16 Jul California Strawberry Field Tour & Culinary Event
A strawberry from California and a strawberry from Texas walk into a bar……
Dietitian Toby Amidor enjoying a refreshing strawberry beverage
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by California Strawberry Commission. The trip to the field tour was fully sponsored as well.
Okay–there’s no punchline. It’s my attempt to get your attention–because you’re going to want to stay with me on this. When I received the invitation from the California Strawberry Commission to join them for the #12reasons Strawberry Field Tour, I had just polished off 5 dark chocolate covered strawberries. Seriously. When I crave something sweet at night, 2 T of chocolate chips melted in the microwave and swirled onto strawberries satisfies my craving for something sweet and dessert-y. As a fan of the strawberry, I was eager to travel to Pismo Beach, California and learn about the latest in strawberry nutrition science as well as the agriculture/farming aspects and challenges from the top researchers and farmers in the field. It goes without saying that the culinary part of the trip piqued my curiosity the most. I couldn’t wait to see how many applications (uses) the chefs could find for the strawberry. (Note: they did not disappoint!)
Here are my key takeaways from the event: Nutritionally speaking, strawberries are a no brainer. At 45 calories per cup, high in vitamin C, low in sugar and thought to be a key player in the prevention of heart disease, strawberries can be found in my house every day of the year. Kids love em, too. Agriculturally speaking, strawberries are grown by caring strawberry farmers who use sustainable farming practices. Spending time with Tom and Ruth Jones of Providence Farms in Santa Maria and Luis and daughter Lorena Chavez of L&G Farms in Santa Maria, solidified this fact a thousand fold. It wasn’t the words they spoke…it was the way they spoke them. Their tone, their body language and frankly, their generous spirit. I could hear the passion, love, dedication and commitment they have for their land, their crops and for the hundreds of people they employ each day in every. single. word.
hands are the most important tool of the strawberry farmer
Culinarily speaking, strawberries are one of the most versatile ingredients available today. This was clearly evident as we enjoyed savory and sweet dishes throughout our visit. Kudos to the culinary team at Lido at the Dolphin Bay and Resort for their creativity, execution and presentation of our strawberry-centric dishes. I’ve shared just a few of my faves below. While I don’t have the recipes for these particular dishes, there are tons over at the California Strawberry Commission website.
Strawberry French Toast
The BEST fruit salad
Arugula and strawberry salad
Seriously delicious pan seared salmon with strawberry relish
Strawberry Shortcake like you’ve never seen before…
Since returning, I’ve purchased several clamshells of strawberries. Not surprisingly, I look at each container a bit differently now-mostly from the perspective that each berry was hand picked and carefully arranged into the container. That’s a lotta love in every bite.
Many thanks to the California Strawberry Commission and PR Staff for a highly educational and delicious tour!
Stunning photographs by the very talented Robert Durell