Strawberry time

What’s the first thought that comes to your mind, when you think of strawberries?

It is probably of a mouth-watering dessert of strawberries mixed with fresh cream? There’s nothing that says “Hello Summer” quite like eating a juicy vine-ripened strawberry that has been ripened to perfection in the early summer sunshine.

Strawberries serve more than just fulfilling the sweet tooth. It is packed with hordes of health benefits, making a nutritious fruit for mind and body.

 

Selecting and Purchasing Strawberries:

Naturally the best strawberries are the ones you pick yourself from your local strawberry fields or purchase from your local produce stands and/or Farmers’ markets.

In the stores, always choose locally grown strawberries during the harvesting season (they are sweeter and juicier than those that are bred for shipment). Remember, your local strawberry season only lasts 3 to 4 weeks.

When purchasing berries from the grocery store, shop with your nose. Always pick the plumpest and most fragrant berries. They should be firm, bright, and fresh looking with no mold or bruises, and fresh green caps (stems). The caps should be bright green, fresh looking and fully attached. Berries should be dry and clean; usually medium to small berries have better eating quality than large ones

Strawberries do not ripen after they have been harvested, so choose strawberries that have been picked fully ripened. They should have bright red color, natural shine and fresh looking green caps.

Select berries that are in dry; unstained containers (stained containers may indicate over soft berries that are not freshly picked). Mold on berries spreads quickly – Never leave a moldy berry next to a good one.

Storing and preparing strawberries:

Use the berries as soon as possible as strawberries ripen no further once picked.

Before using or storing, sort through the strawberries and separate the soft ones from the firm, fully ripe berries. Discard any mushy or spoiled berries.

Leave the caps (stems) on the strawberries until ready to eat or use in your recipes.

For best flavor, do not wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat or use them. Moisture is the enemy when it comes to storing strawberries.

As strawberries tastes best at room temperature, remove from the refrigerator approximately 1 hour before they are to be used.

Store fresh strawberries in a colander in the refrigerator. This allows the cold air to circulate around them. Do not

My fav wine of the moment!

I love love wine: specially when it’s a Coppola!

Back in the day when I started drinking wine, I drank what we called “cuvée du dépaneur”, translated: what was the cheapest! Since then my taste have changed, and thanks to some dear friends I discovered wines from Francis Ford Coppola. One word folks: Nectar of the Gods (OK, that’s actually 4 words, but who is counting).

This winery offers you many choices, but my fav is the Diamond Collection: Ivory Label Cabernet Sauvignon. Here is what the winery says about it:

“For our Ivory Label Cabernet Sauvignon, we combine fruit from appellations as far north as El Dorado and as far south as Paso Robles where some of our vineyards experience diurnal temperature extremes, which slows the ripening process and enhances the rich, succulent flavors of the fruit, as well as the complexity of the palate.

2009 was an excellent vintage that featured only light spring rain, warm summer weather and no abrupt climate changes at season’s end. This allowed us to be highly selective during harvest, choosing the very best fruit only when completely ripe. The result of these amazing conditions is a richly textured, intensely fragrant Cabernet Sauvignon with supple tannins and sophisticated notes of spice and oak.”

Ask your local wine store to order this for you... you won't be disapointed!
Ask your local wine store to order this for you… you won’t be disapointed!

 

Peace and Coppola!…

Cornwall Farmers’ Market

Gourmet Map

Looking for something to do on Saturday morning?

June 4th was the launch of the Cornwall Farmers’ Market in downtown Cornwall, ON. What an amazing set-up this year. More vendors, more variety, more everything! They’re running the market from 8am to 2 pm till Thanksgiving weekend. Make sure to put this on your list of things to do each and every Saturday.

 

One of the coolest booths at the market is KD’s Kupboard, you may me wondering why I’m pointing this one out… Well, this very smart young girl sell the most delectible gourmet foods: Glengarry Fine Cheese, Levac Apiaries (honey), Daelia’s biscuits, Mrs. McGarrigles mustards, County Crackers, Steward Bags and many more! I always make sure to make this my first stop!

 

Peace and Freshness!…

Wine Apps

The App we LOVE, LOVE: VinGo

With smart phones being such a daily part of our lives, we LOVE this App: VinGo, this marvelous piece of technology allows us to search either the LCBO, SAQ or BC Liquor databases right from the palm of our hands. One of the most amazing features, is the ability to scan barcodes, then instantly it’s added to your phone database. You can write your own reviews, post to Facebook and the list goes on. Very cool folks!

Here are a few other apps you may want to look into:

LocalWineEvents.com
iPhone & Android
Price: $3.99
Find Wine & Food Events in your area.

VintageChart+ By Wine Spectator
iPhone
Price: Free
Designed to help you quickly select a great bottle of wine from a reliable vintage. Whether browsing at a restaurant or your favorite wine shop, VINTAGECHART+ enables you to confidently select a wine from any of the world’s top wine regions – knowing it will always be a good year.

Snooth Wine App
iPhone
Price: Free
Snooth’s new iPhone app will change the way you interact with wine. Representing an amazing leap forward in wine identification and virtual cellar management, the new Snooth Wine app makes finding a wine and discovering local availability easier than ever. Once the app recognizes your wine, you can then:
– Discover where it’s available near you
– Compare prices from stores around the world
– Add the wine to your Wishlist or Virtual Cellar
– Read reviews and create your own.

Peace and Cork-screw!…