Wednesday, February 25, 2009
HOT FLASH FROM BARCELONA: Strawberry Report
Strawberries are in season here in Barcelona. They're on the menus at all the restaurants we pass, and the market stalls of the fruit sellers at La Boqueria, the big outdoor market on La Rambla, are filled with boxes of red strawberries glowing with freshness. We decided to have them for dessert last night at Tragaluz, a hip restaurant in the Eixample neighborhood of the city.
I'm not generally a big fan of strawberries and will usually choose raspberries instead. But the strawberries last night were out of this world. Served in small white bowls, they were sliced over a scoop of hyper cold vanilla ice cream. The waiter brought a little pitcher of strawberry emulsion (a fancy word for the syrup of the berries), which he poured over the berries in our chilled ceramic bowls.
I love my life at home and all the many privileges that come with being American. But we don't do justice to the food we eat. We should be in love with strawberries the way I was last night, dreaming about them, and choosing them every time as the only possible dessert. I know I'll yearn for my Barcelona strawberries when I get home and will remember them as the thing that transcends all the grit and grime and noise and bustle and stink of this Mediterranean port city.
Photo: Ready-to-eat fruit at La Boqueria, the outdoor market on Barcelona's La Rambla (pedestrian street)