Hood berries

If your in Oregon this month, Global Aviation Executive Chef, Elaine Frances, encourages everyone to try the Hood strawberries

Oregon Strawberries are one of the state’s oldest and best loved agricultural crops. Since 1965, the Hood River or “Hood” variety have become the Cadillac of strawberries and Oregonian’s know to ask for them by name.

Why Hood strawberries? They are certainly smaller, more temperamental and only here for a few short weeks every year. Growers struggle to get more than one or two years of production from a field of Hoods.

The reason is taste. Hoods are exceptionally sweet — they are loaded with sugar — and it is balanced perfectly by the berry’s acid content. Other berries just can’t compete. With Oregon strawberries, taste comes first. We leave being tough to the other guys.

Elaine Frances, Global Aviation’s Executive Chef, reports this is an “amazing year” for the Hood strawberries. “We encourage everyone to eat tons of them before they are all gone,” said Frances.

Where can you find the Hood berries? Chances are there will be a big sign if a market or berry stand has them. The Portland Farmer’s Markets are a good source.

Hood berries in yogurt

Hood berries in Greek Yogurt make a great combination

While there are infinite possibilities for these delicious jewels of Oregon, Frances suggests keeping it pretty simple to let the berries shine. Some of her ideas include:

  • Rinse and dry berries to serve along side bowls of stirred sour cream and crumbled raw cane sugar or brown sugar for dipping.
  • Serve the berries in bowls topped with a little chilled Champagne or try one of the local Argyle Wines sparkling Bruts.
  • Slice the berries and serve them topped with Greek Gods honey vanilla yogurt and toasted almonds.
  • Top your favorite store-bought angel food cake, pound cake, or shortcake with sliced Hood berries and vanilla yogurt, Crème fraîche, or lightly whipped cream.
  • Serve sliced berries over Tillamook vanilla ice cream and top with local, shaved Moonstruck dark chocolate, orange zest, and a tiny pinch of sea salt.
  • Make a salad out of sliced berries, cubes of watermelon, torn mint leaves, crumbled feta cheese, and cracked black pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.

Read more from Global Aviation’s June 2015 Newsletter

 

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