Locally-grown strawberries have arrived, another early bonus from this year’s easy-going winter and spring. The first of this year’s crop from the East End are firm, juicy and delicately sweet, with a lovely crisp, clean fruity flavor.
Our friends at FingerLakes Farms in Seneca Falls, NY, have been gathering and distributing upstate New York and Long Island produce and other perishables for just over two years, and in that relatively short time they’ve put together a terrific network of over two dozen family farms and local growers.
In June, we’ll be getting Honeoyes, a variety developed right where they’re grown in the Finger Lakes region. Known for their striking crimson color and glossy exterior, Honeoyes are delicious out-of-hand but also hold their color and firmness in any recipe, such as jams and pies.
Honeoyes will be followed by the large and hardy Jewel strawberry (patented by Cornell University in 1985) and mammoth Allstars, which can produce fruit as big as a plum!
The strawberry season is relatively short, with picking continuing through mid to late July. They are a signature ingredient for your favorite fruit salad and a quintessential summer dessert, simply topped with a dollop of crème fraiche. And, of course, they are a seasonal treat for both professional and home pastry chefs, from the most elaborate French tarts to American classics like Strawberry Shortcake and Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie.