What is a strasberry?
The strasberry is a variety of strawberry. It is unique in many respects. Compared to a regular strawberry, it is quite different - it is smaller, juicier, a darker red (more like a raspberry red), more round in shape, has a stronger smell, a stronger, sweeter taste and its seeds are more deeply set in the skin. I can personally vouch for these differences, having seen and tasted them for myself. See my strasberry photographs here.
However, it is not easy to find strasberries on sale; I managed to get hold of some strasberries (pictured), requiring much effort and the help of two other people. It's a whole story in itself going back to 2008. My thanks go to my dear friend in London, writer and poet Mary Spain* and also to Neil at Waitrose in High Street Kensington, whose help she was able to enlist. The result .. Strasberry Ice Cream which I made the moment I got my hands on the strasberries. Follow the link for the recipe. It's my own recipe and, I believe, the first of its kind ever published on the Internet.
The Strasberry in the UK
It was in 2008 that I first noticed this fruit being promoted in the UK by the supermarket chain Waitrose - available for a limited period in selected London outlets from April to June/July. They soon sold out so it was clear that this could be a really popular fruit if cultivated commercially. It would be wonderful to one day see strasberries and cream as an option on the Wimbledon restaurant menus! Having tasted real strasberries, I would opt for them over strawberries any time; they're simply delicious!
The Strasberry in Europe
Looking to Europe, I found one company in The Netherlands actively growing strasberries and making them commercially available. So much so, that the strasberry is already appearing more commonly on European restaurant menus. There is a growing trend in Europe and certainly in Britain to bring back foods that have been forgotten - livestock, vegetables and fruit. The strasberry is a 'forgotten' fruit. Many major food companies are now working with an ever-growing range of specialist suppliers in order to reintroduce items that have all but disappeared as options for today's consumers.
The Strasberry in the USA & Canada
So far I haven't been able to find any information on strasberry growing in the USA & Canada and whether it's already on restaurant menus. Anyone with reliable information in this respect is welcome to contact me.
*Mary Spain is an award-winning, English writer, broadcaster and poet. Read some of Mary Spain's poetry and of her work at the London College of Spirituality