We received real strawberries late yesterday afternoon. What is a real strawberry? That is the question. Picture the berry, hulking, red almost explosive with flavor. Then the first bite, nothing. No juice, no flavor, perhaps just water. Try another. Nothing. Try again. Insipid. How can it be? The strawberries looked amazing with a floral aroma and heft to the basket.
It is all about the show, the fluff, the pomp and circumstance the ideal of what a strawberry is. In many ways I fear strawberries. I love them in pie and shortcake, as jam and confiture. Yet, inevitably I am working with one hand tied behind my back. The strawberries just do not deliver.
Something changed yesterday. We have a local farm who has fought a strawberry battle similar to what I have previously described. I called to see how everything was going and they said, "late, but we have amazing strawberries." That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I was strawberry gun shy, but I wanted to believe in the local farm and its produce. I ordered five pounds of the berries.
The strawberries arrived late yesterday afternoon. The summer storm clouds were gathering and thunder was rumbling almost to signify another berry mistake on my part. I looked at the berries, they were small, deep red and dense. These were not the California show pieces of my past. So I ate one. It was good. I ate another, it was really good. I looked up at the farmers daughter who had just delivered the fruit and she just smiled as if to say "I told you they were good."
They are realyl good all the way through. That is important to me. Today we cook with real strawberries.