The Brief, Wondrous Strawberry Season

By Emily McKenna Posted June 09, 2009

In my home state of New Jersey, the strawberry season is short—from the last week in May through early June. With this in mind, I decided that the only berries worthy of Mark Bittman’s almond crème anglaise in the New York Times last week were those that I could pick myself. My sister and I drove to Terhune Orchards, a 200-acre pick-your-own farm in Princeton that I’d found on LocalHarvest, a website with nationwide directories for small farms and farmer's markets. A week of rain had left the plants a bit droopy, but there was fruit galore and scrambling children competing to see who found the biggest strawberry. I chose only the darkest, most petite berries, which tended to be the ripest, while my sister preferred anything big and bright as a fire truck. I know my berries will be fabulous in a Melon-and-Strawberry Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Syrup or in a Warm Strawberry Crumb Cake from one of my favorite chefs, Gerard Craft of Niche in St. Louis. Or I might go the super-simple route and just top the berries with barely-whipped cream.
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