Can you smell it in the air? That faint scent of ruby-red fruit punctuated by a bitter base note of despair?
That's the smell of summer dreams destroyed.
The beautiful country of Sweden is particularly fond of its famed jordgubbar—or strawberries, for us non-Scandinavians—especially during midsommar, the country's most popular holiday outside of Christmas.
But Sweden has been wracked by the possibility of a strawberry shortage this summer, thanks to this year's particularly fucked-up weather patterns around the globe. Just last week, farmers were wringing their hands as they faced a berry deficit with midsommar preparations looming.
"It's a disaster for the Swedish people and also for strawberry growers," said Anders Hagberg, of the Federation of Swedish Farmers, to Swedish news agency TT.
Hagberg blamed the cold spring months for the shortage, but had hoped that a few warm days leading up to harvest might push the strawberry yields back up to normal levels.
Only a day before the celebrations, a massive cache of strawberries was stolen from the town of Vinslöv. As The Local Sweden notes, strawberries are typically measured in liters in Sweden. The heist included 3,420 liters of the fruits, equivalent to thousands of boxes.
To be fair, the motivations for the crime are not certain. As Swedish outlet Sydöstran notes (via Google Translate), "It is unclear if the thief deliberately tried to sabotage the midsummer celebrations by stealing all the strawberries, or if it was just a coincidence that the men were in the car that was stolen."
While the thieves haven't yet been found, the cops are hot on their sweet, sticky tail. Their getaway van—for strawberries!—was discovered about 90 kilometers north of Malmö. Nary but a few berries were found inside.
"Yes, we have found the vehicle, but unfortunately it was completely empty except for about 20 single strawberries," said police spokesman Jimmy Modin.
No word on whether the police are following the scent of strawberry cream cake to the villains' fruit-laden lair.