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Strawberries (Fraises)

Some random facts about strawberries in France, how to choose the best ones and links to strawberry recipes. Also guidance on how best to store them.

boxes of fresh bright red strawberries

Strawberry Seasons

April – June (Spring; Summer); Some varieties now available up until September;
August/September for wild strawberries (fraise des bois) in the mountains.

French Strawberry Facts

  • With over 600 varieties, most popular are the Gariguette (long, thin and slightly acidic), one of the first strawberries to arrive in Spring. Then come the juicy and aromatic lighter Ciflorette, the deep red Clery and Charlotte and in July, the extra fragrant Mara des bois, which tastes like wild strawberries;.
  • Louis XIV’s botanist, La Quintinie, grew strawberries for the King at the Potager du Roi in Versailles but it wasn’t until Antoine Frézier brought over bigger varieties from Chili in the 18th Century and planted them in the region of Plougastel, Brittany to grow to the 600 varieties today;
  • Delicious paired with rhubarb, elderflower (see my strawberry/elderflower recipes in Teatime in Paris), vanilla, apricots, redcurrants, melon, mint and basil;
  • To choose the best strawberries, pick the shiniest red with an intact green pedoncule or stalk.
  • Best stored outside the fridge and consumed within 2 days. If stored in a single layer (not piled on top of each other as they are often sold), they can last longer. So best to buy small quantities and consume quickly;
  • If strawberries are bruised or begin to look tired, then best cooked or baked in a compote, in a strawberry almond tart or strawberry clafoutis;
  • Best eaten at room temperature to appreciate their flavour;
  • Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, fibre and are antioxidant – to best keep their vitamin content, wash them before hulling and cutting them.
a basket with a layer of strawberries in order to best keep their freshness

To best avoid bruising and keep strawberries for longer, store in a single layer and if possible outside the fridge. Consume within 2 days.

Strawberry Seasons

April – June (Spring; Summer); Some varieties now available up until September;
August/September for wild strawberries (fraise des bois) in the mountains.


Recipes with Strawberries

Dessert Recipes

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