Although you can get strawberries year round, those berries have been bred to withstand shipping and storage. Most of the berries you see at your local grocery store started their life on Driscoll's Farms in California- the largest producer of the Strawberries in the nation. Americans love their strawberries, having gone from consuming 1.7 pounds per capita in 1970 to 4.4 lbs in 2001. So in order to eat more of them more often we've had to sacrifice taste.
When I read on Farmfresh.org that Smolak farms in North Andover had local strawberries for picking, I leapt for the fields.
I admit about a quarter of the berries never made it into the picking basket. Each sun-warmed berry burst with flavor and melted in your mouth. There was no way these would make it onto a refrigerated truck. They needed to worked with quickly so I zipped home and turned these berries into a strawberry basil gelee with sour cream panna cotta.
|©Gelology - photos by Anthony Eng|