One of the things I love about living in New England is how picturesque it is. Sometimes, I turn down a street, and suddenly I am reminded of movies I watched growing up in Nigeria.
I never quite had the American dream. For that, I am really lucky. Growing up, I never really imagined that I would one day live in America. I never imagined that I would one day be American, but this many years later, here I am. A full-fledged American citizen.
I was thirteen the first time I visited America. The visit was for a Christmas holiday in California with my father. I was obsessed with one thing and one thing only. All I wanted was to taste a strawberry. Living in Nigeria, I had eaten strawberry-flavored things, but I had never seen or eaten a strawberry.
As you can imagine, fresh strawberries are not plentiful in December. My stepmother tried to find me some strawberries. I tried them, and I was underwhelmed. First, they tasted nothing like the artificially flavored yogurts that were a favorite in Lagos. It just seemed so wrong.
Then, moved to the US when I was sixteen and strawberries became a thing that we had in the fridge when they were in season. I think my relationship with strawberries did not start until I moved to Boston in my twenties. That’s when I started to play around with strawberries, and I discovered that I liked them. I also began to use them in a variety of ways. From using them in salads with goat cheese to making a cordial with herbs accompaniment, I try to play around with the unique flavor of the strawberries.
One of the things that I make with frozen strawberries in the fall is tea. I have one of those Bodum coffee presses that I use to make tea using fruits. I love to layer the strawberry into the french press with loads of honey. Today, I was thinking of making a strawberry lemonade with some strawberries I had in my fridge when I paused. It occurred to me that I could play around with the tea concept by making an iced strawberry tea.
The thought of an iced strawberry tea sounded good, but I was hesitant. To me, a cold strawberry tea just seemed like another flavored water. How could I play around with the flavors on the tea to make it more interesting than just fruit seeped in water? That’s when I did a mental checklist and settled on mint. The other thing that makes this different from flavored water is the depth of the strawberry flavor on this. This depth of flavor is possible because the strawberry is boiled in the water until it comes to a boil. Cooking the fruit means this tea has a lovely full bodied strawberry flavor and fragrance with a gorgeous hue.
I have this cold Strawberry Mint tea in my fridge at the moment, and I am loving drinking this. I love that it is unsweetened so I can get the strawberry taste. As a fun party trick, this can be served with some candy floss as a sweetener.