Have you ever felt melancholic, looking at the very last strawberries of the market during fall season? Have you ever felt the irrepressible need to buy one more basket of eggplants (so plump and juicy and shiny) to cook something spectacular with them before they disappear again for a whole year? Have you ever wished for the already vanished taste of such fleeting delicacies as raspberries, zuchini or garlic blossoms, Romanesco broccoli, Mount Royal plums or blue Concord grapes?
Japanese language has a beautiful word for these last moments to enjoy a fresh produce, or already regret its disappearance: Nagori (名残 – “memory, relic”). The quintessential short-lived pleasure, a mix of joy and regret. Nagori is the food equivalent of Augusts’ last outdoor swim, of the little summer dress you wear one last time before folding it for winter, of the way we linger on terraces to retain the sun, even if it’s already a little bit too cold.