Sunday, June 28, 2009


Ok, so I live in the northwestern part of Oregon, and for those of you who don't already know, it's the home of the best ever strawberries, if you don't believe check this out.

Yes, California is were most strawberries found in grocery stores come from, they are bred to be large, high yield, and have a long shelf live. Unfortunately, California is hot, and while this gets the fruit to ripen quickly, it doesn't allow the berries to fully develop their sweetness and flavor. Strawberries tend to like wet, sunny springs, with cool nights. They do not like to be too hot, in fact the fruit can cook right on the vine if you're not careful with some cultivation methods.

The down side to having such sweet and great tasting berries is that they really don't last very long. Most of them, if they are freshly picked will last about 2 days in the fridge with a damp cloth over them, after that they are pretty much mush.

The next factor to take into account is what variety do you have? My family are devout Hood fans, but this year I started trying others out, I tried Firecrackers, Puget Reliance, Shokusan, and our old standby The Hood.

First I picked up some of the Firecracker berries from a lady on Sauvie Island. The ones I got were VERY tart, and fairly firm. I don't know if this is typical of the variety, or if because we had an early season, they didn't get as sweet as they normally would. So while I wouldn't use these for just eating, I think they'd work really well for jam/jelly/preserves, I froze the rest and plan on using them in cobblers and crumbles later in the season.

Next I picked up 1/2 a flat of the Puget Reliance from guy on Hwy. 30, these were smaller and sweeter than the Firecrackers and a little citrusy, I used them in a crumble, and they cooked down pretty completely so I'm thinking the ones I froze should work really well in a fruit bar or for jam.

After that I picked up some of the Shokusan from a lady on Walker Rd., they are a medium sized berry, nice sweet flavor, and since I only got a pint they didn't even make it home. I'm thinking that I might need to try and get some more, as well as some chocolate to dip them in.

These are theHoods, these as always had a wonderful sweet, citrusy flavor, and I used them in a second crumble. I didn't get a picture of it though, because it'd been broken into right after dinner (before it was even cooled down), and it was completely gone by lunch the next day. It tasted awesome though and a little whip cream on top made it absolutely perfect. The berries held up nicely as well.