Ceci n’est pas une fraise

March 7, 2007 at 6:21 pm | Posted in food, vie quotidienne | 12 Comments


There were a lot of strawberries at the market today, and I noticed that they were labeled “3 barquettes/3 Euro”, so I decided to get some for our lunch. Unfortunately, most of the strawberries looked a little dreary — dark and dull red, oversized, a little mushy. But then I spotted a few barquettes sitting apart from the others, and those looked a lot better! They were that bright, vibrant red I usually associate with wild strawberries, and they looked delicate and delectable when compared with the others.

I hoisted a barquette up to the grocer, but when he saw them, he shook his head. “Ce ne sont pas des fraises, mademoiselle,” he explained, and he pointed to a sign. Sure enough, the well-hidden sign indicated that the berries I had chosen were not strawberries, but something that begins with a G, which I have now completely forgotten.

Even more horrifying, these impostors were selling for 37 Euro/kilo!

With a mumbled “peut-etre pas,” I rushed to put the scary, expensive mystery fruits back where I’d found them, but the fruit-man stopped me. “Look,” he said. “They’re really very good — you should try them. I’ll let you have that barquette for 5 Euro.”

I chewed my lip — 5 euro is still a good deal more than I had meant to spend for strawberries. But they would go so nicely with the lunch I had planned… And that red!

Finally, I relented. And honestly, they are really good strawberries. Now I only wish I knew what they actually were.

Pain Perdu



  1. I was thinking they looked insanely red for March strawberries. How cool!

  2. Good strawberries… aren’t strawberries? Are they made of rocks, or maybe people?

  3. Not bloody enough for people. Maybe kittens?

  4. “Gariguette” must be the word you’re looking for! And I assure you these are strawberries! It’s only a specific variety (“variété”, I don’t know if it’s the right word in english, sorry!) of strawberries, known as the best strawberries ever! 🙂 And of course very expensive! I ate strawberries yesterday and I’m sure they weren’t as good as yours! Bon appétit! 😉

  5. … Oups…I forgot one thing : didn’t you mean “barquette” by saying “barque”? 🙂

  6. Celine – Of course I brought home a whole boat of strawberries! 😉 No, of course you are right — this is what comes of writing quickly.

    Thanks so much for “Gariguette”! I knew you would come through for me.

  7. I’m jealous, here in Canada its hard to get any good and sweet strawberries this time of the year… Or any strawberry variety.

    Take care,

  8. mmmmmmmm… whatever they are, I’m envisioning them lightly dusted with sugar, or maybe dipped in some home-whipped chantilly…

  9. Aralena, they hardly needed it.

  10. God, am I craving strawberries… Am so ready for summer to be here! That little taste of sun in Seville whet my appetite, and now I’m dying for more. At least it is pretty sunny in Paris right now — but not yet warm enough! I know, I know; I can’t expect miracles in March, now can I? ‘Course, with the kind of winter we’ve had, you never know…

    Had me some gariguettes last summer when the price went down a wee bit — you can find them somewhat cheaper in high season, although they still are the priciest strawberries around, ergo the absolute best! I would kill for some strawberry tart right now, ou un fraisier MMMMM…

    The oranges and orange juice in Spain were pretty amazing, but nothing beats strawberries in my book!

  11. Wow…I wonder if anyone grows these in the states? If not, where could I get a couple of starts??

    Research must ensue.

  12. It should be “Gariguettes”, the finest strawberries… so strawberry that they’re not strawberries anymore!

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