Millions of Flats of Flavorful, Bright Red and Juicy Strawberries Arriving at Markets Across the Country
Top California Chef Shares Tips on Selection and Storage of the Season's Abundant Strawberries
WATSONVILLE, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A record number of California strawberries are coloring markets and filling shopping baskets across the nation, and consumers everywhere want to know how to make the most of this summertime opportunity.
The growers of 38,000 acres of California strawberries are producing a record average of more than 7 million trays a week during this peak season - the equivalent of 63 million pounds. And that means that there are lots of this popular super fruit available to strawberry lovers everywhere since California produces about 87 percent of the nation's strawberries.
With this kind of availability, a question growers, chefs and retailers are hearing across the country is, "What's the best way to store strawberries?"
Luca Rutigliano, Executive Chef at CordeValle Resort, in San Martin, said "Strawberries are such a healthy and versatile fruit to serve and prepare, but it's important to take the proper steps to take full advantage of their freshness." He recommends the following tips to enjoy strawberries immediately or store for use at a later time. A brief demonstration of these tips and how to prepare a Strawberry Smoothie can be viewed on this brief video: How to Select and Store Strawberries. (http://tinyurl.com/29fqbxl)
- Choose strawberries with a vibrant and consistent red color from the bottom of the berry, all the way to the top.
- Make sure the stem is green and supple and the texture of the skin of the berry is relatively firm and shiny.
- Inspect the berries in the clamshell to make sure there is no sign of bruising or mold.
- Refrigerate strawberries immediately after purchasing.
- When ready to enjoy fresh, rinse strawberries thoroughly under cool water. The stems should not be removed prior to rinsing.
- Lightly pat dry.
- After rinsing, gently blot dry.
- Slice stem off at top of berry.
- Place cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.
- Place uncovered in freezer for 24 hours.
- Transfer strawberries to a freezer bag or container.
- Frozen strawberries can be stored frozen for several months.
When served fresh, California strawberries are most flavorful at room temperature. They can be enjoyed as is or sliced in cereals, salads and served with any meal, any time of day. The California Strawberry Commission recently launched a free iPhone App that highlights 50 strawberry recipes from 50 popular food bloggers. Additional recipes can be found on the California Strawberry Facebook page.
Connect with California Strawberries
- Visit the California strawberries page on Facebook - www.facebook.com/castrawberries
- Follow us on Twitter - www.twitter.com/CAstrawberries
- Download our free app iPhone App - http://bit.ly/8LANJo
SOURCE California Strawberry Commission