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California Stem Strawberries

Large long-stem strawberries will be in strong supply this Spring season, and supplies should extend into the summer. Most strawberry shippers provide long-stems in padded clamshell containers. Some offer tubs of chocolate with the giant strawberries, which are suited for dipping. One thing is certain; long-stem strawberries will be abundant this season, with new varieties producing larger fruit. The Camarosa variety grown in southern California, produces loads of the large berries used for long-stem packs.

Long-stem strawberries are still a specialty item, but they now are offered throughout the season. Long-stem strawberries are sold at a higher price than regular strawberries because they must be searched for in the strawberry field. Harvesters long for extra-large strawberries with long, firm stems.

Stem California strawberries add great flavor, beautiful color and nutritional value to a variety of dishes that fit the latest menu trends. From decadent desserts to healthful breakfasts to blended beverages, California stemmed strawberries are sure to liven up any part of your menu.

The Strawberry Commission reports that strawberries contain about 20% of the folic acid people need each day. As part of the 5-A-Day program suggested by the American Cancer Institute, strawberries also are touted as a means of reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Stem strawberries, like most other berries, won't ripen any further once picked. Nothing you can do at home will make a green berry ripen. And once the berry cap is pulled, it will deteriorate very quickly. You can hold ripe stem strawberries in the refrigerator a day or two and still have good healthy berries, but the best thing to do is to eat them the day you buy them.

Just as important: store the stem berries untouched. Never, ever wash or remove the cap or stem until you're ready to eat the berry. Just wash with a gentle spray of cool water and enjoy.

When selecting stem strawberries, look for bright, deep red, glossy berries with fresh green caps, leaves, and stems. They should also be dry. Stem berries come in a clear container, so look to see that there are no red stains or seepage showing. And, of course, stay away from berries that have turned dull and bluish. They're goners.

Recipes

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Christmas Pears with Strawberry Sauce

Strawberries with Cannoli Cream

Strawberries with Chocolate-Coconut Fudge

Strawberry Angel Pie

Strawberry Cheese Pie

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Sauce

Other recipes from Produce Pete.

   

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