Solemn Reflections On Catalunyan Maduixot . . .

by Becky on March 5, 2013

in Food, Travel


This post is an homage to berries–not just berries per se but the kind that just make you stupidly happy, they’re so good.

Maduixot, Catalan for strawberries.

I asked a woman in the market the other day how the word–so exotic looking–was pronounced, and she took great pleasure not only in pronouncing it but also in inviting me to practice it. “Maduixot,” she said.  I heard “mad-wii-zsaht.”  Then she gestured at me as if to say Your turn.  So I said the word in my best accent, which brought a big smile to her face. She pronounced it again with a teacherly nod, no doubt believing that repetition was key. Happy to play the part of the deferential language student, I said “maduixot” once more.  Truly, a beautiful word for a beautiful food coming into season.

Well, we bought some over the weekend, and I delighted in Miss Lavender’s reaction (she is a lover of maduixot–has been since childhood, when her dad used to grow them in the backyard for her). When she took her first bite, her eyes widened in surprise, and she actually gasped at the flavor bursting in her mouth.  I’d never seen anything like it!

The Eleven O’Clock Dad had the same reaction.  “Wow,” he said, with a bewildered shake of the head.

Then it was my turn. I thought, So they’re good, these maduixot, but really, what’s all the fuss?

Then I took a bite.

And I am not lying when I say that the sweetness just exploded on my tongue, a trait that perhaps only strawberries grown here in Catalunya are bred to possess??

Those shameless maduixot have pretty much taken over like they own the place: they found their way into the crepe I made Miss Lavender yesterday; they found their way into the shake she made herself tonight; they have become the new finger food of choice.

But, hey.  You can afford to be cheeky when you have a name that isn’t French but sounds like it, and when you are so scandalously red you look fake (though you’re not!), and when the Eleven O’Clock Clan talks about you with such reverence you might be pardoned for thinking they worship you.

Les maduixes.  Locally grown.  Yes, we’re a tiny bit infatuated.  Especially Miss Lavender, whose nickname, way back when she was scarcely bigger than a berry, was Strawberry Girl.  (And that’s no lie either!)

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