What’s in Season: Big, Juicy, and Super-Sweet Texas Strawberries!
March 16, 2022
I’m sitting out on my porch, enjoying the last of the cool weather (hopefully) and basking in the new warmth of spring when it suddenly came to me, it’s strawberry season again! Now, in a state as big as Texas, the strawberry season can vary dramatically depending on which part of the state you live in. In the southernmost part of Texas, strawberry season has already begun a couple of weeks ago with the rest of the northern parts following suit on a weekly basis with the whole state having a full peak season of April or so.
Strawberry season usually ends around May or June when the Summer sun starts to hit, but many u-pick farms have already been picked clean by then so it’s best to get them while they’re at their peak!
Why get local Texas strawberries?
One of the main reasons why getting local strawberries from Texas farms is that they simply just taste better! Sure you can get imported strawberries year-round from your big-box supermarkets, but they just don’t taste right. The reason for this is that once picked, strawberries no longer continue to ripen. Sure, they may turn a darker and more attractive shade of red, but they no longer develop that signature strawberry sweetness that we all crave and love.
To preserve shelf life during the long journeys, commercially-grown strawberries from factory farms are usually picked and packed a little bit before they’re fully ripe. The reason for this is it will take some time to get from farming, packing, shipping, and spending time on grocery chillers before they get sold and they will want their product to last as long as possible! After reaching the fully-ripe stage, strawberries will start to get softer which makes their shelf life shorter! Of course, that wouldn’t be a problem with local Texas strawberries because from experience they usually don’t last that long!
Some fun stuff about strawberries
More than half of kids polled in Texas have said that strawberries are their favorite fruit! I mean, what’s not to love right? The vibrant red color, the sweet burst of flavor your get when you bite into them, and not to mention how great they are as smoothies make the strawberry a personal favorite as well!
Another thing to note is that strawberries are the first fruits to ripen in the spring! Making them truly heralds of better times ahead and marking the end of the cold season.
A note about seasonality: The current weather has pushed back the season by a couple of weeks so if you have a favorite strawberry farm that you frequent, be sure to check in with them before heading out!
Best way to enjoy local Texas strawberries
If you ask me, the best way to enjoy them would be to eat them on the way home after picking them! (Or at the farm itself, just don’t forget to pay for your strawberries first!) Fully-ripe strawberries are best consumed immediately after picking, but if you’ve picked more than you can consume on the day then that’s fine. They can survive in the fridge for up to seven days!
Once they start to soften, don’t chuck them out yet! You can still use soft strawberries for smoothies, jams, jellies, and preserves! They’re just as good or even better!
If you have a lot of strawberries, you can freeze them and they’ll be good for up to two months. Just cut the stems off and dry them thoroughly before placing them in freezer-safe bags or containers. Here’s a tip, if you’re big on smoothies, pack the strawberries in individual servings so you can grab one and make a smoothie without breaking open an entire batch!
Be sure to check out this article on 7 must-visit strawberry farms in Texas this spring where you can pick your own Texas strawberries!