Thursday, 12 June 2014

Strawberries and cream , feast like a dream

Curly locks , Curly locks
Won't you be mine?
You shall not wash dishes
Nor yet feed the swine
But sit on a cushion
And sew a fine seam
And feed upon strawberries
Sugar and cream.

As I was going to Strawberry Fair
Rye full rye full , toddle iddle i do
I met a maiden bright and fair
Toddle ee
Her eyes were blue
And golden her hair
As she went on to Strawberry Fair

These two childhood rhymes both mention strawberries and I love strawberries. English strawberries were always plump and juicy and a special treat . We always had them with cream and on Sundays with meringues. Their season was quite short, just the month of June. One of the highlights of my children's English summer holiday was going to a Pick-your-own farm. Oh the joy of filling your basket with all those perfect pink luscious fruits and taking them to the counter to be weighed. There were always cartons of cream on sale too .
When we lived in Belgrade ( see my post A tribute to Belgrade, volim te mnogo) the market near our flat had mountains of beautiful strawberries that cost next to nothing. The agricultural policy seemed to be that if there was a bountiful, plentiful crop, then prices would go down. If there was a poor supply then prices went up. We feasted on strawberries every day. It would have been an extravagant luxury in Britain then.
The first time I had strawberries in Italy was by a volcanic lake near Rome. It was only March so a much earlier season than English strawberries. They were smaller, less juicy, much more sort of pippy and served with lemon juice. They were delicious, yes, but a far cry from their English cousins. Well I suppose that's fair , Italian peaches and apricots are in a class of their own and non existent in British orchards.
Over the years Italian strawberries have improved enormously and just as goos as English ones. They mainly come from
Trentino Alto Adige which has a more strawberry-friendly climate. There's just one dilemma in our house, my husband likes strawberries with lemon while I prefer them with cream. Today I made a Strawberry crush with rum to wish Brazilians  luck with their World cup  challenge.
Every year when strawberry time comes I get out my recipe books and look at all the recipes for mousses, fools, ice creams and jellies, then I look at my strawberries and think ' I like you just the way you are'.

Frappe di fresche fragole
Frullato con fragore
Fra frutta frantumata
Da un frate frullatore

Fresh strawberry milkshake
Liquidized with a lot of noise
Among crushed fruit
By a friar who liquidizes

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