Red, juicy and conically shaped, the strawberry is a member of the rose family and has grown wild for centuries. Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside. The most common American variety is the result of crossbreeding the wild Virginia strawberry and a Chilean variety. This has produced a hardy berry that is able to withstand both shipping and storage. More flavorful, is the European Alpine strawberry -- tiny exquisitely sweet wild strawberries of France known as fraises des bois. They are considered to be the "queen of strawberries." Strawberries vary in size, shape and color (some are off-white or yellowish). In general, the flavor of the smaller berries is better than the larger varieties since the latter are often watery. The strawberry probably got its name originally from the Anglo-Saxon word streawberige, which means “spreading berry.”
Season: May - July
How to select: Choose brightly colored, plump berries that still have their green caps attached and which are uniform in size. Avoid soft, shriveled or moldy berries.
How to store: Do not wash strawberries until ready to use. Store (prefereably in a single layer on a paper towel) in a moistureproof contained in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Matches well with: almonds, apricots, balsamic vinegar, bananas, basil, brown sugar, caramel, Cassis, Champagne, connamon, coconut, Cognac, Cointreau, cream, cream cheese, creme fraiche, currant, figs, Grand Marnier, grapefruit, guavas, Kirsch, kiwi, lemon, lime, maple syrup, mascarpone, nuts, oranges, passion fruit, peaches, pepper, pineapple, port, raspberries, rhubarb, sambuca, sherry, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, violets, wine, yogurt