D H I T I

Strawberry Soup!

In Baltic states, Europe, Food, Travel, World Cuisine on March 7, 2012 at 12:59 am

Strawberry Soup in Riga,Latvia.

In India for a long time, anything strawberry was something disgustingly sweet, thanks to what was available at the time in the market which was primarily chemical flavours. I remember strawberry jam as something bright red with lots of chemicals in it and strawberry ice-cream which was bright pink with lots of chemicals in it. Neither had an iota of strawberry in it. But then, we did not know what strawberry really tasted like since it wasn’t a fruit grown in India. All we had were tantalising pictures of this fruit. Like the west which had tantalised us for so long with pictures of a wonderful and better life, strawberries were quickly associated with something hard to get.

Strawberry cultivation is recent in India. Today you have vendors selling strawberries at every corner of New Delhi. And just like the west which, thanks to internet and cheaper airline tickets,seems much more accessible than before, strawberries are no longer the exotic fruit that I remember from my childhood. That, plus living in Europe for several years now, the fruit has lost a lot of its earlier charm for me. Oh I like strawberries, I just don’t see them as objects of wonder anymore.

We had been travelling in the Baltic states for 3 days when we arrived in Riga, the capital of Latvia. After a particularly tiring day, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice sit-down dinner. As soon as I saw Strawberry Soup on the menu for dessert, my interest was piqued but the first thing that went through my mind was : this is going to be so awfully sweet. I guess it was all those years of having chemical flavours passed off as strawberry that had not been entirely forgotten. The battle between scepticism and curiosity was won by curiosity and I can tell you that I absolutely loved it!! Just a lot of fresh fruit, some yoghurt and a pinch of cardamom served with a dollop of cream and a few sprigs of mint. Heaven!

I can’t wait for summer to try it out at home!

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