5 Tips to get the Most from Strawberry Season

Did you know that Poteet is the Strawberry Capital of Texas? My mom was from Poteet and her family lived there so growing up we would visit quite often and see that iconic strawberry-topped water tower.  Mom’s cousin brought us flats of delicious Poteet strawberries fairly regularly. I’m also related to Strawberry Festival royalty- Aunt Martha was the first Strawberry Festival Queen, and mom was a mascot for the court.  All of which makes me a strawberry expert (wink, wink), or at least I feel that way. Here are my tips for enjoying strawberries.

 

When are strawberries in season?

First and foremost, strawberries are in season in the spring in Texas before it gets blistering hot so your chance for getting the best from- the- field- berries comes right now.  California’s season is also in the spring and continues a little longer into the summer with milder summer temperatures. Strawberries are NOT in season in the winter and won’t be very good then.

A few other considerations

  • Select red berries– When shopping for strawberries, look for ones that are very red with no white. This fruit doesn’t continue to ripen after it is picked so get the carton with the most fully red-ripe fruit.

  • Don’t wash before storing– Don’t wash your berries before storing in the fridge- they will go mushy faster. Wash just before eating. 

  • Wash and flash freeze- You can wash and hull them, then flash freeze if you want to keep them longer. Then move them to freezer Ziploc bags. The texture will change when thawed, so plan to use them in smoothies, breads, muffins, cakes after frozen.

  • Highly perishable, keep refrigerated– Strawberries are highly perishable, so keep them refrigerated and check for moldy fruits hiding underneath. Quickly remove any berries that are moldy.

  • Slice, sprinkle with sugar, and toss gently– Berries will macerate (make juice) for use as a topping for strawberry shortcake. 

Speaking of shortcake- What do you use for strawberry shortcake? A long time ago we used the store bought berry cups you see displayed in the produce section alongside the berries. Then we moved to angel food cake, and now most of the time I make pound cake. My Dad always talked about making a “true” shortcake, which is essentially a biscuit or scone, but I still prefer pound cake. And I always top it with fresh, homemade whipped cream made from a pint of heavy whipping cream plus 1/3 cup powdered sugar! It’s my son’s birthday cake request every year, so good!