Thursday, April 26, 2007

Strawberries and Felted Shortcake

Yes, that is a dime in the upper-right hand corner of the box.
These strawberries taste waaaaay better than they look. In fact, if you have never tasted Japanese fruit, my heart bleeds for you. Japanese are always amazed that we put sugar on American strawberries, because these little darlings are so sweet, so juicy, so so so....strawberry, that words simply cannot describe them.

And the peaches are even better. A single peach will perfume a room and the first time I tasted one, I actually cried. It was indescribable. With a few exceptions (cherries and Eastern Shore melons) American fruit is fit only for jam.

Speaking of fruit, more or less, yesterday's perusal of my local bookstore reveals that the newest Japanese "knitting" fads are crochet and felted desserts. There was an entire book full of appealing felted fruit tartlets, felted cookies, felted donuts, and felted cakes.I could not think of a single reason to purchase this book, as I am not much interested in either felting or fuzzy shortcake, but if anyone absolutely must buy it, I will write down the ISBN number the next time I see it.

Next week, I shall venture to Yuzawaya, which is kind of an upscale Michael's. A very upscale Michael's, with two floors of every craft item you can think of. The yarn department is about the size of say, a quarter of a Wal-Mart. I shall report back and try to take an illicit photo.

Harry waves all eight arms and says "Hi" to his fan club.


Anonymous said...

Mmmm, strawberries that don't disappoint...OK, now I *have* to visit Japan.

Lori said...

Oh dear, you've made me hungry... The majority of produce in Alaska is imported during most of the year; strawberries tend to be even less flavorful than other american fruit... Definitely another reason to visit Japan! (But I'll skip the cheese, thanks)
Why would anyone felt dessert?

Anonymous said...

I would humbly beg to disagree with you when the strawberries come into season here in June. Some varieties are only available locally, as they don't travel well and begin to degrade after you pick them. I'm not even going to start with the berries. And the peaches.

Fruit that's grown for flavor and not commercial ship-ability, and glossy grocery-store looks is available in the States, but you have to hunt it out and it's mostly produced by smaller farms and orchards. I'm extremely fortunate to live in a location that has many of them and supports them with a living wage so they aren't disappearing to huge commercial farms.

AnneV said...

If you ever visit Finland or other Northern countries in the summer, make sure that you taste local berries there. The further north you travel, the more sunlight there is - in some areas even around the clock. That will give the berries more time to produce sugars and aromas, believe you me.

Oh, and here's something that might interest you: a brand new Yahoo group for knitters who're interested in Japanese patterns. There will be a trail leading to your blog, so might as well join :-)

Lacefreak said...

Dear fleegle,

Those look so wonderful! I had heard that the produce in Japan was wonderful, but I imagine the price is not so wonderful. Still, vacations are ment for splurge spending. Eat a pint for all of us!

yarnlot said...

On Neulomisen's blog I read your proposition for answering urgent questions while you are in Japan...I would like to know how I can buy the Richmore Knitting Magazines, online or by subscription, while being located in Belgium, Europe? Generally they are only to be found in Japanese yarn stores...Thank you beforehand!
Yarnlot, a member of the Yahoogroup Knitting in Japan

Anonymous said...

I must agree with annev. Finland's strawberries are peerless. Small and juicy and sweet, each one a jewel. The best is at the height of the season when the open-air markets are full of them (cheap!): you get them in a newspaper cone that is soggy with juice by the time you get them home. Then you dump them into some viili (sort of like yogurt). France's white peaches (oh, the perfume!). Most of us are at the mercy of chain supermarkets here in the US.

Debra said...

I hate blogger and their email snafus. Grr! I'm almost tempted to move the blog!!!

Last winter I borrowed 'Poems of Color' from a friend for months... right after I returned it, she bought another copy for me. A terribly sweet gesture, so I decided to celebrate by ordering a Bohus sweater kit from Solveig-- and I'm thinking about a hat kit (for her) from Kimmet Croft. I'd like to try a hat first before delving into an entire sweater on 1s & 2s!!!

I've heard there was tragedy at KC-- and they may not be producing angora yarn/Bohus kits anymore. (They were missing at MN's Yarn Over just a week ago.-- and they're always at the event!) Have you heard any of these rumors?
I sent an email of inquiry to them earlier today.

Did you figure out the double japanese knitting (lace + stockinette behind) patterns?

Big Alice said...

Dear Fleegle,
I am not denying that you have tasted fantastically wonderful fruit in Japan, I know to what lengths some growers go to develop and preserve the growing fruit.

However, I've also tasted wonderful fruit locally, much better than anything I've grown, as the farmers are more skilled at growing it than I. As I haven't ever had Japanese fruit, I have no basis for comparison. However, I still most respectfully disagree with your assessment that fruit in North America is good only for jam.

|chee-uh| said...

I heartily agree about American produce. We are perfect sheep (and not the good kind) consumers. Four legs good, two legs bad type attitude.