Tasty Odd Couple: Strawberries & Balsamic Vinegar{17}

fresh strawberries in a clamshellThere are two types of strawberries: those grown locally and those at home in a plastic clamshell.

  • Local berries: soft, juicy and bruised by a simple indiscretion.
  • Store-bought strawberries: large, structurally sound and able to be dropped from tall buildings and remain unscathed.

Unfortunately what the latter offers in transportability and durability, it usually lacks in flavor. And while local berries reign supreme, their coronation and abdication are but months apart, making for a short-lived legacy.

For the times when local berries are a memory and my addiction to shortcake prevails, I buy store-bought organic strawberries. (Please, no judging, and besides, the whipped cream made me do it.)  Because these strawberries can often times enjoy a crunch factor shared with the likes of jicama and water chestnuts, I offer this simple recipe to soften the texture a tad and enhance the flavor immensely. Before you wince, give it a try. It is remarkably good and about as simple as it gets.

bowl of sliced strawberries with basalmic glaze

Recipe: Strawberries Dressed in Balsamic Vinegar & Brown Sugar Syrup


  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 2 T brown Sugar
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar


  1. Wash the berries, dry, hull and quarter lengthwise
  2. Mix brown sugar and balsamic vinegar into syrup
  3. Toss the berries
  4. Let them sit for one half hour
  5. Toss again, serve, and thank me later

brown sugar and basalmic vinegar syrup for strawberries

I use the syrup sparingly, just enough to coat the berries, brighten the flavor and draw out some juices.

Alpine and everbearing strawberry plantsMy own alpine (fraises de bois), Tristar and Albion strawberries are about a two weeks from ripening.

brown sugar and basalmic vinegar

That said (Boz & Gracie cover your ears), I’ll have to rely on this dynamic flavor duo to brighten some store-bought berries in the meantime.