14 Comments

  1. Well, there’s small and then there’s “so small you wouldn’t be able to sell them otherwise”…

  2. Here are clips with the Street Vendors shouts I quoted from earlier.
    First, audio only, with both the Strawberry Woman and Crab Man. This is my musical memory’s indelible idea of what this part is supposed to sound like!

    Second, the Strawberry Woman in a live stage performance:

  3. Why “devilled crab”? I think that means chopped up with spices and fillers, like crab-cakes. But the street vendors are pressing how fresh their wares are, you would think the crabs would be less processed — maybe even whole and live.

    But “she-crab” does make sense. Here from https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-a-she-crab-1807055 , “Why Some Recipes Call for She-Crabs”:

    Some recipes specify she-crabs as an ingredient and you may have wondered whether that is a specific type of crab. She-crabs are simply female crabs, not a distinct species. Spring she-crabs carry flavorful roe or crab eggs, which will make a difference in the recipe. It is also thought that the female crab adds more color than the male.

  4. I used to be a strawberry picker (summer holiday job as a teen, around 1978, on the lower slopes of the Mendip Hills above Cheddar*). We picked straight from the vine into the punnet (the little box they were sold in) so had to arrange them for presentation as we went along, with the biggest and reddest ones on top and, if I remember right, the with stalks down and the pointy end pointing up.

    The strawberry grower and his wife had met in Calcutta during WW2 as members of the Communist Party. As my father had also been a youthful member (1936-7), there was an odd nest of former communists in the area (we lived about 200 yards from the strawberry field I was working in – I cold see my bedroom window).

    (*All the slopes are pretty low in the Mendips – the highest point being 1,066ft high, at Beacon Batch on Black Down https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Down,_Somerset ).

  5. I think her complaint is fair. For some reason or other large berries are attractive looking and appealing. (It’s gotten to ridiculous means these days). But the practice of putting the larger ones on top although deceptive is hardly criminal.

  6. If we are grilling strawberries I like a pint with similarly sized large strawberries. If it is just for us, I like having smaller ones too, but if we’re entertaining I need all big ones. Somehow I don’t think that is her concern. 🙂

  7. Do strawberries even come in baskets anymore? The ones in our store are all in no. 1 plastics containers, you can see every strawberry in the box; even check that the ones on the bottom aren’t moldy. As for size, I’d just as soon have the mixture, whether the large ones are on top or not. First, if they are all large, you’re getting fewer strawberries, smaller ones pack better. And for my taste, the larger strawberries tend to be mealy (is that the term? They aren’t as juicy.)

  8. Oh, and Mitch4, I totally agree, that is the version I compare all others against, and most of them come up short.

  9. The farmers market has them in little plastic baskets. And I always look for the one with the small strawberries – I don’t know if it makes a noticeable difference in volume/packing in, but the big ones tend to be hollow and/or less tasty (as guero said, mealy). I don’t grill them; they either get cut up into cereal or I make jam.

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