Thursday, May 10, 2012

Better know a fruit: STRAWBERRIES!

Strawberries: great fruit, or greatest fruit? We honestly look forward to strawberry season all year long (the anticipation for blood oranges runs a close second). When it's manky and cold and drizzly in January, we console ourselves by remembering that we're probably closer to strawberry season than we are far away. And since we're so vehement about only using the best berries we can find, strawberry season can be kind of a disappointment--like last year, when it seemed like we could only get our hands on quality strawberries for about 17 minutes...and then they were gone. Sadface.


 >>Strawberries and cream is pretty much THE snack of choice when you're watching fuzzy yellow balls zip around at Wimbledon. SORRY. "The Championships, Wimbledon." Don't neglect the comma or counter-intuitive word order. Brits: pretty much sticklers for their preferred titles. Visitors plow through upwards of 20 tons of berries over the two weeks or so of the tournament. That's very nearly as many strawberries as we put in one pan of sorbetto!

 >>There's a particular cultivar of strawberry called the "musk strawberry." Very popular in France, they're more aromatic and the flavor is more complex than that of the garden strawberry more common in the States. Really the only reason I'm mentioning musk strawberries is that they also go by the name "hautbois," and I know there are a bunch of you out there who are going to deliberately mispronounce that in your head and then spend a few minutes daydreaming about being fed berries on a chaise lounge in the company of some Adonis. Which is fine! You do you. Go ahead, I'll wait here.

 >>There's a whole segment of Lepidoptera (you know, moths and butterflies) that are notable because their larvae primarily eat strawberry plants. (Must be British! There they probably go by something like, "Lepidoptera, strawberry-eating.) These include the ghost moth (spooky!), the juniper pug (it's a gin-smelling dog with a proboscis!), and the common marbled carpet (the name of which, you might guess, is pretty much the impetus for this whole paragraph.)

Strawberries! We got them in pretty early this year...which maybe means they'll be around for a good while? Let's hope. Sorta can't get enough strawberry stracciatella.

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