…why didn’t I start macerating strawberries earlier in life?

Today was Sunday, so I was at the Porte de Vanves farmer’s market and came back with a bounty of produce, including two baskets of strawberries. When I got home and tried them, they weren’t very flavorful.

Around the same time last year, I went farming for a few months and got to pick the first strawberries of the season straight from the vine. They were tiny and organic and bursting with flavor. Strawberries are such fragile fruit that they have to be eaten right away, so that’s where I came in handy.

Since we’re on the topic of strawberries, if you are ever in Japan, before going on a crazed sushi/izakaya/ramen rampage, try the strawberries and your life will change forever.

As a child, I pondered the mystery of that specific strawberry flavor because we all know, at least for people living outside of Japan, that strawberries do not taste the way of strawberry Pocky. My mom only used it as fuel to discourage us from eating sugary, artificially flavored foods. When I was in Tokyo, I tried the strawberries and they tasted like strawberry Pocky along with every other strawberry-flavored Japanese candy. At last, I understood.

But I digress. I was meaning to talk about flavorless strawberries, which were posing a challenge to my life at this very moment.

I think most people add sugar to their strawberries, but I’m generally not in the habit of that, no thanks to Mom (i.e., see above about Pocky and sugar). Because I’ve turned a new leaf and am now all about maximizing flavor in all the foods I eat, I found a simple recipe for macerating strawberries that took zero effort.

First, I hulled and cut up the strawberries. In a bowl, I added two tablespoons of sugar and a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and mixed well. It was in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

In the morning I got boring strawberries and by the afternoon they were deliciously sweet: