California Strawberry Field Tour & Culinary Event
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California Strawberry Field Tour & Culinary Event

A strawberry from California and a strawberry from Texas walk into a bar……

Toby Amidor Strawberry

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!)   

berry

  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.    hanging berries     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.     farmer hands

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.  

  berry french toast

Strawberry French Toast

 

 

bowl of berries

The BEST fruit salad 

 

berry salad

Arugula and strawberry salad

 

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Seriously delicious pan seared salmon with strawberry relish

 

shortcake

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 

No Comments
  • Meme
    Posted at 13:07h, 16 July Reply

    Oh my gosh I would be in HEAVEN! Strawberries are my favorite things on earth (all my childhood passwords were “strawberries” haha). What a deliciously fun trip! I tried to pick a favorite dish out of your pictures and just can’t! Everything looks soo good πŸ™‚

    • Robin
      Posted at 18:53h, 16 July Reply

      Meme, the salmon was divine and the shortcake was delicious–I really appreciated the work involved in making each one as the cake had to be cut perfectly round to fit the jars! πŸ™‚

  • Regan @ The Healthy Aperture Blog
    Posted at 16:09h, 16 July Reply

    There isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t go through at least 1 or 2 containers of strawberries. The Jones boys could give you their own #12Reasons they love strawberries πŸ™‚

    • Robin
      Posted at 18:53h, 16 July Reply

      Tell those boys that every single berry in those containers was hand picked by someone and lovingly placed into the clamshell just for them πŸ™‚

  • Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen
    Posted at 17:57h, 16 July Reply

    I can’t get enough strawberries these days! Loved reading about their sustainable farming practices. Sounds like an amazing time!

    • Robin
      Posted at 18:54h, 16 July Reply

      Thanks, Julie. They are truly passionate and dedicated farmers. We also had the chance to see a rural farm and an inner city farm–both fascinating experiences!

  • Jessica @ Nutritioulicious
    Posted at 09:58h, 17 July Reply

    So bummed I couldn’t make it this year. Looks like it was fabulous, plus I would have loved to have seen you!

    • Robin
      Posted at 12:04h, 17 July Reply

      Hi Jessica! It was terrific! See you at FNCE?? Hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying the summer!

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