NEVER in my life have I "tasted" a strawberry until I lived in Hannover, Germany. One of Hannover's best features is that it is a bike-friendly city. I remember the mornings or afternoons where I plugged in my headphones and aimlessly rode my bike to wherever my two-wheels led.
One day, I decided to get lost. Getting "really" lost in Hannover is difficult because somehow you end up on a familiar path. Like the universe, every thing and path is connected. I rode through alleyways and meandered through exposed farm fields. Somehow, I rode near the Strandbad Hemmingen and discovered a self-pick strawberry field.
It reminded me of my childhood where my nature-loving parents took my sister and I strawberry and apple picking. I decided to buy a half kilo of already picked strawberries. I strapped the box to my backpack and took the path less traveled back to Old Town.
I washed and popped one these berries into my mouth and I glanced at Josh screaming, "Holy shit!" He then tasted the berries and I felt as if my eyes bled tears in sadness knowing I've missed out on eating good strawberries my entire life. Soaked in sweet juices, this farm was a testament to how crummy our produce can be in America.
Like white asparagus, strawberries are a big deal in Germany. Every summer strawberry stands pop up around town selling the best and most fresh berries. It's part of their cute culture where there is a connection and celebration for local produce. (Have you ever done a grunkohlfahrt? I have!)
German strawberries are one of a kind. But, eating Hemmingen strawberries is euphoric; the proof that fruit is nature's candy. There is no need to consume refined sugar when you have fruit as pure as these berries.
The best time to pick the berries is in the beginning of June. You can access the field with a short bike ride from the Maschee Park lakes or the Strandbadsee Hemmingen. Bus #363 stops nearby the field.
Here, you can grab a basket and pick as much or as little as you want. The stand also sells already-picked berries for those who are in a rush. Compared to America where everything is weighed in pounds, these berries were also some of the cheapest strawberries I bought. A half kilo (approximately one pound) is between 2.50-3.00 Euros. One kilo is approximately four to five Euros. Stock up on these bad boys 'cause the berries go quick. Also, since they are so pure they need to be used within five to seven days of picking.
When the berries run out, the strawberry stand sells berries from the other nearby farms. I tried them and well, they're not as delicious.
Have you picked strawberries from Hannover? Where are your favorite fields or stands? So, pump up your bike tires, get your hands dirty and get ready to eat (in my opinion) the best strawberries in the world.
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