We tend to only look to other countries’ traditions and cuisine when we want something exotic or need help. The China study is the only comprehensive study of diet and health on a massive and long term scale. The French paradox is, well, a paradox. The Mediterranean diet, although a misnomer, is a concept of eating that can cause Americans to lose weight. Of course many of these concepts and studies elude us. We fail to understand or consider the culture and tradition as well as the local and practical aspects of a people’s eating habits.
Consider the dessert. We have a tradition of eating cakes and pies for dessert at many meals. “Save room for dessert” rings through every dining room, restaurant and deli throughout the land. Most other cultures do not eat dessert. A big piece of empty calories on top of a complete meal is strictly a special occasion like a wedding or an anniversary. Sure, kids enjoy their candy and cakes from time to time and other cultures are starting to pay the price for this adopted tradition.
In many cultures, if there is a sweet treat at the end of a meal it will usually be fruit. Not fruit cakes, or pies but simple fruit. As my wife says: “Cakes are for birthdays, fruit is dessert.” Here is a non-recipe for a wonderful and refreshing dessert – a simple end to a delicious meal.
Strawberries are in season. There are a zillion ways to fix them, but when they are ripe and bulging with sweetness there is nothing to “fix”.
- Strawberries, cleaned and trimmed
- Sour Cream or Créme Fraîche
- Brown Sugar
- Paring Knife
- Serving Bowls
- Prep the strawberries and divide them into a few serving bowls, depending on the number of guests. You don’t want people having to use their “boarding house reach”.
- Prepare small bowls of sour cream or creme fraîche using the same concept.
- Do the same with brown sugar.
- As you serve, show your guests that they can dip in the cream then tip off with the sugar, or have either or neither.
Sometimes it is not necessary to complicate matters, especially in the summer when fruit and vegetables are at their finest.