The Danger of Summer Strawberries

published Aug 4, 2016
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

Does your farmers market or farm stand offer true summer strawberries? You know, the strawberries that are grown in the season they were meant to be grown in. The ones that are picked ripe in the field and are red all the way through, that actually smell like strawberries and taste like heaven? If so, go there as soon as possible, purchase a basketful, but don’t hurry home. Just sit back and pick one berry, any berry, and take a bite.

But be careful. Once you have bitten into a true summer strawberry, your life will change forever and you can never go back. You will know the harsh, difficult truth about grocery-store strawberries: They’re not really strawberries! They may (sort of) look like strawberries, but they don’t taste or smell nearly as wonderful as the real deal.

Knowing this, you will become spoiled, picky even, turning your nose up at those oversized baubles that people pass as strawberries but are actually cotton balls sprayed red.

You will soon eschew all but the true summer (and late-spring) berries, passing up offers of chocolate-dipped fauxberries in February and fishing out slivers of near-white berries from your fruit salad. You will become passionate about canning up your own strawberry jam, patiently doling out spoonfuls to get you through the winter, all the while dreaming of that glorious day when the first true strawberries show up at the market. And when they do, your heart will lift and you will heave a sigh of relief, grateful that you have lived another year to witness this blessed event.

Yeah, real strawberries — true summer strawberries — are dangerous. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

More Strawberry Raptures

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)