The intoxicating raspberry smell. Maria Kalenska food blog, Odessa.

The intoxicating raspberry smell

Food in Odessa has always been treated as a commodity.
Until now, some old-timers traditionally may spend hours picking over a pile of dill examining, sniffing, placing back but picking another one – and so, until the sun starts to go down, and the time comes to 3 o’clock in the afternoon – time for the market “Privoz” to close.

Everything purchased must be washed, dried, chopped, poured, mixed, stewed and eaten. Right away. As tomorrow you have to go to the market again, since big families require much food.

There is no need to look for a slender gastronomic logic in the Odessa approach to eating – you will get confused and lost. And now, raspberries, for example. That smell tickles your nose.

In Odessa they say – it smells like bad.
Smells not like the summer, not like ripeness, not like the sun.
But intoxicating.

It is difficult to understand, you should feel it through the salty summer heat, through waves that look like a large piece of greenish “Soviet” marmalade, through a back burnt in the sun, smeared with sour cream, through thick August evenings. But in Odessa, raspberry’s smell is intoxicating.

Raspberry should be eaten just like that, without anything. In some cases, you shouldn’t even wash berries, because this “intoxicating smell” disappears instantly; raspberry can be treated like an old maid – kinda okay to take, but still you have choice.

Take raspberry as vitamins, as a medicine.
In handfuls, with fingers, dirtying lips.
Then you can try with ice cream. With sour cream or “market cream”.

And then, when you start distinguishing raspberry varieties, you can cook Odessa’s “five-minute jam”. Two handfuls of raspberries and a handful of sugar, a generous pinch of spices for both gingerbread and mulled wine –wintertime leftovers found on the shelf, cooking on low heat, for five minutes and now we have a quick jam for breakfast or tea.

Raspberry is rubbed with sugar and frozen, is stewed for jam, lots of jam.
As winter is coming, and city goes under snow, transport jams, people leave their cars right on the roadway and get home on foot, and, coming home or to the nearest house, they sit down at the table. There they discover the raspberry jam – boiled 3 times for 2 hours or “five minutes” kind and someone standing next to the table says: enjoy the raspberry, still smelling intoxicating.

Sunny and tasty raspberries. Maria Kalenska food blog, Odessa.

Two kinds of raspberry. Maria Kalenska food blog, Odessa.