I am normally not one to buy fresh fruit out of season -- the waiting game only heightens the pleasure of eating them at their peak -- but I had to buy strawberries last week for a project I'm working on. I wrinkled my nose at the notion of buying March strawberries and fully expected these bright red babies to be tasteless little rocks with an excellent colorist, but I have to say I was most pleasantly surprised: these were real strawberries! Tasty and sweet! With the right texture and a delicious scent!
They are the gariguette variety, usually the most precocious of varieties and one that is non-remontante, which means that the bushes bloom only once a year. Mine came from the South-West of France, where some of the best French strawberries come from (there is even a Confrérie de la Fraise du Périgord, the brotherhood of the Périgord strawberry!). More precisely they were grown in Marmande, a city that's also known for its tomato production (la tomate marmande) -- and its cloister, made famous (to me at least) by Vincent Delerm and his song Deutsche Grammophon.
So. What with the sunshine and the strawberries (I'm on my third box in a week), you would think it is June around here! Still trying to convince my coworkers to have lunch on the terrace, but they claim it's too chilly. Pfff*.
* "Pfff" is French for "Sheesh".
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