Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How to Eat a Strawberry

Oh, there are ways to eat a strawberry. Array bowls of sour cream and brown sugar, dip. Splattered with fresh made whipped cream. With a tiny drop of the most expensive balsamic vinegar you can afford. These are ways to eat a strawberry. They are not, however, what is vital. Let me tell you.

Foremost, use a local strawberry. Yes! Yes, these harbingers have arrived in our Chicago area markets. There is no comparison to what you can find at an area farmer's market to Well-Pic/Driscoll stuff found at the supermarkets. For a bit of background on this, read Russ Parson's How to Pick a Peach. Supermarket strawberries are bred for a few reasons, mostly shipability and extended growing seasons. Local strawberries just are. They are here when they grow, picked when they are ripe, bleed red like they are supposed to, and taste, yes, taste, like you remember. Vital rule number one: eat a local strawberry.

Now, to fully enhance your local strawberry, pay attention to this rule. Ditch the fridge. Vital rule number two: don't eat a cold strawberry. If your strawberry can never hit the fridge, you are in the best shape. If you have to hold your strawberries for a day or so, refrigerate them, but take them out well, well before you plan to eat them. Think of them like you might think of cheese. When the strawberries come to room temperature, like cheese, you start picking up flavors, nuance, that is deadened with cold. Perhaps, a Driscoll strawberry would have some taste if served at room temperature.


No comments: