?

Log in

No account? Create an account
That was fast! - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

[ About me | LiveJournal user info ]
[ Archive | LiveJournal archive ]

That was fast! [ Monday, 18 Jun 07 | 21:22 ]
ursine1
[Tags|, ]
[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |happyhappy]

The beach is back!

By Friday morning the sand dredge and related equipment disappeared and the El Masnou beach reappeared. There were a lot of people using it over the weekend. I checked the town council website and found that the dredging of 37,000m3 of sand was just the first phase and that on the 24th of June they start dredging another 53,000m3 of sand for a total of 90,000m3. At this point I don’t know if they will enlarge the beach or raise its level, or both.

The recently dredged sand was darker than the existing sand, but apparently with a little oxidation it will render like the pre-existing beach.

Fresh tomatos and strawberries

My two cherry tomato plants have become prolific and I will probably not buy any tomatos this week at the store. I have to pick the tomatos every two days.

And the strawberries are doing well also. I apparently have two varieties: one is shaped like the strawberries in the US and the other is smaller and with a peculiar shape that you see on the labels of European strawberry jellies or preserves. Last year I started out with one tray of four plants and now I have four trays from all the runners that rooted last season.

The USA is the top producer of strawberries worldwide followed by Spain. They are very popular here and the market is flooded with those huge, insipid things. You have to grow your own to get reasonable-sized, sweet, and flavorful berries.

LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Monday, 18 Jun 07 | 19:32 (UTC)
Could it be that the large berries are maduixots and the small ones maduixes? Or are maduixots the insipid berries found in the shops?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 18 Jun 07 | 19:51 (UTC)

Good question!

When I bought the strawberry plants, there was no indication that there were two varieties. One has dark pink petals on the flowers (the smaller, odd-shaped fruit) and the other has white petals on the flowers. A quick Google search was no help.

In the stores they label those big things, I don't want to call them strawberries, fresones. I have never seen the smaller ones for sale.

This is like California as the home garden varieties are not the same as the commercially grown ones.

And Ruben, who is Catalan, has no idea what the varieties are either. But then his family doesn't do any gardening.

Chuck
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Monday, 18 Jun 07 | 21:02 (UTC)
Wikipedia equates maduixots with fresones. Their scientific name is Fragaria x ananassa and they represent a hybrid of North American (Fragaria virginiana) and Chilean (Fragaria chiloensis) species. Maduixes (Fragaria vesca), on the other hand, correspond to what we in the States call "wild" or "alpine" strawberries--that is, the small ones which actually have some flavour.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Tuesday, 19 Jun 07 | 05:04 (UTC)

Strawberries, again

Most likely the small strawberries are Fragaria vesca L., or some derivation thereof. In Wikipedia the castellano version has an image that most closely resembles the plants and fruit that I have. Often times same subject articles in different languages provide different views and not just a direct translation, and this case, different images.

Remember that when you buy a potted plant at a nursery it's a cultivar and you can't be sure of its "parentage". More than likely the "wild" strawberries have been bred just like "garden" strawberries. They have had centuries to "improve" them.

Those giant things they sell now are a relatively recent creation, designed for size and transport and not for flavor. What I call "home" varieties often have superior flavor to what is available at retail. The goals of corporate cultivation being distinct from home gardening.

Chuck
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: muckefuck
Tuesday, 19 Jun 07 | 14:22 (UTC)
"Wild strawberry" is just a name, like the way some people call Vaccinium angustifolium "wild blueberry" and others call it "huckleberry" or even "bilberry".
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: beartech420
Monday, 18 Jun 07 | 22:32 (UTC)
I've been buying pint tubs of cherry tomatoes and dipping them in blue cheese dressing with chucks of blue cheese added. Will go thru 2 pint tubs that way! Harry's basils plants are growing well, I asked him if I bought some frozen pizzas with some ripe tomatoes and different cheese I could make a fast and dirty Neopolitian pizza and the fresh basil will make it!
BestRegards,
Pete
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Tuesday, 19 Jun 07 | 05:13 (UTC)

Mmm...

You know when I saw "chucks", I thought you were talking about me! Just kidding.

They have two types of albahaca (basil) that they sell as potted plants here. I have what they call basilico or Italian basil with large leaves. The flowers smell faintly of cinnamon. So like you, I often pick some fresh leaves to spice up a pizza or tomato sauce.

Chuck
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: beartech420
Thursday, 21 Jun 07 | 23:10 (UTC)

Re: Mmm...

sorry i ment to say chunks. I think we are growing the italian basil.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Tuesday, 19 Jun 07 | 09:12 (UTC)
I should go and check but as far as I know, the commercially sold fresones are just a tasteless variety which lasts more. When I used to live in the Pyrinees when I was a child, we used to collect wild strawberries in a wood near my house. The taste is just amazing. You can buy those in some markets, like la Boqueria, but the price is like 5 euros for 100grams.

Moreover, growing them at home also allows you to use them once they're ripe. Really ripe fruit simply tastes far better than anything bought, since they are collected raw for preservation.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Tuesday, 19 Jun 07 | 09:24 (UTC)

Wild strawberries

When you come over for a visit, I'll let your try some direct from the plants. They are so prolific I have to pick them every other day.

Chuck
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Tuesday, 19 Jun 07 | 13:10 (UTC)

Re: Wild strawberries

GRRR! I owe you a visit since you came here!
And I'm really eager :) When I come back from my vacations we'll find a gap
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)