May seems to beckon people to Paris, if my recent steady stream of house guests is any evidence. Too bad the skies have been grey and greyer. As a steady rain drips down right now, I am rethinking the old adage: May showers bring June flowers.The humidity is not good for my plumbing problems (which, after eight weeks, are *almost* over — dare I even type those words?!). Damp plaster needs to dry before painting occurs. But the wet weather has been great for Parisian trees, which have burst forth in luscious green leaves the last few weeks, not to mention my window boxes of herbs (pictures soon). Everything is bright, verdant, and fresh — a flash of green against the grey sky.
In the market, there are all sorts of new things, like fresh, young garlic.
And white asparagus, which I find kind of creepy. Did you ever read that children’s book Bunnicula, about the vampire rabbit who eats vegetables by sucking the color out of them with his fangs? As a friend pointed out to me, it’s like Bunnicula sank his teeth into this asparagus.
Who knew spring onions actually appeared in the spring? (Not me.)And then there are the strawberries (pictured at top), a special type called Gariguette. They hail from Provence, are supposed to be similar in taste to the tiny fraises des bois (which I love), and are considered the “most authentic” of common strawberries. The French are obsessed with them, with menus across town featuring special Gariguette desserts. They are also very expensive, at 5.50€ for a basket!
Curious to the point of spendthrift, I shelled out the euros for some of these famous berries at the organic market on Sunday. I must admit they taste rather like… strawberries. Not particularly fragrant or succulent to my palate, but maybe I’m missing something?