It’s the time of year when Portlanders are picking finger-staining strawberries in varieties like coveted Hoods, Mary’s Peak, Seascapes, and Albions, snatching up precariously piled pints at farmers market stands, or enjoying strawberry-laden dishes and drinks on menus around town. However the juicy berries are enjoyed, time is of the essence; Oregon’s strawberry season is fleeting (and extremely sensitive to the changing climate). Here are a few ways to best take advantage.
Farms and restaurants team up for the first Strawberry Shortcake Week
From June 19 to 27, the inaugural James Beard Strawberry Shortcake Week will serve up iterations of the dish at 26 Oregon restaurants, including Gabbiano’s, Toyshop Ramen, and Papa Haydn in Portland, Newberg’s Allison Inn, Humble Spirit in McMinnville, and Epilogue Kitchen in Salem. To make their takes on James Beard’s favorite dessert, participating restaurants are partnering with Oregon strawberry growers like Pablo Munoz Farms, Groundwork Organics, and Unger Farms. The event will benefit the nonprofit behind the nascent James Beard Public Market and its Oregon Taste project, an online directory of Oregon’s direct-to-consumer farm producers.
The Strawberry Museum celebrates the fruit in food and fashion
Zuckercreme, Montavilla’s cutesy bakery cafe and shop, is reprising its annual “strawberry museum” event with themed wares and art. The summer-long ode to strawberries showcases the fruit in specials like strawberry coffee milk with house-made syrup, strawberry matcha drinks with oat milk foam, and buttermilk shortcakes topped with strawberries and edible flowers. On Sunday, June 25, Zuckercreme will repurpose the former Victoria’s Secret space in Lloyd Center to throw a fashion show with 12 local designers and set up a strawberry market with food, drinks, and vendors. Tickets are available on a sliding scale.
Strawberry specials to savor
Strawberry fields unfortunately aren’t forever, but U-pick at Columbia Farms, Sauvie Island Farms, and Topaz Farm is open this weekend. Topaz has gone the extra mile to capture the season with strawberry jam, strawberry-rhubarb lemonade, and strawberry ice cream all available at its farm market. Sweet treats are being made even sweeter with the addition of strawberry, from Pip’s Original’s current seasonal strawberry rhubarb doughnut to whipped ricotta toast topped with glazed strawberries and strawberry cream sodas at Cafe Olli.