Monday, July 27, 2009

Fragole di bosco

Alpine StrawberriesTiny alpine strawberries are ripening daily in the back yard. No, we are not so fortunate as to have these growing wild; we planted some in pots.

The plants, Fragaria vesca to be precise, stay evergreen through our winters here on Puget Sound, and start blooming as early as April.

There are both alpine and wild types of strawberries known in Italy and France. In Italy, you might see tiny fragole di bosco on offer in the Campo di Fiori as early as March. The French call them fraises des bois. They go by many other names depending on the region. By any name, they are tiny, just about the size of the tip of a little finger.

Not as sweet as their hybridized cousins, they pack an enormous amount of strawberry flavor in a miniscule package.

My favorite way to end dinner of late is to pick whatever of these are ripe (which might only be a few), add some red huckleberries, and finish off the handful with some delectable ripe native blackberries (these are the trailing kind, not the invasive Himalayan blackberry, which is just now setting fruit).

Unfortunately, the birds knew exactly when the huckleberries were at their peak and the bushes are stripped practically bare. Actually, I don't mind sharing them with the birds at all.

Red Huckleberries

No comments:

Post a Comment