The berry of joy

Posted on 2 min read

Strawberry season is on the way! That means tons of pies and dozens of jam bottles, cold ice creams and frothy strawberry shakes. We all love a good, sweet, juicy, bright, red strawberry but little do we know about it. Actually, despite its telling name, this is not a berry from a botanical point of view. It’s an aggregate accessory fruit with many “seeds” on the outside that are themselves dry fruits with the seeds inside. The fleshy part that we eat is called an accessory tissue. 

At first, we were eating wild fruits which are much smaller than the ones we usually buy at the market. Then from the forest, some wild species were transplanted to the garden and cultivated with love and care. This is how we grew our first garden strawberries (which happened in France in the 18th century). Eventually, strawberries have become a very popular crop, not only commercially but also among private householders. It’s a very rewarding plant that survives different conditions and grants you a very tasty and diverse yield: from small conical orange ones to the big wedge-shaped deep red fruits. 

If you happen to buy strawberries that are on the tart side don’t be quick to get upset about it. There is one option that fixes that problem in 100% of cases: maceration. Usually, this term is applied to the process of soaking dried foods in a liquid to make them softer, but in the case of fresh fruits, we simply want to sprinkle some sugar and a pinch of salt over them. This will allow juices to release and intermingle with the sugar into gorgeous flavorful syrup. Mixed with a dollop of fresh cream or sour cream, this dish alone can bring more joy than the whole dinner. 

By the way, this simple preparation can easily be transformed into something entirely different and unexpected like frosé. It’s one of the coolest drinks (in every sense of the word) that can be made in no time. The only thing you need before actual preparation is a frozen bottle of rosé (pour it the night before in a clean roasting pan or a thick glass jar with a wide mouth). When ready, mix 300 g / 10 oz of quartered strawberries with 50 g / 4 Tbsp of sugar, leave until plenty of juices are released, then blend the frozen wine, the fruit with the juice of one lemon with a blender until thick slushy consistency. Divide between glasses, enjoy moderately and let this drink remind you to enjoy the sunny days.

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