Monday, August 12, 2013

Secrets of strawberries

A good friend of mine got me addicted to Harry's Berries when I first moved to LA and I'm a devoted follower ever since. You see, I've been spoiled and can't eat any commercial strawberries anymore, especially not the big genetically modified ones. Conventional strawberries have high pesticide load and please remember to buy organic for this fruit (See the "Dirty Dozen" list from the Environmental Working Group). Other strawberries just don't have the fragrance and texture of home-grown strawberries I remember from my youth, and Harry's Berries is just as good as a home-grown strawberry because they fresh-pick it that morning before it comes to market!

As much as I love the Hollywood Farmer's market on Sunday, it's sometimes too large (I can get easily distracted by all the stands) and too much competition to get to the market early enough before it's sold out. So if you can squeak in a weekday morning farmer's market run, I do better by getting to the Monday West Hollywood market (click on the link to find out where you can get Harry's Berries near you in LA area), and the secret to getting your hands on these strawberries is getting there just after 9am (to get parking and avoid street cleaning between 8am-9am on Fountain) and you need to get there before 11:30am (it's usually when they sell out). Please say hi to Alex who greets you at the stand. If you want recipes, they have a few recipes on their website, but I can't bear to modify these beauteous tasty strawberries. I think they are perfect in their raw beauty.

And if you're in search of more summer fruits, please check out the Nicholas Family Farms stand at Larchmont Market, where you can get plums, grapes, peaches and more. You can ask Penny or one of her daughters what their favorite fruit of the week is so that you can find out what is at the peak of the season. California cherries have a short season, but I found organic cherries at Vons supermarket this past week. The bonus of finding great strawberries and summer fruit is that I don't really need dessert when I have a tasty supply of yummy fruit packed full of antioxidants waiting for me. Do you have some other great finds? Please share! Happy hunting for summer fruits!

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