Mother’s Day is mañana so I went to the SM FM on Arizona this AM (what would I do without Ms?). Got there before 9AM and Harry’s was already almost out of Seascapes. I’m not surprised as Harry’s has pulled back on the amount offered on this variety, and I did see people already walking out of the market, holding whole flats of their strawbs - restaurant folk, obsessed eaters, Mom’s Day preppers, etc.
Harry’s strawbs typically are all great. I think if they offered only one variety, that variety - what ever it might be - would be embraced as a great strawberry. But depending on the time of year, it’s not unusual to see four varieties offered.
The Gaviota variety is the current crowd pleaser, as its sweeter, low acid flavor is favored over the slightly more tart, faint honeysuckle profile of the Seascape - the variety that Harry’s has always been known for.
Mara Des Bois is a somewhat precious variety. Sold in small clamshells, it is extremely flavorful and fragrant. Its strawberry flavor is so intense, it seems almost artificial, reminiscent of strawberry candy. Doing a little reading on this variety, it was developed in France, and is reputed to have the highest levels of esters of all everbearing varieties.
A fourth variety is available - I don’t recall the name, but compared to the other varieties, I personally found it to be sort of bland. As we progress through the season, things may change.
Blueberries used to be a somewhat rare and pricy berry in SoCal. Now, one can get a two-pound clamshell at Costco for the same price as what would buy you a handful of berries decades ago.
These commodity-level berries are being sourced from all over the Western hemisphere, almost year around. Blueberries are now commercially grown even in SoCal as well. While commercially grown commodity varieties can be pretty good at times, they typically leave one wanting for more flavors of a proper blueberry.
Walking the FM this morning, I noticed Chas Organic Blueberries of Oxnard. The blueberries appeared visually perfect. A little on the larger side for a blueberry, they were plump, mature and completely blue with a nice patina.
These berries have a nice subtle sweetness, just a little tart and slightly tannic - a really nice blueberry. I thought these were more than worthy enough to mix in with Harry’s Gaviotas. I garnished these with some elderberry liqueur and some mint.
We enjoyed the mixed berry salad with some goodies from Rose Cafe.
Get the bread pudding.