Ripe strawberries, like sunny days at Wimbledon, never fail to induce summery vibes. The warm spring means it should be a bumper crop and the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown, shared her excitement last week on Twitter about tiny strawberries in her garden.
Strawberry plants have short lives and rarely remain productive for more than a few years so new varieties are introduced often. They have names to match such beautiful fruit: Symphony, Florence and Eve’s Delight, for example.
Long-cropping Elsanta is the most common British strawberry variety; Ava is a premium Scottish strawberry first grown in 2005, the same year that Sonata, a large, firm variety was launched. English Rose is another newcomer noted for its zesty flavour and Marie de Bois is similar to a wild strawberry.
To enhance the flavour of strawberries allow them to bask a while in the sunshine and go soft. Wash and hull some strawberries then mush them up with sugar, double cream, a nip of Cointreau, if you like, and orange zest. Dig in. Match with a fruity-sweet Sauternes Chateau Sudiraut 2005 (£9.95, Waitrose).