In June and July, the strawberry season peaks and the red berries are heavily enjoyed as the perfectly juicy, nutritious snack with a sweet, authentic taste. And together with the berries also comes the budding expectation about a relaxed and sunny holiday season in July.
The rectangular boxes in plastic or cardboard of each to contain 500 grams of strawberries are mostly bought in supermarkets. But when the urge for an authentic feeling by vehicle throughout the countryside emerges, strawberries can be purchased from small, local roadside unmanned vendors. The vendor spot is marked with a sign. Usually a very low-key but sympathetic outlooking wooden plate made by hand reading: Buy Danish, local strawberries. One may wonder if the strawberries are not Danish how can they be local? The pay method is mostly coins in a jar with some kind of a clever lock, payment via smartphones is growing as a method even in this sector of slow living summer(hygge) which is sensible enough as the payment is not a big part of the experience. Nevertheless, the small roadside vendors are visually charming spots in the various mix of both natural or cultivated fields and then asphalt – it is a small token of kindness, optimism and trust.
Another way to get hands (and mouths) on strawberries is the concept of Pick Strawberries Yourself at the farmers fields who are cultivating strawberries. The price is calculated by weight and often it is not a much cheaper way to buy strawberries, but the idea of the concept is that you get to choose the specific berries and then harvest yourself.
Strawberries are even harvested from the private garden. Or from the terrace or smaller balcony in the city. Imaginable the crop is not overwhelming and by far it is the fewer of the hobby farmers which are self-sufficient also with strawberries. The micro event of tasting the ten to fifteen pieces of successfully grown berries always excess a box of 500 grams bought from the supermarket. Then a question arises of how to spoil both the berries and the lucky participants in the micro event of eating the batch of homegrown strawberries. Will it be consumed straight from the plant or will it slowly be enjoyed from a Royale Copenhagen bowl with heavy cream poured over from a pink jug made from a Danish craftswoman? And then perhaps another question lines up – Will Instagram be involved too?
Strawberries sliced up with a sprinkle of sugar and then heavy cream poured over makes a classic sweet plate.
The Danish sentence “Rødgrød med fløde” covers for a compote made from red berries often the ones which have been frozen down to prolong the taste of summer – and then again with heavy cream on top. “Rødgrød” meaning “Red Compote”. “med fløde” meaning “With Cream”.
Recipe “Rødgrød med fløde”:
500 g red berries
100 g sugar
2,5 dl water
1-2 ts corn starch
1-2 ts vanilla sugar
Add all the ingredients into a pot and heat up slowly. Let the compote boil for 5 minutes and then cool down. Serve in small bowls with heavy cream.
Words & Photos by Dea Simonsen