Strawberries

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 12 August 2008

Love strawberries? Join the club! Indulge your cravings with our delicious strawberry recipes, and check out our guide to the varieties of strawberries and cooking with them.


Elsanta

The most widely grown commercial strawberry variety in Northern Europe, these are large, firm and glossy. They account for 80% of British strawberries sold in UK supermarkets.

Alice

These have a regular conical shape with firm skin and flesh so are easy to pick. The flavour is consistently sweet with a juicy texture. They also have a glossy finish and a bright orange-red colour.

Cambridge Vigour

A time honoured classic. Very sweet and tasty with an attractive colour and a traditional strawberry flavour.

Pegasus

A late season variety with sweet flesh which is slightly softer than the Elsanta, a lovely shape and finish.

Symphony

A late season bright, glossy strawberry with beautifully coloured flesh.

Florence

The second most widely grown variety in the UK and also a late season strawberry. Regular in shape, with firm skin and flesh, this is an excellent dessert strawberry with great flavour and colour.

Nutritional info

Low in sugar, with a high water content, strawberries contain an average 35 kcal/100g, which is excellent for a fruit! As well as being very digestible with 2% fibre (a good level), strawberries are one of the best fruits for Vitamin C, with up to 60mg/100g (the recommended daily intake is 80mg). They also contain good levels of magnesium, calcium and iron. Don't add too much sugar and cream and you can't go wrong diet-wise!

What goes well with strawberries?

Fruit

Rhubarb, figs and all red fruit and berries
Tropical fruit: banana, pineapple, kiwi and mango
Citrus fruit: orange, lemon and grapefruit

Savoury

Spinach, avocado, beef carpaccio, scallops and white fish tartare

Dairy produce

Mascarpone cheese, crème fraîche and whipped cream
Cream cheese and yoghurt
Fresh cheese and goat's cheese

Biscuits

Gingerbread, wafers, cookies and sweet pastry

Spices and other flavours

Balsamic vinegar, olive or pistachio oil, basil, mint and tarragon
Guinea (alligator) pepper, black pepper, Espelette pepper, aniseed, cloves, vanilla and allspice
Pistachio, almond, pecan, honey and coconut
White, dark and milk chocolate

Advice

- Buying strawberries

If you're buying strawberries to make jam, buy strawberries by the kilo, preferably ones left over at the end of the market which have been there longer: they’ll be more sugary than riper ones. Otherwise, go for strawberries in baskets or punnets with a natural colour and aromatic smell!

- Keeping strawberries

Strawberries aren't great frozen or sterilised (they're better fresh than in syrup), and they don't stand up well to heat. Refrigerate them straight away and ideally eat them within two days of purchase, but don't wash them until just before you eat them, otherwise they'll go soft. Wash them before removing the stem otherwise they’ll fill with water. Take them out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before eating, because if they're too cold you won't get as much flavour.

- Adding sugar
A little sugar brings out the flavour of strawberries, but not too much. Add around 10% of the total weight (30g sugar for 300g strawberries, or 2 tablespoonfuls, is enough). Vanilla, lemon and chilli can also bring out their flavour without dominating it.

- Strawberry jam. Strawberries give off a lot of water, so remember to stir regularly when cooking so that the liquid evaporates, or remove it and use as strawberry syrup.

Inspired? Indulge in our strawberry recipes!