Luscious Strawberries

In my humble opinion, there is nothing better than a delicious, ripe strawberry. Okay, blueberries and raspberries are also pretty awesome. And any kind of melon, when perfectly ripe, can make me swoon. But I do love me some delicious strawberries. The problem is: there are so many BAD berries out there.

Maybe it is just me, but I have been frustrated with large, red, TASTELESS (perhaps slightly sour) strawberries this year. We have purchased them from Costco, Trader Joe's, and Safeway. On occasion, a berry or two will have an actual strawberry flavor, but that was the exception. Until I tried the organic ones.

At Trader Joe's, you will find the organic strawberries in the refrigerated case, while the regular ones are on a shelf. Although the organics cost a dollar more ($3.49 per pound), for me, the price is well worth the additional taste! I can now enjoy a bowl of strawberries on top of yogurt in the morning. And actually taste what I am eating.

If you live in Howard County, Maryland, like me, there are several places to pick your own strawberries. The season is already underway, and will only last a few short weeks, so don't wait too long! This is a great way to ensure that you eat berries with real flavor. Gorman's Farm and Larriland both have strawberry fields. Larriland has additional crops for picking in June, so visit their website to see what is available each day at (Know in advance that strawberry picking is back-breaking work! Bring young children with you to help out. Borrow some if need be!)

I have started harvesting my own strawberries from my garden, although I am only bringing in a small handful a day right now. One entire bed of plants died over the winter, but I am not greatly disappointed as these were the tasteless variety. I wish I knew their actual name (my husband purchased the plants) so I could warn you to never, ever grow them! The older plants, which are still producing well, are covered with tiny, tasty jewels. I will be hunching over, or down on my knees, breaking my back to harvest them for the next week or so. At least I will know what I am eating when I bite into one!