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Feb 26, 2004 12:00 PM

Where do you go to buy the best fresh strawberries?

  • b

Now that it's strawberry season, I am looking to buy some good, fresh, sweet, luscious strawberries.

I have not been really happy with most of the berries I find now-a-days which I have been told are of the Camarosa variety. They seem tougher and not as flavorful as the softer, sweeter, more luscious Chandler variety I have been used to.

Unfortunately the Camarosa is the dominant variety grown in California (displacing the Chandler) partly because their firmness allows them to travel well. They are also a good looking berry because of their naturally large size and great deep red color. However when it comes to taste and texture they miss the boat for my tastes.

Went to the Santa Maria Strawberry Festival one year and they had 3 or 4 different varieties and the Chandler stood out as the best.

I also got some good berries at a stand in Oxnard but I am hoping to get some closer to home.

Can anyone tell me where I can get the best strawberries? Preferably in Orange County but if they are the best, I will travel.

Thanks in advance for the tips!

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  1. Organic are the best to me, and here is why:

    When I buy organic, they spoil in 2-3 days. If I buy commercial berries, they have sat unsullied in the fridge for as long as two weeks!! What on earth do they put on them to make them last that long? It scares me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: snackish

      I realize this isn't an answer to your question, but a strawberry vendor at the Westwood Farmers' Market gave the following advice for how to get strawberries to last a little longer at home: line a storage container with a paper towel and put unwashed berries in. Lay one more towel on top of the berries and cover with storage lid. Stored in the fridge like this, I've had organic berries last a week or so with very little spoilage!

      1. re: Alison M.

        I have VERY good luck storing fresh strawberries in a correctly-sealed Tupperware with something in the bottom to hold the strawberries above the floor of the container. That way they don't sit in any moisture that may collect.

        I usually use the Tupperware celery holder which comes with a removable grid. It easily keeps fresh berries for 7-10 days.

        Don't wash the berries first. Wash and hull them as you're ready to eat them.

    2. Irvine Farmer's Market?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Debbie
        Professor Salt

        There's an older Japanese couple at the UCI market that sells Chandlers grown on their farm in Buena Park. They'll be a hand drawn sign saying so. I find theirs consistently the best stawberries at the UCI market.

        Here's a link to a thread from last year, too.


      2. Around this time last year, there was an older Japanese lady at the Westwood farmer's market (Thursdays afternoons, 1-7 p.m.???) selling fantastic Chandler strawberries. I mention this because her farm is in Buena Park. Unfortunately, I don't recall the name and I no longer live in the area...perhaps another Chowhound who frequents the Westwood farmer's market can help.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Earl Grey

          The hand pick farm in Buena Park that the old Japanese couple own is on Stanton St between La Palma & Orangethrope just about the middle on the west side of the street. Have the best Strawberry very juicy & soft too, including the stem area is very soft. Its a little more expensive but worth it. The old couple use to sell at that stand but now they left it with a hired hand taking care of business there.

          1. re: USANDA

            I'm going to eat myself silly with great strawberries this year!
            Thanks for the info!

            1. re: USANDA
              Ron Rosenthal

              I stopped by the stand on Stanton last week. They said they only have Camarosas.

          2. I don't know what type of strawberries they are, but I buy mine from a little strawberry stand right near my home. They are fantastic, and in the summer time this stand also has an assortment of other produce that is very nice. The stand is in Buena Park, on the just off the corner of Malvern and Dale Ave... on Dale Ave, just about 100 feet south of Malvern. They used to farm land right in Buena Park, but now they have a farm somewhere in the inland empire. Nice people and good produce.

            7 Replies
            1. re: woo!

              I checked out that stand yesterday. They claim they only have camarosas.

              1. re: woo!

                Someone said that the stand on dale street had a good variety of strawberries does anyone have their number to that stand I live pretty far and I would like to call to see what they have before I make the trip. I would greatly appreciate it. I also heard that the Glenn family owned it

                1. re: anniestryker

                  I bought some luscious Gaviotas from Harry's Berries this morning at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market.

                  1. re: maudies5

                    Does anyone know anything about this farm that sells fresh strawberries. On dale st. I've heard so many nice comments about it and would like to try it out. Please help

                    1. re: anniestryker

                      You have to realize you replied to a post put up over 8 years ago on the LA Chowhound board. So things may well, (probably have) changed in that amount of time.

                    2. re: maudies5

                      Hands down the best berries I've ever eaten. We'll drive in from OC about once or twice a month just for the Harry's Berries Gaviota. Not a huge fan of the Seascape or other varities we've tried.

                      1. re: js76wisco

                        When my better half and I head that way, we'll be sure to be snare some Harry's.

                        In the meantime, js, I'll once again give an enthusiastic thumbs-up to Manassero's strawbs ( The three original OC locations remain open, but the Cerritos spot is closed for the season.

                        Apparently the Placentia (Orangethorpe and Lakeview) stand isn't an "original." No matter: It's definitely worth your while to check it out if you're in the area.

                2. Your local farmer's market is probably a good bet. There's a guy at the Eagle Rock farmer's market that has the most amazing strawberries I've ever tasted.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chris o

                    Could you tell me the location and times of the Eagle Rock farmers market? Or, if there's a community website, that would be wonderful.

                    1. re: cjla

                      It's Friday nights, I believe the hours are 4pm-10pm. Location is off Eagle Rock Blvd., one block south of Colorado, on the side street to the East (ie, by the public library, or behind SWORK).