Nothing says summer’s here like local strawberries. Although I can buy strawberries from somewhere around the world 365 days a year, I’m always excited when local strawberries show up at the farmers market.
Local strawberries are also special to me, because my very first post on The PescoVegetarian Times three years ago was a taste test between local and conventional strawberries shipped from California. Needless to say, the local strawberries won the test.
As I noted in the post, the local strawberries were smaller and tarter than the berries that had been shipped from the West coast, but the local berries had a more complex flavor, like wine, with varying notes of sweetness and earthy bright flavor. The California berries had a uniform, candylike sweetness.
If you love strawberries and farmers markets and you live in Massachusetts, don’t miss out on the chance to sample some delicious strawberry treats while helping farmers markets continue to thrive. Mass Farmers Markets is holding their sixth annual Strawberry Dessert Festival through July 7. If you order a strawberry dish at one of the many participating restaurants, a portion of the proceeds will go to Mass Farmers Markets.
Mass Farmers Markets runs some of the best farmers markets in the Boston area and they also provide support services for all the markets in the state. Egleston Farmers Market, which I helped start as a winter market and is now continuing as a summer market, has received lots of help from Mass Farmers Market, including advice, referrals, and access to affordable liability insurance (essential to our existence). So they deserve your strawberry support!
Some of the best restaurants around are participating, like Bondir, Henrietta’s Table, and Oleana. And a lot of restaurants I’ve been dying to try are involved, too. For example, I’ve heard great things about Armsby Abbey, in Worcester, and they’re offering two strawberry dishes: a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, with fresh strawberries and rhubarb, lemon-thyme brown butter crumble, and pink peppercorn vanilla ice cream, and an Aerated Saffron Custard, with compressed caisson soaked strawberries, citrus supremes, mint, and orange shortbread.
These dishes sound so good, I may have to try both of them. After all, the strawberry season is short! Which ones are you going to try?