Strong feelings

So I had an organic strawberry this morning, a pre-breakfast, pop-in-the-mouth nibble that I snuck while cutting up said strawberries for my girls’ breakfast (because we all know those kids come first, no matter how ravenous we are). I popped, and then I chewed, the way I always do. But then I paused my hurriedly masticating ways, stopping to actually taste what I was tasting. Was it? Could it be? A strawberry whose taste matched its very form: A strawberry that tasted unequivocally like a strawberry.

I admit it’s been a while since I knew what strawberries were supposed to taste like. Other berries – the blue-, the rasp-, the black- — are more or less essential to my happiness, but strawberries rarely leave much of an impression. They often taste like sour little nothings, bred more for size and color than taste and texture.

I know that strawberries are listed as one of the foods you should always buy organic* (and not just because they taste better). For a while I took a turn as a dogmatic, strictly organic strawberry purchaser. But then I got swayed by all those 2 for $5 deals, and I just couldn’t shell out near seven bucks for a quart.

Well, consider this the official death of my strawberry slumming period. Now that I’ve tasted those organic strawberries again and realize they bare those other, conventionally grown strawberries for the frauds they really are, I’m not going back. Surely we’ll have strawberries with much less frequency and have to watch for specials, but if my girls grow up knowing strawberries that are deserving of their name, then it will be worth it.

And we won’t stop there. I think I’d also like some dirty carrots – the more to rinse off, the better. Maybe some lettuce I have to wash and dry, wash and dry. And apples, the kind that thankfully don’t glint a waxy shine.

*For a list of produce and “pesticide load” scores, see


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Amelia said,

    Local grown and pick-your-own for the win!


  2. 2

    Cheryl said,

    Those little strawberries do look luscious. I tasted such perfect little strawberries earlier this summer and now it seems my market is featuring the larger sized varieties, which don’t pack the same flavor wallop. I do find that if I ask very politely, with my most winning smile, if they can pick out some of the smaller ones for me and customize a basket, they’re often more than happy to oblige. Ask, and — at least sometimes — you shall receive. The smaller ones really are better!

  3. 3

    Elle said,

    You’re absolutely right! More often than not, the ones at the grocery store are sour and uninspiring, and need to be enhanced with other things.

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