Hope and A Strawberry Parfait

Hope and A Strawberry Parfait

Gael Giraud, renowned economist and director of research at the prestigious National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) flatly stated, “We’re seeing food rationing in London and potential rationing in New York because our food system is too fragile and too vulnerable.” He acknowledged that we’ve gotten ourselves into a system where food may travel untold times around the world before it gets to the plate. “We are going to have to re-localise our food production; we cannot continue the way we have been going.”

It was a Glory Hallelujiah moment.  Realization that our global food system – and the small farm economy, and the planet – is in jeopardy is coming at a horrific cost. Perhaps the horror will lead to sense as we  put our energies towards a focus on local food production, making it viable for people who want to produce, and viable for everyone to purchase.

Local and seasonal foods (anyone who has taken a class with me may take a nap right now) are better for everyone: grower, consumer, ecosystem.  This doesn’t even take into account the pleasure of eating something grown locally, for it will have so much more flavor than something produced afar.

There will be much to work out, much to plan, many to care for if we can transition to a more modest, stronger food system.  What a hope-filled thought!

And with that, let’s visit the strawberry, which is currently crossing paths with the pear and the apple, the orange, and the clementine.  I’m always sorry to see the winter group go, but what a joy to realize that a whole new season is soon underway.  Right now we’re about three weeks ahead of a usual strawberry season, balm for the confined soul as people snap up little boxes of  the Gariguette variety.   Referred to as the “queen of strawberries,” the gariguette is the earliest, the longest and most narrow, and the most popular berry here, as much for its tart, aromatic flavor as for the fact that it is such a welcome change, a true harbinger of spring.

Biological tinkering means we’ll have strawberries throughout the summer, and as temperatures warm, flavor, sweetness, and abundance will increase. Soon, one hopes, there will be enough berries in the market to buy and make jam. For now, though, there are plenty available to make this dessert.  And just in case you didn’t know, strawberries give you more than just beauty and flavor: they’re filled with vitamin C, and vitamin B9.  As if you needed the encouragement!

Print Recipe
STRAWBERRY PARFAIT - FRAICHEUR DE FRAISES
STRAWBERRY PARFAIT - FRAICHEUR DE FRAISES
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword strawberry
Servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup;100 g light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup; 60ml best-quality raspberry vinegar
  • About 10 ounces;300g very fresh sweet strawberries, stems removed, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch (.65 cm) slices
  • 3/4 cup;185ml crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 14 ounces;420g very fresh sweet strawberries
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon;15 ml orange flower water
  • 4 tablespoons;40g vanilla sugar
  • 2 grinds medium-coarse black pepper
  • Fresh mint leaves
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword strawberry
Servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup;100 g light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup; 60ml best-quality raspberry vinegar
  • About 10 ounces;300g very fresh sweet strawberries, stems removed, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch (.65 cm) slices
  • 3/4 cup;185ml crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 14 ounces;420g very fresh sweet strawberries
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon;15 ml orange flower water
  • 4 tablespoons;40g vanilla sugar
  • 2 grinds medium-coarse black pepper
  • Fresh mint leaves
STRAWBERRY PARFAIT - FRAICHEUR DE FRAISES
Instructions
  1. Prepare the syrup: In a medium sized bowl, mix the brown sugar and the vinegar. Carefully fold the strawberries into the syrup. Reserve for at least 1 and up to 4 hours, covered, stirring regularly, and very carefully, so the berries are evenly marinated.
  2. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the sugar until it hold soft points. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Prepare the sorbet: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the strawberries, lemon juice, orange flower water, sugar, and black pepper. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined and somewhat foamy. Transfer to a non-reactive bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight. When the mixture is chilled, transfer it to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Hold in the ice cream maker until ready to serve.
  4. To serve, spoon equal amounts of the marinated strawberries into each of 8 champagne flutes. Top with a spoonful of the crème fraîche. Top with equal amounts of the sorbet, then top with the remaining crème fraîche. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the vinegar syrup from the berries over the top of each parfait, garnish with the mint leaves and serve immediately.
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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Deborah L. Spanfelner

    Bonjour, Susan

    The strawberry parfait looks delicious. I thank you for sharing your experiences in Paris, especially at this time of confinement. I love France and all things French. I so look forward to taking an online cooking class. Do you still have plans to offer it?

    Merci
    Debbie S.

    1. Susan

      Debbie – I’m not entirely sure; need to get out of this situation first. Good luck, hope you’re cooking!

    1. Susan

      Cath – you should try this. Do you have any strawberry lovers in your household?

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