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girlcook

Fraises des bois

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Does anyone know of any growers of frais des bois that would ship flats to the east coast? Any information would be appreciated.

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Interesting request. I looked at "Chez Panisse Fruits" to see what Alice says about sourcing these; sounds tough. She mentions that one might encounter them at a very few farmer's markets... She is addressing the home cook though, so maybe it is different for restaurant sourcing if that is your case.

She does mention a few other varieties that have strong flavors reminiscent of wild strawberries:

E. Moschata ("haunting, complex flavor")

Profumata de Tortona (the *plant* is mentioned as available from some nurseries)

Mara des Bois ("a new French hybrid strawberry with exceptionally deliciousness and fragrance"; she sources these from Chino Ranch in Southern CA but I couldn't find info re: buying from them on the web...)

She also mentions that ripe wild strawberries must be "used very fresh b/c their aroma fades fast after they are picked".

Her best rec is to grow them at home. Maybe this is not too easy in Brooklyn though and for your timetable... Well, sorry I couldn't be of more help but I'm interested to hear if others have more relevant info.

(Growing up we had a few special places in the woods in Central CT that we went to each year in mid-late June).


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I hate to be a wet blanket, but there is one thing about good berries that has been mentioned time and again here: they don't ship well. At all.

Russ Parsons of the LA Times has discussed this before: how even the most careful and delicate packing on small berries renders jam in the mail the next day.

It's hard enough getting them to the market without them getting battered and bruised, just sitting in the back of a truck.

I don't know how much success you will have, but good luck.


Edited by tanabutler (log)

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Luckily there will be good local berries there, just a few months from now...


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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yeah, if you can wait till June, you'll have your pick. Wouldn't it be better to wait?


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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I grow Mara des Bois here in the UK.

Ken Muir stocks them http://www.kenmuir.co.uk/

Good flavour, perpetual cropping, mid-size fruit. Decent yield

Cool.

Even trying to source wild strawberries or special varietals was what intrigued me about the request. Here in Northern California I haven't noticed people selling frais des bois or other berries by name at markets although I haven't been to Berkeley's markets in awhile. And trying to ship them ripe adds another bag of worms as tanabutler mentioned.

Does anyone know of places in CA (or anywhere!) where you can buy (rather than grow or pick) frais des bois or some of the other wild mix cultivars mentioned above?


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Does anyone know of any growers of frais des bois that would ship flats to the east coast?  Any information would be appreciated.

You do not them to come the west coast. Maine has a local variety of strawberries that are small and intensely flavored.


S. Cue

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Slightly off topic, isn't there a premium ice cream from the east coast that has a frais de bois flavor? The name is something like Creme Cremaillere. To be honest, I haven't had the frais des bois flavor, but I saw it the other day as I was grabbing Dr. Bob's at Gelsons.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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This is just a guess on my part (and I'll try to remember to ask the farmers I know) -- often when farmers grow highly desirable produce, a restaurant will buy the entire crop for the year. I know a chef in town who has an exclusive on gooseberries.

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Mara des bois in the fruit cage (mixed up with some parsley), and in a growbag in the greenouse. Tabletop culture is much easier, note the first flower just fading

gallery_7620_135_3294.jpggallery_7620_135_1557.jpg


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Mara des bois in the fruit cage (mixed up with some parsley), and in a growbag in the greenouse. Tabletop culture is much easier, note the first flower just fading

...

Thanks for the photos, hope we get to see some berries when they are ripe. That will be in June sometime?


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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They grow unaided in my parent's front garden in England. SOOOOOO good, but trying to find them ripe before the garden beasties get them takes a lot of luck. But a very good treat when waiting at the front door in summer....

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Thanks for all the suggestions, and all the critiques are are situations I am well aware of. My chef wants them though even if we have to get them from Europe. If anyone has any actual sources for either the berries from Maine or I would be interested in sources from France and England but it has to be actual flats of berries, not the plants. Thanks again and all suggestions would be appreciated.

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Hi,

We are a certified organic grower of Mara des Bois located in Southern California. We currently supply high end chefs in Las Vegas and the San Diego area. We ship cold packed via FedEx Overnight service, so would be able to ship to the East Coast as well.

Could you please provide more information on your restaurant/chef? It would be best to e-mail me at trish@wickedwilds.com

The current price, including FedEx shipping to the New York area is $66 for 6 pints. I would need to check pricing for higher quantities.

Look forward to hearing from you,

trish @ Wicked Wilds

Thanks for all the suggestions, and all the critiques are are situations I am well aware of.  My chef wants them though even if we have to get them from Europe.  If anyone has any actual sources for either the berries from Maine or I would be interested in sources from France and England but it has to be actual flats of berries, not the plants.  Thanks again and all suggestions would be appreciated.

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I tasted some delicious organic Mara des Bois strawberries at the Santa Cruz Farmer's market a few weeks ago; they do have a truly great flavor! I like the smaller size as well compared to the commonly sold California cultivars.

It would be interesting to hear more about strawberries and your farm, organic trish! Do you grow multiple strawberry cultivars or else focus on Mara des Bois?


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Ludja,

Thanks for your interest! Our farm is located in San Diego County. We are a certified organic grower - a status we are most proud of. Currently Mara des Bois is our sole crop.

Our customers are high-end chefs, who truly appreciate this unique berry. Right now we are featured in several restaurants in Las Vegas and San Diego. We just had a wonderful write-up in The Smithsonian (online) by the well-known Fruit Detective, David Karp.

We are able to ship anywhere in the United States utilizing FedEx Priority Overnight service. Product arrives before 10:30 a.m., well-packed with insulation, gel packs and bubble wrap to protect these delicate berries. Pricing varies by quantity as well as destination.

These berries truly are magnificent. The flavor is exceptional, the size varies from that of a chick pea to that of a walnut.

We do also have a limited number of plants available for those interested in growing their own.

There we are in a nutshell! Thanks again for your interest.

I tasted some delicious organic Mara des Bois strawberries at the Santa Cruz Farmer's market a few weeks ago; they do have a truly great flavor! I like the smaller size as well compared to the commonly sold California cultivars.

It would be interesting to hear more about strawberries and your farm, organic trish!  Do you grow multiple strawberry cultivars or else focus on Mara des Bois?

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We have just recently begun using these tremendous berries. You can check out two recent uses of them here

and here.

These berries are truly inspirational.


h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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    We do also have a limited number of plants available for those interested in growing their own.

 

What kind of growing conditions do they require/tolerate?


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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