Today I made a short trek to find Mara des Bois Strawberries at Chino Farms, the exclusive little farm stand made famous by Alice Waters. As always, the produce was stunning, the staff ridiculously snotty, and the prices exorbitant. They had peaches and nectarines but couldn’t be bothered to tell me anything more about them than that they were “white”. Clearly they did not realize I was the Fruit Maven and owe my readers a little more than a grocery store description. Would they dare describe an apple as simply “red”? I think not. I need a t-shirt that says “Farmers are Frustrating”. So I passed those up and moved on to the gorgeous trays of strawberries. Here they had a little more to offer and knew that the nickel size, long stemmed beauties were the delightful Mara des Bois. The woman could barely pronounce it and had no idea how to spell it, but being the detective that I am, I took her mumbling and turned it in to gold — pure wild, french, gold. Ok, ok. That may be an overstatement regarding my contribution to the creation of these starlets, but they are amazing and if you give me even one bit of credit for introducing them to you, then I will feel I have made a small contribution in this great world after all.

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★★★

Perky little conical strawberry with bright red skin and a soft pinky, peach flesh

AROMA Rating: ★★★★★

Sweet and intensely complicated; I am tempted to tape one to my upper lip

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★★

Perfect juice and melting flesh. It has the ideal luscious, dense bite that gives at the lightest pressure

TASTE Rating: ★★★★★

Slightly tart at first, then becomes sweeter as you chew it, dissolving into an intense, perfumy, strawberry delight

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★★

This is what all strawberries should taste like. This makes the grocery store strawberry taste like cardboard and the farmer’s market strawberry seem like an overpriced juice box with a stem. This is a complicated, sophisticated little starlet. You should run to find these and pay whatever the cost.

Chino Farms
Mara des Bois