Strawberries 101

Read on for your chance to win a Victorian Strawberry Surprise*

I originally hail from Melbourne so have always rated our southern city as one of the best in the world.  This might have something to do with my romanticised memory of the place, although I’m not alone in my thinking.  One of my abiding memories of growing up in suburban Sandringham was being dragged out of bed at a ridiculous hour by my Mum so we could get to the markets early to buy the best of the stunning and diverse food on offer by Victoria’s primary producers.  And now, thanks to the Victorian Strawberry Industry, my children and I are enjoying some beautiful produce without having to leap out of bed at 4.00am. Quite a civilised way of doing things really. You see, I have industrial quantities of strawberries sitting in front of me. Seriously, heaps of the things. November is Strawberry month in Victoria.  You didn’t know that did you?  No, neither did I until last week. Look for them all over Australia now.  They are available at most supermarkets and green grocers. Just be sure that they are marked as being from Victoria.

Strawberries are a big hit in our home. Always have been, always will be. They are perfect for all manner of meals, easy to pop into lunch boxes and look particularly gorgeous bobbing around in a glass of champagne. We always have a punnet or two on the go. Although we are VERY picky about what constitutes a good “fragola”.  I’m convinced the British are the masters of growing the perfect strawberry, but I have to say, the Victorian growers (who represent 35% of Australian growers, producing over 90 million punnets annually) aren’t far behind.  The ones we are enjoying are plump, perfectly red, sweet, juicy and exquisitely scented.

So, how to use them all up?  The kids have decided on strawberry milkshakes and smoothies, chopped up on their porridge, over their ice cream, in their lunch-boxes and skewered and then dipped in melted chocolate.  Me?  I’ll be putting a few in a glass of champagne each evening, adding them into savoury dishes and salads and will, at least once this week drown a few in some cointreau.

For some ideas on how you can help celebrate Victorian Strawberry month (which actually lasts until May), including a fun calendar for kids and some delicious recipes such as the Moroccan Chicken with Strawberry Cous Cous which we cooked last night, visit www.vicstrawberry.com.au (Not sure I feel about their Adam and Eve-themed banner but the rest of the content is great).

And for your chance to win a fabulous Strawberry Surprise Box like we did, simply tell me your favourite strawberry story.  I’ll leave it to my resident strawberry addict, 11 year old Angus to choose the winner.  This generally involves your ability to make him snort with laughter.  Winner will be drawn on 19 November.

*Offer only open to Australian residents.

This is a sponsored post.

Comments

  1. says

    I completely adore the humble strawberry. Particularly love them in a coconut smoothie with cinnamon and vanilla…. Don’t have a hysterical tale to tell – just lots of love for them and Family Webster to!

  2. Monica says

    The smell of strawberries sets off the sweetest memories for me – some of them poo-filled! My grandfather (mum’s dad) had the greenest fingers in the family and one of his specialities was strawberries, much to the chagrin of my father who could never quite get it right and muttered often about a ‘water table’ or too much chalk or sand in the soil where we lived (which used to confuse my tiny mind at the time!). I remember visiting my grandparents once and noticing the strawberry plants were surrounded by remnants of straw (which I assumed the scarecrow had scattered.) I think Grandad probably got manure from a local stable then tried to remove the evidence before my father arrived. Dad cottoned on to this and decided to pep up our strawberry patch with prime canine poo, but to no avail – within what seemed like days there was a rhubarb invasion and he never attempted to cultivate strawberries again!! On the bright side, my grandmother made endless pots of jam with grandad’s harvests and if your timing was right, you could catch Dad sneakily enjoying a jam-lathered piece of toast with his tea!

  3. says

    one of my favourite things to do with strawberries is to put them in a saucepan with a little water and sugar, wait til theyre mushy and pour them, and the delicious juice, over icecream!!
    I’ve also made yum strawberry icecream with heaps of cream and sugar and just throw it in a little baking tray in the freezer, the kids love it and so do I!

  4. Sooze says

    No funny story here, but the strawberry got me through my pregnancies without losing my mind.
    I had gestational diabetes each time and my intake of anything even remotely yum was almost zero. But I was allowed to have unlimited strawberries. UN-LIMITED. And even better, I could have a dessert spoon full of the lowest sugar lowest carb (lowest taste) vanilla icecream to go with it. So I did. Every day. Sometimes twice a day.
    I made a little ritual by eating out of a sweet tea cup with a small spoon, savouring every single mouthful.
    I ate a punnet of strawberries most days.
    I wonder why both of my girls come out in welts around their mouth when they eat strawberries……Coincidence?

  5. Penny Sutton says

    Hmm strawberries – yum yum! My very fussy-eater son has discovered strawberries for breakfast, dipped in Nutella – delicious apparently!!!! Particularly with the new season berries. I can vouch for the strawberries and how delicious they are – but can’t say I’ve tried the “dipped in nutella” variety!

    Worth a go maybe?

  6. says

    I was really glad I read this as generally I find strawberries can be very ‘hit and miss’. In fact, I think one of my boys is in the rare category of not eating strawberries- perhaps he tasted a sour version ages ago and has not gone back since…None-the-less, the rest of my family simply adores them! I especially looked out for Victorian strawberries at the supermarket last week, and convinced Harry to eat one- well he loved it and strawberries are now on everyone’s wish list in our family! I must say they were very yummy, and will keep a special look out for the Victorian varieties!

  7. Leneen says

    We go to Queen Victoria market every Saturday morning at 9am. We are buying punnets of strawberries for a dollar each which means we can eat as many as we like. They are best washed with a light sprinkle of brown sugar. The brown sugar sticks to the water drops on the strawberries and little fingers. We also love strawberry shakes ….strawberries milk vanilla yogurt and an egg all whizzed up together and frothy. It’s best when the strawberries are frozen.

    Now for the joke…why did the strawberry cross the road?
    Because it thought it was a chicken!

    • Caro&Co says

      Leneen, Congratulations! Angus has chosen you as the winner of this competition. Your joke did indeed make him snort with laughter. I’ll email you with details.

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