des frais fraises

by jemma margaret

A friend of mine who works in a gelato shop tells a story about a woman ordering the “low-cal strawberry.”

Confused, he checked the menu. The customer is always right, except when they are very wrong.

“Oh, you mean the “local strawberry?” he politely corrected.

I can’t speak to their weight watchers score, but French strawberries are beginning to flood the markets. Together with the peas, asparagus, tulips, and daffodils there is a regular spring chorus in the air.

As I mentioned a few days ago, the lack of distance traveled by these pretty red fruits is not reflected in greater affordability. So yesterday I thought to try the strawberries from Spain, which cost about 1/10 of the price.

The French gariguettes are petite and elongated and red all the way from tip to stem. The cheaper strawberries look like the standard US supermarket variety. They are red and white and thoroughly mediocre.

Seems as though I’ll need to start saving my centimes.

Meanwhile, I hulled these strawberries (thanks for the lesson, Papa!) and put them in a bowl with a bit of sugar and balsamic. Shaken thoroughly at left alone for a few hours, they’ve begun to develop a bit of character and I bet the resulting syrup will be lovely by the spoonful.

My Ruche promises that strawberries are in the foreseeable future, and I am waking up extra early tomorrow morning to place my order in case they sell out.

My strawberry investment (4.9 euros for a plant seemed steep at the time, but I am beginning to realize may have been a very good deal) appears to be thriving. When I bought it, the farmer instructed me to give it sun, water, and something else I didn’t understand. Fertilizer? Compost? Blood?

Well, knock on wood, so far the last ingredient does not seem to be crucial. I am very excited about the growth of my little strawberry plant. I watch it like a very very very slow soccer game, in which my favorite team was favored to win.

Or, like a very fast game of American football. With no commercial breaks.

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