This morning I met Sybil for a farewell coffee at the market, and while browsing through it I was just blown away to see that a favorite vendor (who will remain anonymous for reasons that will later be obvious) had a bin of fresh cherries…the first of the season from any vendor and in time to take to Amsterdam to delight the Dutch since theirs won’t be ripe for another month at least.

So I dug deep into the bin and got a large bagful. Seventeen bucks worth.

And then as we neared the end of the market I practiced my Dutch on Johann Smit, telling him about how happy I was to have found fresh cherries to take to Amsterdam…. and offered him a taste.

Moments later, after Sybil and I had parted, the look on Smit’s face as he tasted sank in, and it struck me that I had been so excited about seeing the cherries that I had neglected to taste one before buying them.

What was the fourth thing your mother taught you after to say “thank you” and “please” and to count your change?

Caveat emptor, right? And OK, that was not quite the way my mother phrased it in Wink, Texas in 1948.

With some trepidation, I popped a cherry into my mouth…. and then another…. and another. And no, they weren’t bad. I mean, there has to be some taste before something can be bad. So no, they weren’t bad at all, just nearly completely tasteless.

So now I’m thinking, well, is it even worth trying to boil all seventeen bucks worth of ’em down to about a quart in hopes that I can concentrate that faint hint of cherry flavor into something worth squandering sugar on?

Or do I even want to waste the gas to boil ’em down? Not to mention the effort to stem and pit the damn things.

Sigh. I just threw ’em into the compost bin and went down to Matsuya on 24th, which has recently reopened, and had a sushi supper. Sushi has yet to sweep Amsterdam, so it’s not all that good there and is hideously expensive…at least in my experience.

Matsuya is a fine little place again, and they even had toro, albeit at ten bucks a pop. And the best unagi I ever ate anywhere. There was something under it that would have been slimy and disgusting if it hadn’t tasted so good.

Anticipating Amsterdam, here’s something you very rarely see over there, exterior stairs:


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