Strawberry season comes earlier here in Essex County. Being the most southern county in Canada, the same growing conditions that help our vineyards thrive, produce some of the best fresh, local produce around. The early local favourite being the strawberries.
Strawberry, (genus Fragaria), genus of more than 20 species of flowering plants in the rose family (Rosaceae) and their edible fruit. Strawberries are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and cultivated varieties are widely grown throughout the world. (Britannica)
Yes, you can make wine from strawberries, however strawberry is also a flavour note for wine. It’s synonymous with red fruit, jammy, fresh, tanginess and juicy. Wine varietals that have been known to display strawberry are Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Grenache and the fan-favourite wine style Rosé. You may detect notes of strawberry in LOLA Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA.
Where to Find Fresh
Your local Farmer’s Market in June is great place to source local strawberries. Some farms allow you to go and pick your own. A good option for large amounts for making jam and also a fun family excursion to share with children where their food comes from.
The Fruit Stand is another local source one can find in beautiful abundance in Essex County. If you’re in a city and not sure where to find your local Farmer’s Market or Fruit Stands, each region has a listing to guide you to your local source. Of course, this time of year you can find local Ontario strawberries at most supermarkets.
Essex County Local Fresh Resources
Favourite Recipes & Pairings
Strawberry Mango Salsa with Tortilla Chips – make for a fantastically fresh appetizer or happy hour snack.
Vegan Quinoa Salad with Strawberries and Lemon Vinaigrette – refreshing, flavourful and filling.
Pair with: Lighthouse Sauvignon VQA offers refreshing dry citrus fruit notes which will compliment the flavours present in this dish.
Strawberry Basil Chicken – Basically strawberries covering for tomatoes. Fresh basil, tangy balsamic, sautéed garlic, and sweet strawberries.
Pair with: Cabernet Franc VQA‘s red fruit flavours and medium bodied will pair perfectly with this dish. Team tip: Try slightly chilling the Cabernet Franc before trying this pairing.
Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken, Sweet Onion and Apple Smoked Bacon – the sweetness of the onion, heartiness of the smoked bacon and zip of balsamic create an incredible taste experience.
Pair with: Pinot Noir VQA with raspberry and tobacco notes, will perfectly match this delicious pizza.
Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake – you had us at cheesecake.
Pair with: Monarch Late Harvest Vidal VQA will match the sweetness of the dessert and honey and apricot notes in the wine will compliment flavours in the dessert.
Essex County Local Dining
Not wanting to cook? So many of our local restaurants offer Farm to Table menus. Give your favourites a call and ask what’s on their special menu. You can also follow allow via your local dining associations for regional ingredient promotions.