http://NannemanFarms.com has the best local berries.
There are strawberries, and then there are strawberries.
Many of the locally grown, fresh strawberries hitting the markets are California cultivars grown in plastic or in hoop houses. Good fresh local berries. But THESE are Sweet Sunrise an Oregon Strawberry grown in dirt. These may be the best strawberries we have ever tasted. Thanks to Nanneman Farms, we have them for a few days.
Food has incredible POWER to make our day a little bit brighter or put a smile on a face. Tastes, flavors and aromas seem to cut the the cobwebs and access memories and feelings of long ago. It can soften the heart. Movies have told us this for years. Babette’s Feast, Ratatouille and The 100 Foot Journey are a few that come quickly to mind.
We were able to assist and witness such an event on Friday.
Last week we made Dulce de Leche and offered it Friday with sliced apples as our crêpe special. One of our customers said that growing up in South America it was a family favorite. Ours reminded her of those days. tha was very flattering. Then she said she would bring her mother by that afternoon. We agreed to reserve two orders. She warned us that her mother might not like the crêpe and might complain.
She gave us the warning because sadly, her mother has dementia. She does not remember people or things and does not like anything. The daughter hoped the taste might trigger memories of their family and be something enjoyable.
Happy to report that the mother finished her plate. The daughter said it was the first time in two years she had eaten more than a few bites of a restaurant meal. Smiles on both faces.
We enjoy making food for people, but this special moment was over the top.
May all mothers have such daughters.
Entertaining? Crêpes make a great holiday meal. Order a stack of Salem’s best crêpes and you can create a delicious breakfast, brunch, dinner or desert for your family and friends.
We have Sweet, Savory or Gluten and Dairy Free Vegan crêpes. Order some of each (minimum 4 of each type). They freeze well too. Ideas and Recipes on request.
Special Holiday Pricing
$1.50 for Sweet or Savory and $2.00 ea for Gluten Free Crêpes
With 24 hours notice we will have your order ready for pickup at the Café during regular business hours.
Minimum of Four (4) of each type of crêpe.
2014 marks the first year we have offered strawberries out of season. Oregon’s season that is. During the strawberry season we buy all of our berries from Nanneman’s on Silverton Road. Now that we have our cafe and are open year round, this poses a challenge.
Our customers want strawberries outside of the local season. How can you have a Nutella, Banana and Strawberry Crêpe without strawberries? What would Tinker and Evans have been without Chance? So this year we bought commodity California berries in the spring year and fall. Sometimes they had an acceptable flavor, sometimes not. But they are always popular. Until they became unavailable, in part due to the California Drought. This forced us to consider using (gasp!) frozen strawberries.
Fresh VS. Frozen
In general, in the debate between fresh and frozen, we come down on the side of fresh. So we headed out to our out-of-season blueberry provider Willamette Valley Pie Company (née Willamette Valley Fruit Company) and picked up a case of their IQF Whole Strawberries. In case you don’t know, IQF stands for Individually Quick Frozen. Each berry, after it is is washed and sorted heads into a blast freezer on conveyor and is frozen by itself. This is not your “let’s put it in the freezer’ frozen. These freezers freeze at about -40. That’s cold (Notice there is no C or F with the temperature? That is because 40 below 0 Fahrenheit and 40 below 0 centigrade(Celsius) are the same number.) So however you measure it, it is cold.
After extensive taste testing (oh, the things we suffer for our customers….) we believe that local IQF Strawberries are better than the out-of-state fresh berries. They taste great. Full of flavor. As good as local fresh strawberries? Not quite but the better choice.
So we’re a believer: Local IQF strawberries trump Fresh out-of-state strawberries. They may not look as pretty, but we’re here for the taste.
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