The sun is shining, friends are having cookouts, and kids are hanging out by the pool which means one thing: Summer is high season! Or at least as close as we can get in the COVID Summer of 2020. If you’re anything like me, you love going to a local farm on a Saturday morning to pick some fresh strawberries off the edge of a tree.

What Makes a Strawberry, a Strawberry?

One whiff of the ripe berry will tell you how it tastes. Strawberries are usually sweet and lightly tart, with a firm and juicy flesh. The typically red fruit has an early summer harvest depending on the variety and location. In the summertime, the berries are usually eaten fresh, either out of hand, as part of a mixed fruit salad, topping a dessert, or baked into jams and cakes.

The Strawberry Nostalgia

Of all the wonderful fruits to enjoy in the summer, strawberries have always been my favorite.  They are one of those nostalgic fruits that remind us of fun times with family, our childhood, and playing outside. I typically associate them with farm-fresh, picnics, calm moods, and warm sunny days.

I must admit as a flavor hesitator, I don’t desire complex flavors or foods. For me, the simpler the better. So growing up, some of my favorite treats came in the strawberry variety: Jello, Pop-Tarts, Kool-Aid, Gatorade, Toaster Strudels, and Twizzlers. Yum!!!

We also know from looking ahead, that strawberries are not going out of style any time soon. According to our research, Strawberries appear on 54% of US menus and have grown almost 7% in the last 4 years. 86% of consumers like or love strawberries, and I am definitely one of those consumers!

Strawberry is a key flavor for many food and beverages hitting shelves in 2020: Waterloo Sparkling Water With Strawberry, Strawberry Twinkies, Malibu Caribbean Rum With Strawberry Liqueur and Talenti Dairy-Free Strawberry Hibiscus Sorbetto.

The Seasons

Strawberry is the perfect flavor for any time of year! In the summertime, grab a blanket and a speaker and make your own picnic with someone you love- and don’t forget the strawberries and chocolate! Or do what I do, and combine strawberries and blueberries to create a fruit smoothie on a hot day!

In the winter, throw a strawberry Pop-Tart in the toaster and let the warm gooey berry wake you up on a cold day! Or enjoy my favorite Holiday drink, a “Winter Strawberry & Bourbon”. This drink is perfect for winter because it uses strawberry preserves instead of fresh fruit, mixed with orange juice,  bourbon whiskey, and triple sec! It’s fresh and easy to sip on throughout a party.

In the Spring and Fall time, you can buy some fresh strawberry jam from your local market that will literally pair with any cracker or cheese. Or if you have time, you can bake a homemade strawberry pie or shortcake!

Because of all the different applications it’s used in, Strawberry is a season-less fruit and can be enjoyed all year round. So no matter what day it is, pick up some fresh strawberries and create something delicious! You won’t regret it!

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