Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Taste of Spring - Berries in a Blizzard

Well okay, maybe it's not exactly a blizzard here in Toronto, but it certainly is winter (at least it was yesterday) and "berries in a blizzard" sounds so much better than "berries in a bleak and dreary winter". Yesterday (before the snow), I took a walk on Yonge Street north of Davisville. It's my neighborhood and I enjoy visiting all the delightful food shops within a 10 minute walk from my door - the Pasta Pantry, for freshly made pastas and sauces; La Salumeria for a great selection of cheeses, salami, and other cured meats, fresh breads and jars and bottles of the most wonderful delicacies; and at least 5 wonderful fruit, vegetable and flower shops. Which brings me to the point of this post. With the exception of deadly cold winter, all the fruit and vegetable stores in our fair city, have stands outside their door with vibrantly colored produce of every description...vivid purple plums, grapes and eggplants, so many shades of red - tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, get the picture, at least in late spring to early autumn. In the winter, the front stalls are bare or taken away completely and the store fronts are just as bleak as the rest of the winter clad city. So imagine my joy on seeing all those stands full of beautiful fruit to brighten the day.

Usually (at least here in Toronto) those beautiful red luscious looking strawberries sold to us in the dead of winter are tasteless AND cost a small fortune to boot. So I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of the fruit stores with gorgeous looking strawberries for 2 quart baskets for 2 for $5 (Canadian dollars even!). I thought, great for garnish, but probably tasteless, but I did give them the sniff test - oh my! The aroma made my mouth water - pure sunshine sweetness. And once I got them home, I was even more surprised to find they actually tasted like strawberries. And did I mention that one store had huge bunches of fresh mint with crisp and truly fragrant leaves.

So naturally as soon as I got home I whipped up my favorite summer dessert...

Minty Berries with Vanilla Yoghurt

Somehow eating "summer" actually seemed to bring some sun and warmth to the city today! Guess I'll have to help myself to another bowl - just to make sure the weather stays spring-like.

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1 comment:

Andreea said...

oh i like these. so simple yet so beautiful. have to give it a try.