As the snow melts away from the mountain-tops and the fields turn green, Spring brings new life to our surroundings. With that new life comes a bounty of produce growing on Tirol’s fertile land. Strawberries are one of the first crops to give fruit. Strawberry picking has become one of my favorite traditions. It’s a great way to spend quality time with loved ones, catch some rays, and bring in a haul of fresh pickings.
Reasons to go Strawberry Picking:
Strawberries are members of the rose family. If that wasn’t enough, they’re loaded with vitamin C, which helps blood flow. Surprise your significant other with a trip to the fields and then make some romantic snacks for your snack. Dip them in chocolate, add them to ice cream, make sorbet, or preserve them as jam. Don’t worry, I will provide recipes ideas below! 😉
This is a great bonding experience for the families! Kids love spending time in the fields looking for these delectable gems. I bet even Oma and Opa would love to join for an outing with the kids. Every time we go picking my wife tells me childhood stories about her granny picking berries with them and all the desserts they made.
If you’ve ever wondered why strawberry candy never tastes like real strawberries, it’s probably because you’ve only eaten store-bought strawberries. Try a freshly picked berry that’s warmed by sunshine and it will blow your mind!
Support Local Producers
Recent events have shown us how valuable our local producers are to our livelihoods. Farmers, in particular, are often overlooked as “essential”, but they work year-round to provide us with the food we oftentimes take for granted. As we enter a “new normal”, I hope we become more supportive of our local foods and the people behind them.
Strawberry Fields: Where to pick strawberries near Innsbruck
- Erdbeerenland Kematen/Afling
- Erdbeerfeld in Vill, between Innsbruck und Igls > erdbeerfeld-vill.at
- Erdbeerland Ellbögen
- Erdbeergarten Unterperfuss > facebook.com/branger.alm
- Erdbeerfeld Innsbruck Kranebitten > himbeerland-kematen.at
Strawberry Recipes To Try Yourself:
1. Strawberry Ice Cubes
Simply chop fruit and freeze it in an ice tray or popsicle molds. This is a must if you’re already making jam.
2. Quick Ice Cream Topping
Put a few strawberries in a saucepan with a few ounces of water and stir for a couple of minutes until it reaches the desired consistency. The strawberries will begin to lose color, but it returns once the natural sugars begin to caramelize. Most recipes call for sugar in the water, but I recommend against it if you’re using freshly picked strawberries, they are super sweet already.
3. Strawberry Jam
- 1 kg strawberries (hulled)
- 4 lemons (juiced)
- 500 g gelling sugar 1:1 mix
The very first step for making jam is disinfecting the jars and lids. This ensures that your final product has an extended shelf life and preserves the optimal flavor. Boil your jars and lids for 15 minutes. Try to time this so that the jars are still warm when the jam is finished.
Process (blend) strawberries until desired consistency. Transfer strawberries to a large pot and mix with juice and sugar. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and bring mixture to a full rolling boil while stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Reduce heat and continue to stir until the jam reaches your desired consistency. For a thicker jam, you’ll want to stir on low heat for approximately 15 minutes. Use a spoon to skim the froth at the top of the jam and discard or have a piece of toast handy to avoid waste.
Transfer jam to warm, sterile jars. Allow to cool and cover.
4. Jam and Brie Croissants
Simply add a spoonfulof jam to pre-made croissant sheets and bake!
5. Strawberry Flowers
6. Jam and Cheese Toast
All pictures: © Carlos Melgar