Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Another food currently in season.
Synonymous with summer, the season begins with the arrival of early season fruit grown under cover.
Look for berries that are unblemished and bright red with fresh-looking green leafy caps. The fruit should be not too firm and not too soft (there should be no dampness on the bottom of the container). The scent is an indicator of quality and smaller strawberries often have more flavour. Strawberries absorb water readily and so are best served unwashed: choose organic fruit to reduce the levels of toxins you may be ingesting. Try seeking out a Pick-Your-Own farm or local farmers' market to get the freshest.
Strawberries are highly perishable; some may keep for 2 or 3 days but others will be past their best within 24 hours. If not eating on the day of purchase, spread on a shallow plate, cover with paper towels and store in a sealed container or plastic bag in a cool place. They can be frozen: spread unwashed strawberries in a single layer, freeze until solid and then transfer to a freezer bag.
If you've bought organic strawberries you can just wipe them with a damp kitchen towel. Non-organic strawberries should be rinsed and wiped clean. Gently pat dry before removing the caps and white hull with a paring knife. Serve at room temperature.