This luscious fruit lends itself to so many sweet and savoury dishes. You know that spring has sprung when you see these beautiful, heart shaped fruits all over the supermarket shelves. I’m talking about strawberries – all red and juicy. I love to make strawberry jam for my family and often go and pick my own…then have my way with them.
On Saturday, October 1, strawberry season will officially be celebrated at the Stellenbosch Slow Market, where everything from freshly plucked strawberries and strawberry sausages, to strawberry soaps and bath salts, as well as strawberry plants, will be on sale.
Why don’t you come and meet South Africa’s queen of strawberries – strawberry farmer, Deonette Bourbon-Leftley – who has been growing these ruby red beauties for more than 31 years on her 24 hectare farm in Paarl. She says: “Our strawberries are grown with love and delivered with pride. They are ripened by the sun, and therefore are plump and sweet and last longer.”
Deonette farms with five strawberry varieties: Festival, Honour, Virtue, Monterey and Commitment. She ensures that six hours after picking the strawberries they are at the market, or other clients. “Honour is big, delicious and plump and a bit firmer than its lovely cousin, Commitment. Festival again is longer in shape and Virtue rounder in shape. They are all yummy and juicy,” explains Deonette.
I love the names and descriptions of the strawberries. They sound like the shapes of women.
Dr. Gail Blake, owner of the Stellenbosch Slow Market, says “Visitors can expect strawberry cocktails from Dr. Juice, strawberry tea and even strawberry bread from Fine Pastries. Native Chocolates will provide strawberry chocolate delights, and everyone should try our strawberry burgers from Flamed. And of course there will be strawberry fudge, strawberry sushi and even strawberry liqueur from Kaapse Liqueur. Ollie’s Sausages, who never disappoints with a variety of sausages of all types, will also be selling a uniquely created strawberry sausage. And that’s only a hint of what can be expected.”
Did you know that Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in spring? The strawberry is a member of the rose family.
They are also the only fruit that wear their seeds on the outside. On average, there are 200 seeds on each berry.
Strawberries are packed with Vitamin C. Eight strawberries will provide 140 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids.
Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They are low in calories and also high in Vitamins B6, K, fibre, folic acid, potassium and amino acids.
So pack the family into the car and make your way to the Strawberry Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market. Celebrate the season on Saturday, October 1, from 9am to 2pm, at the Oude Libertas Estate, Stellenbosch. There is so much to look forward to, including lots of other culinary delights, refreshments, boutique wines, original art and much more.
The good news is that there is no entry fee to the market and ample parking is available.
For more information, visit www.slowmarket.co.za or call 0 21 886 8514.
A Jug of Strawberry Shake
3 cups chopped strawberries and blended
1/2 cup honey
4 large scoops vanilla ice cream
3 cups low fat milk
1 cup low fat yoghurt
Place everything into the jug of your blender and blend till thick and smooth. If you prefer a thicker shake, add more ice cream at the end of blending and give it a whizz.
© Jenny Morris 2016 all rights reserved