bakewell Pudding (at least not if you don’t want to offend the hysterical residents of Bakewell in Derbyshire). Extensive experimentation is in order. I recommend Fitzbillies on Trumpington Street for comparative tastings (of anything at all, if they don’t have Bakewell Pudding).

Visit the Botanic Garden, just over the road from the school. Beware, however: the Station Road Gate will be closed for several weeks from 10th March.


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