I LOVE strawberries, and Dutch strawberries are quite a distinct kind. They tend to be rounder and smaller than Californian strawberries, and are super fragrant. Many Dutchies will argue that “Hollandse aardbeien” are the lekkerste, *whisper* but I don’t really agree. Like all strawberries, Dutch strawberries can be sour and not so sweet depending on the ripeness and the strawberry plant. However, I’ve found a ‘brand’ of Dutch strawberries that are the tastiest I have ever eaten – Hoogstraten. Technically, the plant was cultivated in Belgium but they do grow in the strawberries in the Netherlands. These are the sweetest and most fragrant Hollandse aardbeien I have encountered.
Since June and July is strawberry season, I was dying to go fruit picking! There is a farm called Van Reeuwijk Fruit & Flowers in Hoofdorp (about 30 minutes drives from Amsterdam) that allows you to “zelfplukken” various types of fruit – strawberries, raspberries, cherries, etc. They have a Facebook page which they update letting you know what types of fruits are available for picking. My Dutchie and I arrived there a little before 11am yesterday and it was so much fun! The strawberries were €2,50 per 500g which is a reasonable price especially when you can have the joy of hand-picking each strawberry and it is the same price they charge at most markets. If you are lazy and don’t want to pick them, you can also buy some for €2,75 per 500g.
This place does get very packed after 11am so try to arrive early. It is accessible by public transportation (bus stop right at entrance), so check 9292.nl for route directions. It is a great place for kids, families and everyone else!