I have them right here. Strawberry fields and then poppies and then strawberries again, all red. Local produce, kilometre zero.

We’re quite to the south over here, the sun is already hot. Practically all vegetables and fruits have stronger taste here than they had in the old country (ok, I partly blame Mercator for that).

This means these strawberries right here are as good as they get.

I clean them and wash them and eat them, expecting just that. The goodness. The taste of many years ago, when strawberries were still strawberries. One of the rare things that cannot be saved for posterity, not online, not frozen, not in writing, only in the mind. The taste. Just how many things have been robbed of its original, old taste by now?

I’m happy sometimes that I’m as old as I am. I still remember. It’s not just a fallible memory, right? They really tasted differently, back when I used to buy them on my way home from high school, crossing the Ljubljana market. One kilo for my grandparents, one for home. And cherries too, soon.

But no. The taste still carries that partly artificial, silicone aftertaste that has nothing to do with food, with the pleasure of tasting. It’s got to do with the size, the visuals, the impression of ripeness and readiness that makes one pay money for the product, never mind the lack of satisfaction after tasting. So much reminiscent of the society at large that it makes me sick a little.

Nothing one can do though. I’m going to eat these para-strawberries because there are none better. I’m going to think of my mom and how in her mind having a child prevented her from continuing to enjoy them fully.

It’s not that, mom, it’s just the industry.

We still had the timing half right. Imagine, I could have been born right now.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈


Guardian of the herbs, and the main reason why we can’t have strawberries on the ground – maybe in a pot? Photo: MM

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