I bought the first Gariguette strawberries on the market in l'Isle sur la Sorgue last Sunday. They are small, soft and aromatic, reminiscent of wild strawberries. They taste simply fantastic. Eat them like this or with natural yoghurt for breakfast. Gariguettes are grown in the area between Carpentras, Avignon and Cavaillon, mostly under plastic tunnels to rippen early.
Did you know that strawberries were first cultivated for the garden in Europe in the early 18th century? They resulted from a cross of the wild Fragaria Virginiana from the US and the Fragaria Chiloensis from Chile. This combined the small, but fragrant plant from the US with the large sized plant from Chile. The Gariguette is a cross breed between the Belrubi and Favette varieties created by INRA (the French agrucltural research institute) in 1976.
Gariguettes and asparagus are a sign for all of us that Spring has arrived. It is a yearly ritual eagerly awaited by everyone.