This is another one of the delights of life in Tropoja. Around about June, if there hasn’t been a late snow, the mountains are heaving with these tiny berries, each berry packing the flavor (I swear) of a whole BOX of those gigantic store-bought berries. They’re also – for me at least – one of those things here that you learn to prize-above-rubies because you just can’t predict when you’ll get them. You can wait all year for strawberry season, but get a late snow, and it will be TWO years (or – oh god, perish the thought – three?!) before you taste them again. Then again, some years they are (in the words of Anne Sexton) “too many to eat.” Although you can give it a darn good try.
In 2023 (snows permitting) we’ll try to come up with more strawberry-based ‘products.’ One of those years I got tossed into the kitchen at Rilindja, local kids brought so many strawberries that I was even making strawberry butter (inspired by Tom’s diner in Brooklyn). That was a good month . . .