It’s the height of berry season, and you might find this little foodie piece featuring tips from the California Strawberry Commission useful.
Let me add one other ‘tip’ that isn’t mentioned here. BUY LOCAL!
That’s always a good idea anyway. You’ll pay a little more at your farmers’ market, or a local roadside stand if you have one, but you can usually find food that was in the ground a day or two ago.
And, as the video in the link suggests , that’s especially important with strawbs. By their nature, they don’t hang around long off the vine. And the big growers and coops—those ‘brand names’ you’re used to finding in the produce section of the supermarket? Well the best case scenario is that fruit was picked damned near a week ago before you see it and has hung out in a series of coolers before it makes its way to you.
Those big operations have in-house, cutting edge labs that work year-round on hybridizing berries for shelf-life, size, and appearance. And they’re damned good at it.
Unfortunately, that specialized breeding always comes with tradeoffs. And especially in the case of strawberries, when you breed for those commercially desirable characteristics there is a price to pay in texture, sugar and moisture content, and most of all: flavor.
It’s just no damned fun eating supermarket berries any more.
Fortunately, in most parts of the country (and ESPECIALLY here in our little valley) you don’t have to!