by Nicole Karsch-Meibom
Strawberries, or as the Germans call them, “Erdbeeren!”
This delectable fruit is not only chock full of vitamins, but also very healthy; 100 grams of strawberries only contains 37 calories — much less than most other common fruits. Strawberries are also easy to find, inexpensive and, best of all, you usually don’t have to force your child to eat them!
There are so many desserts and other recipes you can make with strawberries (from cakes to jams), but nothing beats eating them straight from the field!
Harvesting times usually start in late May, weather depending.
The “Queen of Fruits” is loved the world over for its bright color and sweet flavor, also combined with its nutritional advantages.
“Eating strawberries right from the panicle is a great experience,” said Katharina Heckel-Funck, owner of Erdbeerland Funck. Her company maintains many fields in the vicinity of Kaiserslautern. “On the fields you can see and learn where and how these fruits are grown. They are like vitamin bombs and a culinary experience.”
To enjoy them properly, just keep a few things in mind. Ripe berries need to be consumed quickly. They should be stored in small portions. Avoid bags but keep them cool and side by side on a flat plate to avoid bruising. The flavor enfolds best at room temperature.
Also, strawberries can be deep frozen, but after defrosting they become squishy and are best used for making jams.
“You can do so many things with strawberries, but honestly, my favorite is straight strawberries — right from the field,” Heckel-Funck said. “Least work, greatest taste!”
For information about self-harvesting fields nearby, visit www.erdbeerlandfunck.de/index.html, click “Erdbeeren,” then “Selbstpflückfelder” (information should be available by May latest). This site also offers recipes you can make using the self-plucked strawberries (click on “Erdbeer-Rezepte.” Site not available in English.)
If you still can’t get enough, enjoy strawberry festivals with stands, delights, fun programs and attractions at the following locations:
Erdbeerfest in Oberkirch
May 28 and 29
Visit www.oberkirch.de (available in English)
Erbacher Erdbeerfest in Erbach, Rheingau
June 17 through 20
Visit www.rheingau.de (available in English)
Erdbeerfest in Esslingen
Visit www.esslingen.de (not available in English)
Erdbeerfest in Gonsenheim
May 25 and 26
Visit www.wir-in-gonsenheim.de/pages/posts/9.-gonsenheimer-erdbeerfest210.php (not available in English)
And, if you’re willing to travel!
Südtiroler Erdbeerfest at the leisure park Trattla in Martelltal, Italy
June 25 and 26
Visit www.latsch-martell.it (available in English)