Tag Archives: Strawberries

Fresh Strawberries Meet Hip Dip

What if George had pulled up a strawberry plant instead of chopping down a cherry tree? What if the Johnny who cast the apple seeds would have stayed home and cracked corn? Then there’s this one: If watermelon had never made it to North America, strawberries might well have become the fruit most associated with the 4th of July.

Granted, that’s a LOT of ifs, but the fact remains that strawberries are one of the most popular fruits on 4th of July picnic tables.

And they’re a favorite for good reason! They’re sweet, bite-sized morsels of fruity deliciousness that are just as at home in salads as they are in desserts.

Studies have shown that approximately two out of three American households consume fresh strawberries, totaling approximately 1 billion pounds per year. That’s an average of 12 pounds of delicious, fresh strawberries per person.

In fact, a recent survey by Driscoll’s berries revealed that nearly 60 percent of those surveyed think that strawberry shortcake should be the official dessert of summer.

For me? I like strawberries best as a snack, especially when paired with a couple of great dips.

And I suppose if you’ve been following my blogs and new recipes over the years, this should come as no surprise. Here are some of my favorite strawberry dip recipes that you can find on our website:

And, of course, you know what’s coming. Or at least you THINK you do. Another strawberry dip recipe, right?

Well, not actually.

I think one of the BEST fresh strawberry-eating experiences you can have balances a number of tastes and texture sensations. Sweet, sour, tangy, a hint of vanilla, molasses, and finally, a citrusy salt.

It may be one of THE best fruit dip experiences you’ll ever have, and this combination just doesn’t work nearly as well with ANY other fruit. One possible exception is kiwi, which you could also display on your fruit platter.

This dip isn’t as much a dip as it is a process.

And the process is what makes the final taste an experience.

Much like the Mexican tradition of a bite of lime, lick of salt and shot of tequila, the sum of the parts of this strawberry garnishment is greater than the whole.

The recipe? Well, as I’ve been saying, it’s a process. It’s a more make-as-you-go thing, but here is what you need for about one quart of fresh strawberries, which you can leave whole (with the leaves on) in a large bowl for each person to select.

You’ll also need three additional ingredients, all in small, separate bowls or dishes.

  • 2 cups Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Falksalt Lemon Cyprus Salt

The process is simple. Select your berry, dip it in the vanilla yogurt, and then dip or sprinkle your yogurt-dipped berry with some brown sugar and a small amount of lemon salt.

Take a BIG bite and enjoy. The combination of flavors and textures bounce all over your mouth until you enjoy that first swallow.

To best enjoy these dips, be sure to also read Joe’s Strawberry Tips!

Tips for Enjoying California Strawberries

April showers bring May flowers. But one thing April doesn’t bring is many new fruits. April is known in the industry as the in-between month, meaning the newest crops of stone fruits, cherries, apples, pears, and melons just aren’t quite ready yet. Also, most of our winter crops, such as oranges and grapefruits, are nearing the end of their peak seasons.

However, the exception to this rule is the ever-famous California strawberry. California strawberries, when in season (late March to August), are second to none! Those of you who have been loyal Nino’s customers over the years have become very familiar with our trademark logo and know we take our strawberry quality very seriously. That being said, there is no better time to indulge in our most coveted fruit. There are many delicious ways to enjoy strawberries, whether it is as a dessert, for a morning snack, or simply just cut, washed and eaten. The key is to store them properly once you have made your purchase.

Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Keep berries cool at all times. When placing them in your refrigerator, store them in a fruit drawer, which should be kept at about 38 degrees. If you do not have a fruit drawer, keeping berries away from the rear of the refrigerator is helpful, as it tends to be a few degrees cooler near the rear, which will damage strawberries if they are exposed to colder temperatures.
  • NEVER wash strawberries until you are ready to use/eat them. One of the most common mistakes people make is washing all of the strawberries in a container all at once, using a few and storing the leftover ones. This is a big no-no! Water is the enemy when storing strawberries.
  • Buy what you need. At times, you will see strawberries that are very inexpensive and feel tempted to stock up. My advice would be to engage in conversation with one of our produce managers (or me) to see what the upcoming strawberry market is in for. This way, you are aware of a climbing or declining market. Such information will help make your decision for you in regards to quantities.

Following these few easy tips will only boost your California strawberry experience. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!