Your first question is probably “what are gourmet strawberries?”. If you have only tasted grocery store purchased strawberries you really don’t have a proper frame of reference. Virtually all of the strawberries available at groceries and produce markets are hybrids. You probably have favorites, though you likely don’t know their names unless you grow them yourself.
In that case, you’ll have to take my word for it that there are strawberries that taste far superior to what you’re used to buying or growing. My first experience I was blown away by the taste and aroma of alpine strawberries, also known as fraises des bois and scientifically identified as Fragaria vesca. Yes, they are tiny but they are packed with flavor and aroma. I compare the taste of alpine strawberries to standard hybrids as the difference between eating a REAL strawberry and cardboard. Even vine ripened hybrids simply cannot compete in flavor and aroma to hybrids. This has actually been proven in a number of tests that compare various types of strawberries in the analysis of volatiles. Volatiles are the compounds that combined produce the flavor and aroma of a fruit.
The term gourmet can also be applied to other types and species of strawberries. Musk strawberries have been shown to be even higher in volatiles than alpine types. Virginia strawberries and several others also qualify as gourmet. In fact, some Europeans prefer certain types of virginia strawberries to any other species or type.
Join us in exploring the world of gourmet strawberries. The most economical way to try them is to grow them yourself. It is very unlikely that you will find them for purchase unless you travel to a couple of farm markets in California. Because they are highly prized by high end restaurants they are more likely to be at a restaurant than on your table at home. Growing them in your garden or greenhouse also gives you the confidence that the fruit has not been treated with pesticides, a definate concern since strawberries are on the “dirty dozen” list – one of a dozen commercial crops that show high levels of pesticides when samples are taken and analized from commercial markets.
We have a family of websites that provide information, pictures and products to purchase. You will see a list of these sites at the bottom of each page in any site. Explore, test, grow, ENJOY!!!!