Strawberries may not be ripe in your part of the world—yet!
But they will come soon,
Maybe in May or June.
Sam Gamgee, Frodo Baggins’ sidekick, remembers the taste of strawberries:
Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be . . . eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?” ~ Sam Gamgee,
The Return of the King, from J. R. R. Tolkien
How they Taste: Ripe strawberries are essentially sweet. The best ones have a bright citrusy undertone and a musky, slightly floral aroma. Why do they taste so good? Click here to find out why.
Ten Amazing Benefits of Strawberries:
- Strawberries can make your teeth whiter.
- They can slow down the aging process.
- Make freckles fade.
- Help fight allergies.
- Produce “happy” hormones . . . (Click above for complete list.)
A Strawberry Memoir Moment
Down over the hill I hopped to my second home. As I got closer to the gray Victorian house, I saw Grandma walking over the porch to the kitchen door with an early crop of strawberries cradled in her apron.
Catching up, I sneaked a plump red berry before I asked, “Grandma, may I have some berries?”
“Of course you can, and when they get more plentiful, we’ll make strawberry jam together. How ‘bout dat?” she beamed.
I walked in through the kitchen door behind her. As the door slapped shut, she added, “Come to think of it, I have to check to make sure I have enough sugar in my cupboard. It takes a lot of sugar to preserve strawberry jam.”
Strawberries in Spider-Man 3
Harry Osborn: [after topping his drink with an olive, Harry realizes that Peter is standing behind him] Would you like a drink? I’m sorry. What was I thinking? Bad for the public image, right, Mr. Key-to-the-City?
Peter Parker: [referring to Mary Jane] What did you do to her?
Harry Osborn: [Harry takes a sip of his drink] I did what you failed to do. I was there for her. Mary Jane and I, we understand each other.
Peter Parker: She doesn’t know what you are.
Peter Parker: Peter, she knows me very well. And when she kissed me, it was just like she used to kiss me. That taste… Strawberries.
Catch More Spring Fever Here . . .
. . . Classic spring poems for everyone.Click here to enjoy A. E. Housman, Christina Rossetti, William Shakespeare and more!
Do you have a garden? Will strawberries appear?
How do you like to eat strawberries?
Strawberry memories? Thank you for sharing them here!
My mouth is watering for some of those delicious looking strawberries, Marian! We don’t have a garden, but my favorite store bought berries are Driscoll…they’re always sweet.
The label on berries we don’t pick by hand also says “Driscoll” also. They have huge fields in Watsonville, WA and transport their produce all over the US apparently. Yes, they ARE sweet. Once again, you are the early bird and you always get first whatever is served up here each week. Thanks for your support here, Jill!
Dricoll’s are always the sweetest. 🙂 I love visiting your blog, especially when you’re serving up strawberries!
Good morning, Marian! It’s going to be a while before the strawberries are ripe here.
I’ve picked strawberries at farms and made jam, and when the girls were little we picked strawberries and then had strawberry shortcake for dinner! The freshly-picked strawberries picked ourselves or purchases at local farm stands are so different from the often tasteless out-of-season strawberries in the market.
Tasting strawberries straight from the farm is a much different experience from what is trucked in, often from south Florida or California. Of course, I’m not surprised that you have made jam and shortcake with drawberries. I wonder if any of your daughters have picked up the culinary gene from their mother. Ha!
I love your typo “drawberries.” That is just begging for a Cliff cartoon. 🙂
Both daughters are good cooks. Younger one probably experiments more, and she also has taught herself to do cake decorating.
I didn’t notice, my eyes inspecting other typos. Now I guess I don’t need to fix it – ha! I’ll make sure he sees this!
Aprons were so useful in the strawberry patch and garden!
Thanks for picking up on that in the “memoir moment.” Aprons function both as a motif and symbol of service in my memoir. Remember the Mennonite foot washing ceremony? Couldn’t happen without aprons that served also as towels. I wonder if that ordinance is carried on in the church you attend now.
You just jogged my memory! I was raised Brethren In Christ and I forgot about the aprons we put on during foot washing. 😊
It’s nice to see you here, Elaine, and with a comment too. Your response reminded me of a blog post I did long ago that may interest you. It includes the Mennonite council meeting, communion service, and foot washing too. Here it is: https://marianbeaman.com/2013/08/24/mennonite-flashback-ii-circles-and-tubs/
Thanks for joining the conversation here. You’re welcome any time!
My strawberry bed is currently under a foot of snow. Half of that fresh fallen yesterday. 🙁 But, to the important point of your post: they make your teeth whiter? I must learn more. Ta ta.
Janet, probably the acid in the berries make the teeth whiter. I think that blueberries may make them bluer.
By the way, thanks for your cartoon of the crazy weather you’ve been having in Vermont. I haven’t had a chance to acknowledge it, but it certainly pictures the wacky whims of Mother Nature lately. With any luck, things will settle down in May, if not earlier. Thanks!
It’s a blessing to live in Central Florida! Strawberries ripen here in January-February. Our crops were affected by several winter freezes, but the berries that survived were big and flavorful. There’s a U-Pick place called Pappy’s about 5 miles from my house; each year I pick a flat and freeze what we don’t immediately use. Currently it’s blueberry season and last week we picked 7 pounds of blueberries. They freeze easily, like marbles.
It sounds as though the big, flavorful berries represented the “survival of the fittest.” We haven’t pick strawberries around here, which will make their appearance in May; the blueberries in June. Jacksonville is just an hour south of the Georgia state line, so our weather is not as balmy as yours this time of year.
I like your description of frozen blueberries like marbles. Yes, the “marble”s come out of the freezer, and in 5 minutes they are ready to eat on cereal. Thanks for all of this, Lynn.
There are plenty of fabulous fresh strawberries here in Spain. We have some every day!! A nice memory with your grandmother.
Do strawberries grow year round in Spain? If so, lucky you. Strawberries perk up my Cheerios, but most of them are trucked in, except for late spring, early summer.
They grow most of the year here so are always fresh and inexpensive. We live in the fruit and vegetable basket of Spain. I do miss the blueberries though which grew in abundance in the Vancouver area. I can get them here but they are expensive.
Wow! I didn’t know all of those benefits of strawberries! Wow!
I remember picking strawberries when I was a kid. We visited my grandmother in the summers.
Grandmothers and strawberries must go together. I’m glad you have happy memories of childhood strawberry pickings. I’m glad you enjoyed the list of strawberry benefits ~ pretty amazing. Thanks for stopping by with a comment today, Marie.
Make your teeth whiter? That must be why we see people who eat them smile more.
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
Leave it to the Huge Hugger to notice the smiles. I hope you are feeling fit as a fiddle today, Sir David. Thank you! ((( )))
They make freckles disappear? I wish I would have known that as a kid. I hated my freckles, and there were no strawberries in Paraguay. However, I do remember eating Jerusalem Cherries, do you know what they are? I loved them, but I think they must have produced freckles rather than make them disappear!
Did you know that freckles are the “in” thing now? Both my daughter’s children have them, a contribution from the gene pool on their father’s Irish side. They don’t get teased in school, and their mother says nobody tries to hide them now.
No, have not heard of Jerusalem Cherries, but they sound exotic and perhaps holy. Apparently you enjoyed eating them in Paraguay. Thanks for the enlightenment, Elfireda. I always learn something from you. 🙂
I can’t wait for strawberry season! They are so luscious in NC and when the weather has been just right it’s hard to get enough of them before the vanish from the nearby farm. We eat them straight from the bucket, cut up in a bowl and on top of piping hot biscuits. I’m with the others, my mouth is watering!
It’s nice to see you here, Dorothy. And with luscious memories. I never heard of eating them on top of hot biscuits, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks!
What a sweet memoir moment, Marian! It connected me to my own memoir moment in our June garden the year Wayne had a strawberry patch. We’d go out at sunrise to pick (and eat) those juicy gems. I can still taste their sweetness and I can see your grandmother scooping the strawberries up in her apron as you grab one!
What a lovely way to start my day..which by the way is cold and windy with a few stray snow flurries. Strawberries don’t stand a chance around here until at least June. And I had no idea they made your teeth whiter. 🙂
I guess the inches of of snow Janet experienced whipped by New York in a flurry. Someday, and soon, all this winter will blow away. Last year, I recall, Pennsylvania didn’t warm up until May.
How interesting to hear about your strawberry memoir moment. Our memoirs are certainly disparate in theme, but they both represent family memories, the sweet with the bitter. Thanks, Kathy!
I was overjoyed to see the first punnets of strawberries at Barbotan-les-Thermes market recently: so fresh and delicious! Happy memories of home too, served with whipped cream and sugar: simply heavenly! Enjoy!
I learned a new word, Fatima – punnets. Thanks! I guessed from the context it meant container or small basket, European or Australian in origin. I hope you can enjoy fresh strawberries wherever you and Peter roam this week.
We are in the Charente region, famous for its melons and they are already out! I think I could live on fruit alone!
That’s how you keep active and slimmer than most, Fatima. My niece said if you eat just fruit and vegetables you will lose weight. I need to take her advice now that my metabolism has slowed down to near zero – ha!
Hurrah for melons in France. You are living the life!
Marian — Strawberry shortcake with whipped cream on top? Yes, please!
Do you think La Mandarine Bleue would deign to serve them? Maybe something fancier than strawberry shortcake and probably with a more exotic name. A bientot!
Strawberries and plenty thick cream – I’m in heaven when that happens. We’re not in season right now, but when they on the shelves I’m first in line. Thanks Marian, delightful post. I’m salivating –
Yes, Susan, I am aware that our spring contrasts with your fall in South Africa. Do you ever get strawberries as imports, out of season. I’m sure you have lovely fruits where you live that we don’t have access to. Thanks for reminiscing with us here, Susan ~ thank you!
We have access to many fruits out of season at a huge price which is why I don’t normally buy them, plus I like to keep things local and seasonal – but when I have to have strawberries or avocados, I succumb .. willy wally that I am ..
Our strawberries have nearly finished which is such a shame ..I love the really small ones such sweet flavour..It’s mango season now here and Dragon fruit 🙂
I agree … “small” seems to pack a mighty punch of flavor.
Our Fresh Fields Farms imports fresh produce from all over the world. I remember when I caught my first glimpse of dragon fruit. What a fanciful “creature” that is, such an ornate design. To me, it looks more like a piece of art than a fruit. I wonder if you posted any recipes using this fruit as an ingredient, Carol.
Ah, living in Ventura County [CA], we have a long season. Warm breezy days and fog-filled nights across the Oxnard Plain make a very sweet product. Our Strawberry Festival is a big deal, with so many ways to fix them berries, from pizza to beer to salsa and everything in between! My favorite is still just off the plant, wash the dirt off and pop ’em in your mouth. They take three bites at least to get one down!
Ginger, thanks for pinpointing yourself on the map. ~ and of course commenting in this column. Your county has just the right soil and climate for growing berries. I can’t quite imagine berry beer, but I can certainly visualize popping a warm, sweet berry into my mouth. Even with a teeny bit of stem, it’s SO good!
Oh, my mouth is watering. Can’t wait for the local berries to come to the market. I was told a few more weeks and they’ll begin. They are the best. I think Those berries they sell at the grocery store from California are fake!!
If you’ve tasted a straight-from-the-vine berry you can instantly detect the bland taste of strawberries that have spent hours in an 18-wheeler cross-country. You’ll probably be serving up a delectable blog post with fresh berries in May. Yummy! 🙂
Thanks for sharing, Marian! I do love strawberries! We used to grow our own, but where we live now, in a woods, we just can’t get them to grow. We’ve tried but there’s just not enough sun, I guess.
Thanks for posting this. We had a dinner last Sunday at church, so I bought strawberries and made strawberry shortcake. Then we had a big snowstorm. Church and dinner were cancelled! So Jerry and I ate strawberry shortcake for the next three days! Boy, was it good! This evening I went to an appreciation night and guess what the refreshments were! Strawberry Shortcake! Good thing I love strawberries!
Your story is proof that when you give you can’t predict how you’ll receive. Wonderful!
Lack of sun is probably the reason you can’t grow strawberries now. Everywhere we lived since our first house has been shady. We enjoyed pole beans and tomatoes in our starter home when the children were little, but not anymore. Thanks again for your inspiring strawberry story, Anita.
Yum! My mouth is watering and I have no strawberries 🙁 Tomorrow is grocery day, perhaps I should have waited til then to read this delightful post, lol. 🙂
Ah, thank you, Debbie. You must have had fresh berries in Mexico. I imagine they are available almost year round, and fresh too. I’m hoping spring will come soon to Toronto. Have a wonderful weekend!
Oh yes Marian, we had the most delicious strawberries in Mexico! And the sun is shining today too! Happy weekend to you too. 🙂
I love strawberries (especially in preparations like yoghurt), but grew up with cherries, as my parents had two trees until I turned five. It is interesting to me how fresh strawberries look and taste different in the US and in Belgium. They are smaller and less red in Belgium, and also less sweet. I grew up eating them with white confectionary sugar. We would bite the tip off and then dip them in the sugar. These days, I’d never think to do that. The berries are sweet enough. I like your memoir snippet, Marian!
A childhood highlight was picking cherries at Shenk’s Orchard in Pennsylvania. Once my sister’s ladder fell through the tree, collapsed, actually. These days we don’t get them year round like strawberries; I guess they are more fragile … or more rare.
Your smiling face reminds me to check in with you. I believe you’ve made another “house-sit” transition. I’m glad you enjoyed the tasty snippet this time. Thanks, liesbet!
I love strawberries! So glad to know they also have so many benefits.
I was enlightened too. Probably the particular acid in strawberries 🍓 does the trick with whitening teeth and other cleansing effects. Thank you, Fiona!
Strawberry and banana sandwiches …good thick bread, rich brown crust and cowslip yellow ‘best’ butter …can’t beat it .
I adore strawberries…maybe a nice glass of Chardonnay, so chilled your hand can barely hold the glass And Wimbledon on the telly , doors wide open into the garden and a gentle breeze blowing your hair …strawberries and summer just go together don’t they .
Strangely enough Marian. I’m reading a book called ‘The Reading Cure’ by Laura Freeman .
An anorexic who had her health restored by description of food in books …love it , in fact I googled all books with food descriptions …so many .
I love the one from lord of the rings Pure bliss 🍓🍓🍓
You are serving up your comment with whipped cream and a cherry on the top. Reading your thoughts is pure bliss, Cherry.
I have an acquaintance suffering from anorexia who may benefit from the Ms. Freeman’s book. Maybe my library has it so I can read it myself first. Anyway, I’m making a note of the strawberry and banana sandwich “recipe,” which I can imagine a breakfast worth getting up for 🙂
Merci beaucoup, my friend.
I have a garden without strawberries. That wasn’t always true, but it was too hard to keep the birds and mice from eating them. I have many wild strawberries in the fields, easy to pick on the trails even though they’re tiny. I love munching them as I walk. My dog Willow is a big fan of strawberries, delicately pulling ripe berries from the plants with soft lips. (She likes raspberries, too, but I have to pick those for her because of thorns) I like strawberries with yogurt or, if they’re sweet and fresh, popped right in my mouth.
My grandmas made strawberry jam. So did I when I had family at home and so does my daughter-in-law. I used to go strawberry picking at a place that had my favorite kind of berries (sweet, flavorful, unsprayed, and too delicate and short-lived for grocery store shelves). I added fresh lemon and used half the sugar called for in most recipes. The jam was less sugary and had stronger strawberry flavor. It was the best I’ve ever eaten–or at least I remember it that way.
Your memories are vivid and poetic, Elaine. I never thought of Willow as having soft lips, but your description makes it believable. Another sweet thought, your daughter-in-law carrying on the tradition of making strawberry jam.
Just between us: When a recipe calls for sugar, I always use less too. 🙂
I love strawberries and so does my youngest daughter. She had a slight allergy to them as a child so I was always cautious when she would eat them. Her cheeks would turn bright red, and swell just slightly. She was only allowed to have them if I was with her. However, she loved them SO much she would sneak them when I wasn’t looking. But, I could always tell since she would get the rash on her face.
I would ask if she had some strawberries, and she would always say “No Mama” Then smile super big! Happily she outgrew her allergy(as most do). 🙂
That’s a sweet story, Cheri. I left a comment on your blog today about having a cold in Germany. What a hoot!
I think we made this connection via SIPB Facebook page – right? Thanks again for stopping by with a comment!
Thank you! Yes, I found you on SIPB FB