i’ve been kvetching about the bloated, sour and deceptively rosy strawberries at the markets for the past month, but spring is finally delivering, because in this last week, i’ve bought probably five pounds’ worth of berries that have not disappointed in the least. these strawberries vie with the strawberries of memory, with the fragrant, floral fruit of my youth. i’ve not any photos of them because i’ve been too busy scarfing them down.
instead, i offer you this morning’s discovery: the first peas of the season (that i’ve seen, anyway). i don’t know what it is, but the favas and peas are exceptionally good this year. i ate half a kilo this morning with my strawberries for breakfast (this is what spring produce does to me), laughing at myself as i shelled them when i recalled how placated i’ve been by frozen peas for the past year — frozen peas are definitely one of my favorite (and one of the few worthy) processed foods, and they make it possible to remember that green things still exist, even during the darkest depths of winter. these fresh peas, however, make me scoff at the thought that frozen peas could ever compare. i’d never been convinced by the fresh ones — until now. these are pea-ness incarnate. not a starchy one among them — all sweetness and sunshine, they are a testament to the wonders of photosynthesis. they make me wish spring lasted forever. (especially since my wee corner of italy is having some truly glorious, frisbee-worthy weather of late).
oh, but right, the peas:
they say that peas (and many vegetables in general) are best straight off the vine or plant, and that the longer the wait between garden and plate, the greater the loss in flavor and nutrients. and you best believe it. these peas are so good raw, and they were just harvested this morning. which nearly convinces me that what i really need to do is move to some verdant patch in the pacific northwest and plant me some peas. i can already picture myself running out to the garden when the time is right and just sitting in the dirt in my overalls and shelling straight into my mouth amongst the pea vines themselves.