We have all done it and if you are like me you haven’t learned your lesson either. You walk into your grocery store and see swathes of bright red and fragrant strawberries. You pick up box after box inspecting the carton for any that look moldy, soft, gooey, or pale.
They all look pretty good, they smell good…and they are priced at such a good deal it must be an early season glut.
WRONG, they are priced so cheaply because they are pathetic excuses for strawberries and they taste bitter and terrible.
There, I said it. They taste BAD.
For me, this happened 2 days ago. $0.99 for a pound of seemingly good berries. So I bought – TWO boxes, yum yum…hah, wishful thinking. As soon as I cored the first one, they were basically all white inside, not the rosy rich red of a REAL strawberry.
They were hard. Grainy. Flavorless, and yet still managing to be very astringent.
Obviously the answer to sadberry syndrome is to grow your own since there is NOTHING in this world like home-grown, picked when actually ripe, pesticide free strawberries. But we are in the middle of moving house and I have none of my own growing.
But what do you do if you cannot grow or have been lured into buying a crap box of sadberries?
THIS is what you do…
A.) Make a jam and concentrate those traitors down with some sugar.
B.) Macerate them until they are bearable as BELOW:
- Core and quarter the sadberries.
- Sprinkle with 1/4tsp black pepper (yes, I’ll get there…)
- Toss in 2tbs of Balsamic vinegar (I use Raspberry Balsamic).
The black pepper enhances any trace of sugar actually present in the fruits and the balsamic does the same while also drawing a little water out and so concentrates the sugar that might be lurking in the fruit. SIMPLE. You could of course douse them in actual sugar or honey but this is a little better for you and you can save the honey for other treats.
There, you can turn disappointing, aggravatingly sly, tasteless sadberries into something tolerable so that you don’t waste them.
Your next step, is figure out how you can grow your own strawberries. I think almost anyone can grow them at home since they do very well in containers as well as wild ground.
They are also initially cheap to start a patch or series of containers.
Here are the ones that I am ordering for our new house http://www.starkbros.com/products/berry-plants/strawberry-plants/all-summer-long-strawberry-plant-collection I have grown all 3 varieties at some point of another and they do well even in our dry high desert in zone 8. This collection comes with Honeye Strawberry June bearer, Ozark Beauty ever bearer, and Sparkle June bearer. These plants will give you a steady supply between them over the strawberry season…and they are $18.16 for 75 plants so I think that is an amazing deal.
Keep watch in the coming months for when I not only order my strawberry plants but also order other start up seeds, trees, canes, and roots for various fruits and vegetables for our homestead. I will link up with my YouTube with videos of planting and maintenance…and later harvest and storage – and yes, even cooking.
So that is my tip for improving store bought strawberries that are just a bit, nay – a lot – crap and a source for a great price on berry plants. Don’t need 75? get a few friends together and split the cost for a SWEET DEAL.
**My blog is not yet monetized nor do I benefit from posting links to items that I buy/prefer/or plan to buy. The items featured on my blog are what I genuinely see value in**