A bucket list for strawberry lovers.
All summer long, green-markets across the country offer fantastic strawberries. But before you fill your basket, ask for details. Like apples, there are many varieties of strawberries, each with a particular taste and ideal use. We asked Jon Sederquist, farmer and owner at Deeply Rooted Farms in Harwinton, Connecticut, to describe 8 of the nearly 15 varieties he grows each year.
The taste of this sweet, aromatic berry is "quintessential strawberry," says Sederquist. It's his favorite berry and the one to which he compares all others. Small in size and medium firm, it resembles a wild strawberry. Best use: sliced and served plain, uncomplicated by other flavors.
Although it is on the acidic side, this berry is extremely aromatic with a deep, earthy strawberry smell. Its taste is complex and full-bodied. But Sederquist has a warning to home gardeners: These are tricky to grow! Your best bet for success is to plant them in an area where you have never before planted strawberries. Best use: pie or jam.
This firm berry has low acidity and a floral aroma. It freezes especially well. Best use: with melted chocolate.
While this very juicy berry is quite acidic, it is balanced with enough sweetness to make it pleasant to eat. Best use: baking, especially strawberry-rhubarb pie.
5. Valley Sunset
This large berry is mild and sweet, with low acidity and aroma. It is not very firm and should be eaten soon after picking. Best use: no-cook strawberry pie in a prebaked graham cracker crust.
This new Earliglow hybrid is big, sweet, firm and juicy, with a red center and just a hint of acidity. Disease-resistant, it grows quickly and easily, so is a great choice for the novice gardener. Its large size also makes it easy to pick. Best use: strawberry shortcake.
This berry has an excellent sweet flavor, and a very soft and smooth texture. It's rapidly becoming a Deeply Rooted Farms customer favorite. Best use: eating freshly picked and plain.
This firm berry's flavor is a delightful combination of sweetness and citrus, and has a pleasant aroma. It is, Sederquist says, one of the only berries that tastes better chilled. Best use: sliced in a salad or plain and chilled. "On a hot summer night, it can't be beat served chilled on the porch," says Sederquist.