Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Strawberries. Past Perfect.

Strawberries are in the shops in full force, the ones from the island sweeter, redder, better than those from the Costa Plastica (an immense tract of land somewhere in the south of Spain covered in enormous greenhouses). I was in the veg shack outside Sta Gertrudis de la Fruitera yesterday and they has huge quantities of these little mothers.

There are so many places you can stick strawberries. Jams, smoothies, cakes, icecreams, sorbets. Mashed up with a yoghurt. You gotta wash ‘em though, before you start sticking them places. They absorb any kind of deterrent sprayed on them so you gots to wash them. Add a banana and some strawberries to your morning juice every day until the season is over. The juice will taste nicer, you will be happier and you will probably live for longer too.

Strawberries now are different from when I was a little girl. I remember them to be much smaller and also remember you could always pull the stalk right out. The green stalk would lead onto a tiny white coned stem that you could remove easily. Now that variety just doesn’t seem to be around. You have to cut out the stalk and any white bit of the fruit that may be there where the stalk meets the stem. Apparently the strawberry itself will taste sweeter if eaten without this white bit. Apparently. I had the most extraordinary strawberry in La Paloma a while back and it was one of the sweetest things I have put in my mouth in some time. It had a stalk that came right out and was tiny and sweet like in days of old and it took me straight back to my childhood summers in Dorset. A bit like the madeleine in Remembrance of Things Past. Except without the words.

A lot of people have started adding savoury stuff such as Balsamic vinegar (not that savoury I guess) and black pepper. I would say I hold no store by this kind of chefwankery but it wouldn’t be true cos I have it as a canape on some of my menus in the form of a granita and it is tres popular and I actually quite like it myself. Up to a point. It still grates with me – the messing around with foodstuffs that just don’t need to be messed with. Best leave it to the boffins such as Heston Blumenthal or Ferran Adria. Those who have the time and resources to do such messing. But I like to have one rule for me and one for everyone


Tamara @ Mrs & Mrs Smith said...

Here here - don't mess with them. I'm so picky about mine I won't even let a drop of cream near them... and sugar... well if you need sugar then you've bought the wrong strawberries surely!?