Strawberries and social media were two hits this week at my house.
Do you know that locally grown, organic strawberries usually look different than the ones shipped to us from the southern mass-production companies? A few months ago, my culinary class took a trip to a local farm. We toured Rockland Farms in Maryland, where the farmer showed us the difference between locally picked fruit and vegetables compared to those mass-produced and shipped in.
Which one is which?
I’m sure everyone could guess the local and naturally-grown one is the mostly red one. The one from a mass-produced company has the white in the middle. It’s not a bad thing but it does change the taste. The more red the middle of the strawberry is, the more time it has had to ripen making it more sweet. The one with a whiter middle is not as ripe and a little more tangy – mostly the result of the company harvesting them before they are perfectly ripe in order for them to travel from farm to grocery store before going bad. A price we pay to have strawberries on the East Coast all year.
My thoughts are -if it’s summer and if you can, you should get your strawberries locally! The best way is to pick them yourself but if you can’t do that, read the packaging and try to keep those small local farms in business. By buying local, the strawberries have less travel time meaning they are picked when fully ripened making them taste so much better.
And when you get strawberries – you can you can turn simple things into beautiful dishes to impress.
I made a homemade lemon-glazed pound cake and then I topped it with some macerated strawberries (strawberries sprinkled with sugar to create a sweet juice).
In school, my partner and I made a Nutella-Strawberry Tart, which was ranked #1 dessert by our guest chef (Chef Oliver Beckert).
My Hubs just got a promotion at work – yay! To help celebrate I made him one of his favorite – mini Lemon Curd Tarts and I added strawberries. He took them to work and they were a hit with his new team. (Please excuse the dark photo it was an early morning and I was still half asleep…)
Social Media – Over the past week I have made the move to social media. Nicole’s Tasting Spoon is now on Instagram and Twitter! Check it out and follow me! @nictastingspoon