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Mar 28, 2011 11:57 AM

Carlsbad strawberries

Last week I picked up some Carlsbad strawberries at the UTC farmers market and they tasted great. The were fresh, juicy, and sweet. Last night I stopped by Henry's in Solana Beach and picked up some Carlsbad strawberries and they were mostly bland with just a bit of sweetness.

Any ideas why the huge difference in sweetness?

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  1. Just a guess:

    The strawberries at the UTC Farmer's Market were likely picked that morning, or at the earliest the day before. They were picked more "ripe" than what would be sent to most grocery stores, because those need to be more durable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RB Hound

      I have often wondered the same thing. The ones that I get at the grocery, whether it is Henry's, Trader Joes or somewhere else never seem to be that sweet. I think RB Hound's theory is a pretty good explanation. I don't always make it to the farmers market but is there a certain vendor that seems to have better strawberries that the rest? The last time I went to the Hillcrest one it seemed like there were tons of options.

    2. I recently got some from my fav local field in Vista, they were excellent. A few weeks ago I tried the farm, in CV on Main St., a little less ripe and flavor as well. I'm sure that the berries will improve in April.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cstr

        Thanks for the input! Makes sense about the strawberries being picked before they are ripe. I didn't think there would be a need for a local store near the fields. I guess I'll have to go to the farmers market more often. The Carlsbad strawberry vendor has the best berries I've tried.

        So April is the best month for strawberries?

        1. re: surfer1966

          I find that from April on, probably cause of longer warmer days, they come into their own. I still prefer going to the farm rather than a market.

      2. I grew up in Salinas, where strawberries dominated the market crops during the spring time. As others have already commented, the supermarket produce is picked early so as to have better "shelf life". You will always get better tasting and riper fruit from the fruit stand next to the field as these berries/lettuce/corn, etc. are picked when ready and are meant to be sold and eaten at their peak. The best stuff is from the local grower as close to the field where they were grown. If you are up to the task, try the pick your own in Carlsbad. You will gain an appreciation of how your food gets to you and make the fruit taste even sweeter!

        3 Replies
        1. re: araknd

          I tried the pick your own berries in Carlsbad once and it was fun. Is there a way to find out when it's open other than driving by?

          1. re: surfer1966

            Try this link http://www.carlsbadstrawberrycompany....
            Looks like the U Pick won't be open until mid-April. The fields are probably not ready because of all the rain we had last month.

            1. re: araknd

              Thanks! I'll check the website next month.

        2. Growing up, on Sundays in the spring and early summer our family often went to the strawberry fields (in Buena Park, way back when). Memories of those wondeful berries have spoiled me for life.