by Lauren Rauh
There is nothing more beautiful (and simple) than a bowl of fresh juicy strawberries. It's exciting to see local berries begin to appear at the farmer's markets. Finally, fruit in it's best form, recently picked! To enhance the flavor and appearance of fruit, particularly strawberries, there's a little trick of the trade known as "macerate." To macerate, an acid or sugar is added to the fruit to allow it to release the flavorful juices.
Here is the most straightforward approach to macerating strawberries:
Slice your berries in the shape and size you desire and place the pieces in a bowl. Add a tablespoon or so (depending on sweetness preferred) of powdered sugar and mix the contents well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. The finished product should be a nice mixture of berries and a slightly thickened juice. Use these berries as a garnish on a dessert, or serve straight up with a little whipped cream.
Some additional ingredients used to macerate strawberries could be balsamic vinegar, orange juice, cointreau (a tablespoon or two) or red wine. The method and ingredients are simple and flexible, but the outcome really adds a professional touch to any use of raw strawberries.