Native Maine Local Lore

Strawberries, A Crisp Recipe, Fruit Flies!

HERE WE GO!  The Maine growing season has begun!  We started with foraged fiddleheads and ramps then progressed into local strawberriesasparagus!  Now, we are getting into the sweet stuff with the start of pur much celebrated local strawberries!!!!  These little gems are highly prized for their sweetness and their beautiful dark, crimson color. We received our first batch of these little beauties from White Oak Farm in Warren, Maine. The local strawberry season is short lasting about 3 to 4 weeks from mid-June to mid-July.  So get them while they are here! And don’t forget, when you’re considering local strawberries for your establishment that the weight of the local berries is 11# per flat vs 8# flat for our California berries. The Maine berries are denser and have a higher sugar content which leads to a more delicious berry!


COOK THIS!!  Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Butter Cookie Dough Topping
Lifted directly from The Best Recipe published by Cooks Illustrated.

This is an easy, delicious recipe to use with almost any fruit, but its best with strawberries and rhubarb. The sugar in the topping provides enough sweetener so that you don’t have to use much in the fruit.  Also, the topping can be made ahead; be careful though, it's really tasty and may not last long!

Topping
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 large egg yolk (one whole egg if doubling recipe)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling
3 cups fresh local strawberries
1 cup rhubarb
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  • Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute with electric mixer. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Stem and rinse strawberries. Halve large berries.
  • Cut rhubarb into ⅓ inch chunks. Mix together with strawberries.
  • Add cornstarch, sugar and vanilla to fruit. Gently mix together.
  • Scrape fruit mixture with rubber spatula into 8 inch square baking pan or 9 inch rough deep dish pie plate.
  • Evenly drop cookie dough topping by heaping tablespoons evenly over fruit; don’t forget the edges!
  • Bake until golden brown about 45 to 55 minutes. Serve warm or cold--doesn’t matter, it's delicious!

KITCHEN HACK with Fun Facts  What comes with all this delicious summer fruit?  You guessed it, fruit flies!! Here are some fruit fly fun facts and two quick and easy fruit fly fixes!

  • The fruit fly is a species of the common housefly known as Drosophila melanogaster (try saying that three times fast!) They get their name because of their strong attraction to ripening or rotting fruit, which serves as a food source as well as a place to lay their eggs (yuck!)
  • Adult fruit flies typically reach 3-4 mm in length and live 40 to 50 days.
  • What makes fruit flies so difficult to control is that one female fruit fly can lay as many as 500 eggs in her short lifespan
  • Humans and fruits flies are genetically similar.  A whopping 75 percent of the genes that cause diseases in humans are also found in the fruit fly.
  • Fruit flies self-medicate with alcohol too. The reward circuitry of fruit flies' brains, as in humans, gets a pleasurable boost from drinking alcohol. A study done at the University of California, San Francisco found that the male fruit flies who had been rejected by females drank four times as much alcohol as the mated flies!

Fruit Fly Fixes  Okay, now that I’ve fascinated and disgusted you with fruit fly fun facts, I bet you want to know how to get rid of these pests.  Read on below for 2 simple, effective remedies using apple cider vinegar.

  • Pour a little into a glass, or just remove the cap from a bottle. (It doesn't have to be full — nearly empty will also work). Cover the opening in plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band. Then, poke a hole for the fruit flies to enter. They can't resist the scent of vinegar, and they won't be able to exit once they're inside.
  • If you find your fruit flies are impervious to the plastic wrap, try adding three drops of dish soap to a bowl of vinegar, and leave it uncovered. The soap cuts the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies will sink and drown.

 

Local You Know

At Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods we're working hard to connect our customers with the freshest, quality produce & specialty products available. We believe in supporting New England's vibrant and diverse food system by providing locally grown & processed food items alongside some of the world’s best specialty foods sourced from around the globe.

As one of New England’s leading produce wholesale distributors with 3000+ quality items in stock, our 2000+ New England customers have access to local, regional & hard to find specialty foods delivered frequently at very competitive prices. We are your neighbors; we are the Local You Know.

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