Strawberries are at their most flavorful and best in May and June. Here are some tips on how to purchase, store, and cook them.
Because a strawberry will not ripen further after it is picked, avoid strawberries with white or green patches. You want to look for firm and deep-red berries that do not have brown or soft spots. Good berries will be plump, heart shaped, with stems attached. You may find that extra large berries are dry and hollow. When purchasing berries sold in baskets, avoid those baskets with stains on the bottoms, which indicate old or crushed fruit.
You can keep strawberries in the frig for one to three days. Leave them in ventilated baskets in the cold, humid area of your frig or you can store them on papertowels in a shallow pan or dish. Make sure to position them in one layer if you use this method.
Strawberries do not hold up well to heat. Cooked, they are best mixed with other fruits for pies, crisps or cobblers, and very good in jams. Strawberries are also great for making strawberry muffins.
Strawberry sundaes were introduced in 1904. The first strawberry sundae included strawberries in juice over vanilla ice cream.
Wild strawberries are talked about in early Greek and Roman writing.
The name "strawberry" may have came from the runners the plant sends out that looks like straw.
Strawberry juice was part of the beauty regimen during Napoleon's time in France. It has a mild astringent and bleaching effect and makes skin soft.
Strawberries and Lemon Cream Recipe:
1. In a blender or food processor, combine 1 cup of the strawberries and corn syrup and cover and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine pureed strawberries and the remaining strawberries; mix gently.
2. Combine sour cream, powdered sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Refrigerate lemon cream until ready to serve.
3. To serve, spoon about 1/2 cup berry mixture into 8 individual dessert dishes. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of lemon cream over top of each.
Yields 8 servings.
Only 110 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.
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