During the summer of 1994, I was lucky enough to land an internship with the International Herald Tribune in Paris. Even better, the studio apartment that I subletted from a friend who was studying there—she was gallivanting across Scandanavia that summer—was right over a wonderful little patisserie. Well, actually, it was 6 floors above, and this being Paris, i.e. no elevators, that meant that no matter how many wonderful pastries I consumed, the walk up and down from the studio would help me burn off all those extra calories.
My favourite snack that summer was composed of 3 simple things: a fresh croissant with a bit of nutella, stuffed with fresh strawberries. Any of you who have had the tremendous pleasure of enjoying farm-fresh French strawberries in June, at their peak, will understand my sheer enthusiasm for this berry. Unfortunately, most store-bought strawberries in other countries, including Singapore, suck. Fortunately for me, that summer I lived near a wonderful market, which I could walk to within minutes and often did. The strawberries I purchased from there and the other markets in town were tremendous. As were the many strawberry desserts offered at countless bistros. These berries were sweeter than any I had ever and, to this day, have ever tasted.
The above are some Japanese strawberries, purchased in Singapore at a Japanese supermarket at an exorbitant price. Sadly, while sweet, they are still no match for the berries of my youth. Hopefully, sometime soon, I can make my way back to France, this time with my wife, to feast on summer berries in June. That, in my opinion, would be worth travelling for.