Fields of flavorful strawberries

THE DISH

May 15, 2002|By LIZ ATWOOD | LIZ ATWOOD,SUN STAFF

Fields of flavorful strawberries

Strawberry fields don't really last forever, but strawberry season nearly does. In California, where 83 percent of the country's strawberries are grown, the season extends from January through November, with the peak in April, May and June.

And with locally grown strawberries soon in the stores and markets, there will be plenty of berries for smoothies, pies and homemade ice cream, or simply to eat from a bowl.

Eight medium strawberries contain 160 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, and only 45 calories. One other interesting tidbit: There are an average of 200 seeds on one strawberry, according to the California Strawberry Commission.

Food guides

If you're on a restricted diet and need help shopping for groceries, Fresh Fields/Whole Foods Market has brochures to help.

The series includes guides for dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, low-sugar, low-fat, low-sodium and soy products available in Whole Foods Market stores. The brochures are free at 30 Whole Foods Market locations, including the Baltimore Fresh Fields, 1330 Smith Ave., Mount Washington, or by calling 301-984-4874, Ext. 2245.

Pulling a degree from apple pie

Getting a degree from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America could be as easy as pie. That is, if you can create a winning apple pie in the school's fifth annual All-American Apple Pie Recipe Contest.

The top winner will receive $25,000 toward his or her education in the CIA's bachelor's degree programs or $12,500 for the associate degree programs in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. Each entrant must submit a contest application, recipe, photo of the pie and an essay about apples by July 31. Finalists will compete in a bake-off Sept. 21 at the school in Hyde Park, N.Y. For more information, call 800-285-4627

Stuffed tortellini that lasts

Barilla has introduced a new, shelf-stable tortellini with four kinds of stuffings: ricotta and spinach, porcini mushroom, three cheese and ricotta and asparagus. The tortellini costs $3 for a bag with three to four servings, and can be kept on the shelf for up to eight months.

We tried the ricotta and spinach tortellini, which yielded a soft pasta shell with a mildly flavored filling and put dinner on the table in 10 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving of the ricotta and spinach: 220 calories, 8 grams fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 450 milligrams sodium, 28 grams carbohydrate and 8 grams protein.

Available in grocery stores that carry other Barilla pasta products.

Events:

Taste Maryland wines and enjoy music and artisan displays at the 10th Wine in the Woods from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Symphony Woods in Columbia. $17 in advance, $18 at the gate, includes 10 wine samples and souvenir glass. For information, call 410-313-7275.

Sample foods and beverages from Greektown restaurants in a "Taste of Greece," 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in the 500 block of S. Ponca St. $10 per person includes six food tickets. For information, call 410-327-3306.

Learn to match food and wine in a class from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Bin 604, 604 S. Exeter St. $24 a person. For information or to register, call 410-576-0444.

At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, award-winning cookbook author Linda Eckhardt will create romantic dinners for two at A Cook's Table, 717 Light St. $45. Call 410-539-8600. At 7 p.m. Monday, Corks owner/chef Jerry Pellegrino will discuss food and wine. $65. And at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Roy's chef James Rosenberry will discuss pan-Asian dishes. $55. For a complete listing of spring classes at A Cook's Table, visit www.acookstable.com.

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