In Season: Strawberries

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We just had the biggest strawberry harvest, ever. I headed to the little patch optimistically making a well in the front of my shirt for what I expected would be just about a handful. That approach quickly revealed itself as inefficient as several of these dark red fruits tumbled out onto the gravel. I moved on to an empty discarded flowerpot hiding beneath a shrub, and ended up filling it to the brim.

Back in the kitchen, I was so puffed up and proud of the haul that I had to break out the digital scale and weigh the loot - 10 5/8 ounces! This is the season for strawberries. While most berries you find in a grocery store are picked when barely ripe so that they do not bruise in transport, garden, and often farm-fresh berries, like these, are harvested right when they're ready to eat. When you come across berries as fresh and ripe as these, the most I would do to them is slice them and serve them on ice cream, panna cotta, or pound cake. Cooking, macerating, or otherwise tampering with them would be a waste. Purity is the key.

And be sure to eat them right away. This isn't a situation where you want to buy them and let them sit for a few days as you nibble your way through. This is a one-sitting event.

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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