Strawberry Varieties - Some Different & All Delicious
Everyone knows those cheerfully red, ready to eat fruits bring instant sweetness and satisfaction to those who enjoy them fresh from market. Strawberries can be found in a number of countries around the world, with some of the first cultivated varieties beginning in Persia, eventually making their way to Europe via the Silk Road. The modern strawberry has an unusual history. It is a result of a variety from Virginia brought over to France. In the 18th century a French spy traveled to Chile, saw a prolific strawberry plant and brought back seeds to France. The Chilean seeds crossed with the Virginian seeds in France, birthing the hybrid variety that we grow today. Quite a journey, ay? Since making its way back to the states there has been tons of cross-breeding and selecting for varieties that thrive in the coastal climate of California. Strawberries are in season here anywhere from March to August. Fully ripened strawberries, grown organically, and under the sun have more nutrients available, like vitamin C and all the essential minerals including potassium and iron. We sampled, (more like devoured), three varieties at the Upper Haight market. All were delicious and choosing which one to take home is a matter of personal taste.
Seascapes can be found at Green Oaks Creek Farm (CCOF). These longer, conical shaped berries were originally bred for California climates. Seascapes are packed with high notes of sweetness, offer a delicate texture, and are a beautiful deep red color. Albion can be found at Blue House Farm (CCOF) and are the most common varieties grown for commercial purposes in California. They are conical shaped berries also developed in California. They offer a delicious sweetness with a very subtle hint of tartness, and a fantastic moderately firm texture. Sweet Ann can be found at Tomatero Organic Farms (CCOF). This variety is large in size, definitely the biggest we’ve seen at market, and offers an enjoyable sweetness through and through. It’s an early variety that will soon run out in the coming weeks, and be replaced with the Albion variety. Enjoy strawberries fresh, baked in a pie, frozen for smoothies and sorbets, or follow our recipe for a quick preserved Strawberry Jam.