Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Got myself heaps of strawberries.
Locally grown big ones. Luscious and cheap.
Growing strawbs is a major horticultural industry around our way, and the seasonal work of picking strawberries has begun.
So if you want a job...
Since I'm on a dehydration kick I dried them keenly. Now the neighbours & fam want their share as they are delicious done like this.
The dehydrator is going flat out drying batches for sharing around.
'Tis a taste thrill.
While the supply lasts I expect to be busy.
The trick is to marinate the washed and sliced strawbs in Balsamic Vinegar...
And dry them to semi-crisp.
Mine are sold as 'Oddberries' grown in Beewah : 'no one's perfect'. $3 for 500 grams. You'd get a similar supply and price at the Caboolture Mkts next Sunday.
At present, I dry pawpaw, tomato, Dragon fruit and now, strawberries. I also dry field mushrooms sometimes when they are in supply, like now.They are my preferred mushie of the major commercial varieties. Better than Swiss Browns.

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Comment by Dave Riley on September 14, 2020 at 23:54

Our most productive mulberry tree is on the nature strip. We harvested a big batch and I dried them.  The tree is  being raided by neighbours and passing walkers. Afterall, I had planted it as a community resource.

I thought dried, they were a bit bland but after eating some tonight the texture and back taste had improved. So I'm gonna try the Balsamic marinade hack with Mulberries just to bring up the flavour hit. Texture is great, albeit seedy.

I want a wee hit of twang.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 29, 2020 at 13:58
It sounds delicious to me. I always use red wine vinegar in my tomato sauces so I'm similarly disposed.
Comment by Dave Riley on July 29, 2020 at 8:02

I love dried pawpaws. Love that chewiness.Great snack.

Of course you can dry the strawbs without using Balsamic. I use Balsamic a lot so it was an easy additional process for me. Love the stuff.

I am not much of a sweet tooth. Very Umami is  my mouth.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 28, 2020 at 19:50

Tomato paste sounds interesting.  

I'm damn well fascinated by the vinegar and strawberry mix.  

Comment by Susan on July 28, 2020 at 19:30

Could you do it without vinegar?  I'd be curious if it would be worth it.   I have dried paw paw before but don't care for it.  Absolutely love dried Mangoes and Banana.  Not done tomatoes before but this year I want to try to dry them and then blend to a powder to add in place of store bought "tomato paste".  Have heard it works brilliantly. 

Comment by Dave Riley on July 28, 2020 at 19:20

The Balsamic Vinegar  is a flavour enhancer. 'Strawbs and Balsamic' is  a thing. It gives strawberries a tang even if you don't dry them.

You can also marinate them in Balsamic and sugar when fresh, for instance. Then you eat them.

Dried, the sugars in the berry are concentrated so with the vinegar you get a unique tasting lozenge effect.  No need to add sugar.

Soaking fruit in vinegars is called maceration.

You can also 'macerate' already dried fruits -- like these strawberries. But we eat them out of hand.

Comment by Sid Saghe on July 28, 2020 at 17:29

What does the Balsamic Vinegar do in the mix? Increase longevity?

Comment by Doug Hanning on July 28, 2020 at 16:59

I ended up buying a 10 tray stainless dehydrater from amazon, a no name brand for 270 bucks. Did 1/2 a bunch of goldfinger bananas that I picked friday.

Comment by Dave Riley on July 28, 2020 at 14:50

People asked before what dehydrator I had. I'm no expert as I shopped for price. Mine is Ezidri.

As for the Balsamic -- I always use Remano-- which is available from Aldi. Buying Balsamic Vinegar is only reason I  go into an Aldi store.

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