02 Feb2007

berry1

Strawberry season is in full swing. What is normally a bounty by this time of the year is a less prolific, but nevertheless delicious abundance of berries at the markets. The weather late last year must have affected crops and prices are also a bit higher as a result. Plus the recent cold snap (don’t you love it? a cool 20 C or low 70’s in Manila in the mornings) will probably screw up future crops so I suggest you grab your berries this weekend. For some reason, the packaging of choice now are styrofoam plates with tightly, and I mean tightly bound plastic wrap, suffocating the tender berries. I suppose suppliers think this limits the damage to the berries on their arduous passage from the mountains to the big city, but this is positively BAD for the fruit itself. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want my berries in saran wrap… that’s like ensconcing your gonads in polyester underwear. Give me breathable cotton any day…heeheehee.

I got these berries at three packages for PHP100 at my favorite stall at Market!Market! called FreshFields, but I am certain you can cut a 4 package for a PHP100 deal at the lower rent markets. When you get home, immediately remove the plastic wrap and store berry2them in the fridge. Do not wash them way ahead of use as that will hasten their demise. Berries shouldn’t be kept more than 2 days or so. If you aren’t going to use them immediately, hull them (remove the green leaves), wash them and freeze them in zip-lock bags. I find the frozen berries are great in smoothies and shakes or for cooked sauces for desserts. While our local berries aren’t anywhere near as humongous as the almost frightening “engineered berries” imported from elsewhere, I do like the flavor and the value (so much cheaper…). With Valentine’s coming up fast and furious, you can also make chocolate dipped strawberries for your Valentine and save a mint on the outrageous sums florists will charge for a thorny rose…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. tulip says:

    I got mine this morning from an in-law direct from the mountains. They were packed in pouched juice halved boxes and some vegetables/greens wrapped in newspaper and a plastic sack.There were moisture in the packagings when it arrived.I agree with you Marketman, this weekend will be the nice time to get hold of those berries. And don’t forget some other vegetables/crops since the farms up north have started to experience frost bites.

    Feb 2, 2007 | 1:39 pm

     
  2. jona says:

    Yum, I love my strawberries with condensed milk and cream

    Feb 2, 2007 | 4:14 pm

     
  3. sha says:

    strawberry cheesecake hmmm

    i saw some strawberries at the market but they were far too large too read… hmmm hormones!!!

    Feb 2, 2007 | 6:57 pm

     
  4. MRJP says:

    I was posting a comment last night but it could not get through.

    Anyways, I miss those strawberries from Baguio. They are smaller but a lot lot tastier. The huge strawberries here in the US do not come close to the sweetness of the local ones we have in the Philippines. At first, I was very excited with these big strawberries here in the US, but when I tried them, I got disappointed.

    Feb 3, 2007 | 1:06 am

     
  5. Maria Clara says:

    I love strawberries even before the Beatles famous song Strawberry Fields Forever hit the pop chart. Homemade strawberry jam is the best that has been kept in the fridge for over six months. The berries are chewy and they fight back when you bite them – has lots of characteristics.

    Feb 3, 2007 | 1:33 am

     
  6. Ted says:

    I agree that organically grown berries are a lot sweeter than the hormone laden giant ones, i’m very fortunate to live in the burbs and close to a farm that grows these berries and sells them in front of their homes, they come out smaller than the commercial ones. We get them in a flat of 4 small plastic boxes w/o the saran wrap packaging. My wife would prepare and dip them in some chocolate concoction and feed them to me after dinner, cant ask for anything more.

    Feb 3, 2007 | 6:38 am

     
  7. DivineG. says:

    I love strawberry and I either dip it in sugar or marshmallow dip. As I have mentioned before in your article about salads, I add it in my salad with raspberry vinaigrette.

    Feb 3, 2007 | 9:04 am

     
  8. Mita says:

    I’ve been picking up a pack every week since I saw them in SM Hypermarket here in Bulacan. They are smaller than what you’ll get in US groceries but they’re definitely more flavorful…terrific as is.

    Feb 3, 2007 | 9:53 am

     
  9. goodtimer says:

    Did you hear about the organic strawberries being grown by Benguet University in controlled greenhouses? They were supposed to be marketed this season, though I haven’t seen them in the Baguio market. They were touted as very sweet berries, similar to wild-grown ones. Can’t wait to try them!

    Feb 3, 2007 | 8:59 pm

     
  10. tulip says:

    goodtimer, I’ve seen those organic strawberries before at the Benguet State University but the fruits weren’t ready for picking and market production. Though “bubut” they were good. Those are from a different variety than the one most commonly found. I believed they started selling it last Christmas season. And no, they are not using greenhouses.

    Feb 3, 2007 | 11:25 pm

     
 

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