Food Stories

Documentary shorts — unscripted — featuring farmers, artisans, and others

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Freezing Fruit For All Seasons (video)

An inside look at the Willamette Valley Fruit Company plant that freezes fresh, and locally produced fruits, for year-round uses.

As many of you might already know, I’m a berry big fan of berries—all berries!! On top of that I love to see how things are done. So, going to visit where they freeze berries was a match for me.

If you’re ever planning a trip to the Northwest (Oregon especially), I highly recommend the summer months. For that is the season for fresh berries. Berry picking time is so short compared to the enjoyment of them. I recently went out to pick one of my favorites: Marion berries. I found some that were just reaching their peak. Yum. I was picking at a good size berry farm, not too far from home, I walked around to see what else was ripening. I found a berry I had never heard of before: the Anne raspberry.

It doesn’t look like your typical raspberry, you know, that raspberry red color. This one was cream-colored, pale yellow. And the taste! Oooh! Melt in your mouth, almost like butter. I took them home and they were a hit with my boys, too. Fortunately I put some aside, washed them gently, spread them out on a cookie tray, and put them into the freezer for a few hours. When the Anne and Marion berries were frozen nuggets, I swooped them into a sealable bag to be put away for future use. A day down the road when the leaves have turned, and the chill has set in, I’ll reach into the berry bag and pull out a memory of hot days, dusty hillsides, and an orchestra of flavor.

Check out the recipes from the show: Blueberry Muffins; Blueberry Delight Pie

—Rebecca

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