Friday, May 13, 2011

The Strawberry Festival

A strawberry festival, a beautiful day, and some of Durham’s great food vendors serving strawberry creations—more than enough reason to get GWG out of bed on a Saturday morning.

Bushels of berries and families turned out to show their support and take part in this annual event. Hosted by the Central Park School for Children (CPCS), the festival had an endearing school kid touch—handmade signs, student-run food stands, and plenty of kid-friendly activities (strawberry fingernail painting, obstacle course, dunk the teacher, and more).

GWG was primarily there to check out the food scene, but we were thrilled to see so much activity at the north edge of downtown. First, we scoped the booths for the strawberry-themed treats and decided to try them all. We moved from booth to booth until our hands were full and then took ourselves to a picnic table to enjoy our strawberry spread.

Guglhupf, a German bakery in Durham, provided scones for the “famous strawberry shortcake”. A super-sweet hybrid between a biscuit and cornbread, the cake was layered with whipped cream and a pile of strawberries. The scone itself didn’t have much flavor but worked well in the ensemble, adding a bit of crunch and a lot of sweet. As a favorite summer dessert, we definitely thought about going for seconds.

Chocolate-covered strawberries were also served as part of the day’s theme. Gourmet chocolate was provided by Whole Foods to create this classic strawberry treat.


Strawberry smoothies supplied by NC State University were a refreshing option as the day warmed up, although we detected a banana flavor that wasn’t expected. Strawberry lemonade was also available to quench the thirst.

The most inventive food-item at the event was served up by Pie Pushers. In a show of support, they created a strawberry themed slice for the day called the “Strawberry Salad Slice”—pesto and goat cheese pizza topped with pea shoots and strawberry salad. The result was not your traditional pizza, but a light and fresh combination of flavors that worked surprisingly well.

 
 All food and drink items were served with recyclable/compostable containers and utensils, while convenient stations made it easy to correctly dispose of trash.

Judging by the turnout, this event is a family favorite and a great way to preserve the community spaces. We enjoyed the spring weather and the chance to enjoy good food for a good cause.