It goes without saying that Ludo & Hedo is all about the flavour. We are careful when selecting our ingredients as we want them to be the most flavourful, fresh and full of life. Yet, nature does not work on demand and we have to stay connected to its cycles. As seasons change, so do our flavours and ingredients, such as the strawberry.
Cheeky Stalker (our strawberry sorbet) has inhibited our pozzetti since the very beginning of Ludo & Hedo, and it quickly became apparent that it is a flavour adored by all ages, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Interestingly enough, the modern strawberry that we cherish, and perhaps take a little bit for granted today, has a rich history and is somewhat of a creation of both nature ánd man.
Before its big commercial break, strawberries were small in size and rather unimpressive. The most better known example of it being the wild strawberry. We have to send our gratitude to a French spy traveling back home from Chile in 1714 with five promising strawberry plants. They didn’t however turn out to bear any fruit and seemed doomed to remain a botanical curiosity. Until a few decades later when it was discovered that planting the Chilean strawberries together with Virginia strawberries stimulated the produce of fruit and hybrid plants, bringing to life an early version of the strawberry that we enjoy today: the Fragaria ananassa. The fruits were big, the colour deep and the flavour pronounced.
Another remarkable thing about the strawberry is that its flavour is one of the most artificially reproduced flavours in the world. The artificial version will taste only superficially similar to the real flavour, but that seems to be close enough for most people. It is much easier to handle and cheaper to produce than the real strawberry flavour which only adds to its availability and popularity worldwide; it’s in milkshakes and smoothies, fragrances and air-fresheners, toilet paper and condoms; even toothpastes carry the presence of a strawberry.
The first written records about the strawberry go back 2000 years ago when the Roman poet Ovid wrote about lucky humans feasting on the strawberries during the Golden Age. Strawberries have been linked to the goddess of erotic love and pleasure, partly due to its heart-shaped form and the colour red, a tint associated with passion. Their texture and taste is pinned down to sensuality and fertility. Christianity, on the other hand, ascribed purely sacred associations to the berry, more specifically its trilobed leaves which were connected to the Holy Trinity. Represented through paintings, symbolism, writings and religious art, the strawberry has established an irreplaceable status in our lives.
The strawberry may seem like a banal piece of fruit, but its history is rich and its modern day presence versatile. To send the strawberry off in style and say farewell to our Cheeky Stalker, we’re inviting everyone to Spoonerist Session #4. We have developed 16 radically different strawberry-focused flavours which explore the fruit from various angles and will challenge your perception of this traditional flavour!
Don’t miss the last bites of summer:
Spoonerist Session #4
30 September at 19:00
Gelato Branch / Van Hallstraat 222
Photo credit: Ola Lanko