Orange Zest Is The Secret To Making Strawberries Extra Flavorful

A little bit of citrus goes a long way.

Strawberries at Market
Baskets of Ripe Strawberries. Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

It’s spring—also known as BOGO strawberry season in the South. Right now is really the best time to take advantage of that brief but wonderful window when grocery stores are flooded with the bright red berries, and need to sell them as fast as possible. And that's exactly why you’ll see tons of “buy one, get one free” or even “buy one, get two free” offers in your local markets.

Whether you end up with one container of berries or a dozen, I have a surefire way of making them taste their best—even those slightly under ripe ones hiding at the bottom of the basket.

Ingredients You'll Need

  • Strawberries (about 1 pound)
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Orange Zest

Simple Step-By-Step

  1. Cut the strawberries into halves
  2. Sprinkle the pieces with a little granulated sugar. For this step, you'll need to use your best sweet judgement – you you can also choose to skip this step.
  3. Add a little fresh orange zest (up to 1 teaspoon per pound of berries), and stir until combined.

When used in a small amount, the citrus zest enhances the tangy sweetness of the berries without overpowering it. The orange zest should be a bright background note that might be hard to place if you didn’t know it was there. 

Creative Ways To Serve

This three ingredient combination is irresistible eaten straight out of a bowl, or with some whipped cream or yogurt. It also makes a fantastic (and super easy) ice cream, angel food cake, or strawberry shortcake topper. Want to fancy it up even more? Add some vanilla bean paste for extra warmth and fragrance. Try a splash of bourbon for an extra kick (this is great served over pound cake). Or replace the sugar with wildflower or orange blossom honey to deepen the sweetness. 

However you serve it, you can’t go wrong—as long as it’s strawberry season.

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