The sweet taste of British strawberries - it’s the unmistakable feeling of summer sun, warm days and alfresco dinning. The season may start as early as March, but it’s right at this moment that British strawberries really come into their own. Believe it or not, it’s all thanks to our unique British weather. The slow growing climate in May - when days are bright and warm, and nights are cool - means our strawberries are able to develop and ripen slowly. Grown on farms on the south coast, Surrey and Berkshire, our British strawberries can be picked and available to buy within 24 hours, so you enjoy fresh, soft, juicy strawberries all summer long. Is there anything sweeter?
Lucas Hollwegs top tips
Waitrose Food columnist, Lucas Hollweg
reveals his top tips for making the most of summer’s favourite berry
1. Leave strawberries in the sunshine
You should never eat strawberries straight from the fridge – the chill will dull their flavour and fragrance. Leave them to warm in the sun before consuming.
2. Say yes to sugar and spice
It’s also a good idea to macerate strawberries with sugar (and perhaps a splash of wine) for an hour or so – it intensifies the flavour and creates a perfumed syrup.
3. Think outside the box
The classic strawberries and cream combinations always work; lemon, orange, vanilla, elderflower, black pepper, mint and basil will all complement the flavour too. But it’s worth thinking outside the pudding box. The Italians use strawberries in a savoury risotto, made sweet and sour with a splash of balsamic vinegar, and I once whizzed up a strawberry gazpacho (trust me, it was lovely).
Watch Alan Titchmarsh visit Tuesley Farm in Godalming to meet strawberry producer Harry Hall, who has been working with Waitrose for over 20 years.