Maasikas means “strawberry” in Estonian. They’re a bit of an obsession for me. I think I was born into it, as my name, Marika, kind of sounds like the Estonian word, so they were a natural match from the start. In the guest book from my christening, my maternal grandmother wrote “armas maasikmari Marika” (maasikmari = maasikas). And so it was—Marika Maasikas. As a small child, I would eat strawberries picked from that grandmother’s backyard, sprinkled with granulated sugar. I had a canvas bag with strawberries printed on it that I carried my possessions around in. Later in life, my obsession was fuelled by a rather intense crush I had, as a 13-year-old, on a guy whose last name is Maasikas. But I can assure you that the endless appeal of strawberries both existed before that crush, and has long outlasted it.
I love that they’re inherently summery (and I am an August baby). They’re beautiful, and they grow alongside cute, innocent white flowers. They’re unique (the seeds are on the OUTSIDE). They’re (usually) conveniently bite-sized. They’re fabulous with chocolate (milk or dark) and champagne. Have you ever bitten into a fizzy strawberry that’s been soaking in your champagne? Mmmm… I live for those moments (not exclusively, of course. A girl can’t live on strawberries and champagne alone).
It’ll be a while before I experience a fresh strawberry again. Somehow, I’ll manage. I suppose there’s nothing to do but to surround myself with pleasant images and reminders of the fact that summer will be here again in… um… 8 months?