A berry bonanza is about to hit the Bay Area.
As California’s storied strawberry crop rides its annual juicy wave northward, the best berries of the year are starting to pop up at Bay Area roadside stands and farmers markets, where chefs, such as Isaac Miller of Redwood City’s Timber and Salt, flock in search of plump, local berries.
Miller favors varieties like Albion and the somewhat smaller Seascapes for their superior flavor — and he’s a fan of Watsonville’s Rodriguez Ranch and Tomatero Farms in particular. Make sure you’re getting the best berries, he says, by trying before buying. And pay attention to the color.
“I do not want any white on them, whatsoever,” he says. “I want them to be fully blush, beautiful red.”
The nose also knows when strawberries are just right, says blogger and cookbook author Gaby Dalkin. Ripe berries are “so fragrant,” she says. “You walk down the aisles at the farmers market and they just hit you during strawberry season.”
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Eating berries straight or lightly sprinkled with a little sugar is without a doubt one of the best ways to indulge. But since the local season lasts a good five months, there’s plenty of time to play with recipes for eating strawberries all day long, not just for dessert. Not that there’s anything wrong with dessert, but a steady supply of strawberry shortcake isn’t conducive to staying svelte during swimsuit season.
Strawberries figure into several recipes in Dalkin’s new cookbook, “What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food” (Abrams, 2018), including chocolate-covered strawberry cheesecake pops, strawberry-pineapple coconut smoothies and a flatbread she says was inspired by her desire to create something unique for a Mother’s Day brunch. She tops pizza dough with homemade ricotta and dollops …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle