When I was thinking about Strawberry Cake story to tell I had a number of options in my mind: telling you about antioxidants in fresh strawberries, world’s largest strawberry producers, strawberry museum in Belgium or growing strawberries. When I was young I used to help my grandma growing strawberries in her garden. My grandma was a chemist and I was a schoolgirl at that time, none of us was professional in growing strawberries, so we used to gather crops occasionally, from time to time. Those were the sweetest strawberries to taste! But due to “limited edition” they usually came in, they have never lived their life up to a cake.
And while I was thinking on that the plot of a story came unexpectedly in my Brazilian friend’s email. He reminded me about a marvelous cake we tasted in St. Petersburg last summer.
We spent a beautiful day wandering along St. Petersburg streets, staring at famous historical buildings, admiring the beauty of architecture and city soul praised by many Russian poets. It felt like pretty drugged with the urban magnificence, too early for dinner and a bit late after lunch. There were lots of different cafés in the street we were walking, some exclusive, some “copy-paste” chain of restaurants, but nothing was special. My friend visited Russia for the first time and I wanted to show him something very Russian, a place for locals, not for tourists. As we were walking along Nevskiy prospect I saw a humble sign friendly inviting downstairs into a cozy place with orange walls. When we came in, I understood that it was it! No English menu, only Russian men or women asking for freshly baked desserts, some leaving with a pack of lovely pastries to enjoy them at home, some staying inside the orange room, staring at the street outside the window. And those Russian ladies in simple cover-sluts flitting behind the couner! Probably in their mid 40s, chubby and handy, they are managing customer and cake flows so fluently and elegantly that one can only admire the true mastery. The atmosphere reminded me a university café I used to sit at when I was a student. At a university, a Russian one, everything changes very slowly and those cafés were really a piece left from Soviet era. I even felt a bit nostalgic and… actually like home. My friend and I ordered strawberry cake. I found it delicious, maybe because I was already in love with the place itself.
I don’t know what exactly my friend felt at that moment but in his email, which made me remember this story, he said he couldn’t forget that strawberry cake in St. Petersburg just because it brought up the best memories!