Oh, Splendid Strawberry Season!
May 17, 2013
Sweet strawberries… luscious strawberries… delicious strawberries… how we love thee. Come closer so we can eat– uhh, meet you with open mouths– uhh, arms! Arms! Strawberry season is finally here after a winter full of no strawberries, and the time has come to celebrate the ruby red berry. Shall we begin by discovering interesting strawberry facts? Or maybe we should review tips on doin’ some strawberry picking ourselves! Or, maybe, just maybe, we can daydream and drool over delightful strawberry recipes… Wait, why do we need to choose? Let’s do all three– right now!
Did you know that strawberries are yummy? No? Well, they are. Did you also know:
- There’s a debate over whether strawberries count as being genuine berries. Other berries like blueberries have seeds on the inside of the fruit; strawberries have their seeds laid throughout its exterior.
- The strawberry plant is in the same genus family as the rose.
- People who enjoy strawberries tend to be intelligent and fun-loving (we would testify to that), while those who don’t lean towards weird, boring, or fussy eaters (which we would also testify to!).
- About 94% of Americans eat strawberries every year, so rest assured that only 6% of the population is boring and fussy.
- One cup of strawberries is only 43 to 55 calories! Eat up!
- There are roughly 200 seeds on a strawberry.
- Belguim has a museum that is all about– that’s right– strawberries, or fraises or aardbeien or Erdbeeren (French, Dutch, and German, respectively, the main languages of Belgium).
- Strawberries are much healthier for you when you pick them yourself; those from the grocery stores tend to still have insecticide and fungicide on them!
On that note…
Strawberry Picking: Tips and Resources
Pick your own strawberries? Yes, it’s a real activity, and strawberry picking is actually a healthy and fun outdoor idea. No need for fancy clothes, a lot of money, or even a lot of know-how: strawberry farms that are open to the public invite all types of harvesters. Plus, nothing is better than a reward for physical work being as sweet as strawberries. A little info never hurt anyone:
- Find a strawberry farm near you here.
- Be sure to call ahead and ask about the basics of the strawberry farm: hours of operation, if weather will allow it, if they provide containers for picking strawberries, pricing, etc.
- Come prepared: bring sunscreen, towels, maybe a small snack and something to drink, and containers (if the strawberry farm doesn’t supply them).
- When going down the strawberry rows, watch to not step on any plants near the row edges.
- Pull only strawberries that are completely red and ripe; unlike other fruits like bananas, they will not ripen once harvested.
- When you spot a good-looking red berry, grab the fruit in your hand and hold the stem with your fore finger and thumb like this:
- Only pick as many strawberries as you will eat within the next few days (unless you plan on freezing them). They will rot pretty quickly once you bring them home (it’s just what happens).
- While you’re at it, pull rotting strawberries off the stems and toss them in between the rows. Doing so helps farmers and plants by keeping the rot or disease from infecting other plants.
- Take them home.
Ahh, yes, finally! Fresh strawberries picked by your own hands, and after a thorough washing, they are ready to be enjoyed, consumed, and dreamed about. Unless, of course, you wish to take them further… which you do, right?
Wait, it gets better? Strawberry recipes amplify the crisp, sweet taste of your fresh pick, so enough talk!
Move over, vanilla ice cream! Strawberries take center stage in a twist on the ice cream sundae with Balsamic Vinegar and Brown Sugar Grilled Strawberries! Don’t furrow that brow: you’d be surprised at how delectable these bold and contrasting flavors are! Balsamic vinegar and brown sugar mix to coat strawberries before cooking on a grill. Set the hot new creation atop a cloud of vanilla ice cream and enjoy the temperature and flavor combinations!
Cleanse your palate with even more divine strawberry with Strawberry Punch. The drink recipe calls for your fresh strawberries plus frozen limeade, pineapple juice, and lemon lime soda. In other words, it is the perfect summer drink, sweet and tarty and prime for alcoholic additions! (What? You know we can’t go a blog without mentioning a cocktail!)
If you’d like to try a twist on an ol’ favorite, how about a big bunch of Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries? Seems too heavenly to be accessible, right? The strawberry recipe is even more simple than you’d think, too! Mix cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract to fill hulled strawberries and top with a bit of crunchy graham crackers……. Sorry, that was us drooling. Use a Chef’n StemGem to easily hull strawberries, making this appetizer or snack recipe a cool, whipped breeze!
Armed with strawberry facts, strawberry picking tips, and strawberry recipes, heck, you’re as ready as they come for strawberry season! Though there’s no right way to enjoy strawberries (I like mine dipped in sugar), there’s plenty of ways to accentuate the full-bodied juiciness of the healthy berry. What’s your favorite way to eat strawberries? Tell us how you’ll be servin’ them up for strawberry season!