THE 76th ANNUAL MONTEREY COUNTY FAIR TO HOLD THE WORLD’S LARGEST STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE EVENT ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 30TH
On Thursday, August 30th, the “Very Berry Extraordinary” Fair celebrates our important $713 million Strawberry industry on the Central Coast in a very special way This year at the Fair, there will be the “World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake” event sponsored by Naturipe with public participation…and consumption when it’s all done and weighed! Using sheet cakes baked by 4H-ers and other dedicated volunteers, in the morning, School Tour Day takes place and young schoolchildren will don an apron, plastic gloves and a paper Chef’s hat and help build the shortcake with strawberries donated by many local strawberry growers including Naturipe Berry Growers.
The cake will be built from Duncan Hines® Classic Yellow Cake Mix and include Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Flavor Starter and Strawberry Shortcake Flavor Packet – Strawberry Shortcake Frosting flavor, and Reddi-Wip on top. Safeway will also be providing additional sheet cakes and a refrigerated truck. Fairgoers will join in the fun when the Fair opens at 12:00 Noon until the cake is completed, weighed and served.
This contest would not be possible without the generous donations by Naturipe, Duncan Hines®, Reddi-Wip and Safeway.
About Naturipe Farms LLC Naturipe Farms LLC is a grower-owned producer and international marketer of healthy, best tasting, premium berries. With production primarily from multi generation family farms, located in the prime berry growing regions throughout North and South America. The diverse grower base ensures year-round availability of “locally grown” and “in-season global” conventional and organic berries. Naturipe Farms, formed in 2000, is a partnership between Naturipe Berry Growers, Hortifrut SA, MBG Marketing and Munger Farms. With sales and customer service offices located strategically throughout the USA – Salinas CA., Grand Junction MI., Estero FL., Boston MA., Wenatchee WA., Atlanta GA.
Naturipe Berry Growers, Inc., brings the finest strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, both conventional and organic, to market. Owned “by growers for growers” and based in Salinas, California, Naturipe Berry Growers, Inc. growers operate in all key growing districts in California, Florida and Mexico. With over 90 years of experience, select growers and solid, safe growing practices Naturipe Berry Growers, Inc., is an undisputed industry leader. They will provide free samples when they provide the “Commodity of the Day” in the Ag Building on Saturday, September 1st.
About Duncan Hines
Duncan Hines® inspires today’s passionate bakers to “bake on” by exploring the endless possibilities of innovative and decadent baking creations. The Duncan Hines product line includes more than 80 mixes ranging from cakes and brownies to muffins and cookies as well as Amazing Glazes™ dessert toppings and ready-to-spread frosting. With a relentless commitment to quality, every product and recipe is developed in celebration of Duncan Hines, a real man and foodie who, before Fodor’s or Zagat, traveled the country in search of the best culinary and pastry inspiration. For more information on Duncan Hines, log onto www.duncanhines.com. Duncan Hines® is a portfolio brand of Pinnacle Foods Group LLC.
For this Strawberry Shortcake, volunteers are using the Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Flavor Starter and Frosting Creations Strawberry Shortcake Flavor Mix. By simply pouring this one of 12 Frosting Creations™ flavor combination mixes into a specially formulated frosting starter, the volunteers can stir up their imagination, and try to make the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake with this one-of-a kind frosting syst em.
More about the Strawberry Industry (Source: California Strawberry Commission):
California is the nation's leading producer of strawberries. In 2011, more than 2.1 billion pounds of strawberries were harvested. That amounts to 88 percent of the country's total fresh and frozen strawberries. California’s unique coastal environment with its western ocean exposure provides moderate temperatures year round. Warm sunny days and cool foggy nights are the perfect combination for growing strawberries. The value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $2.3 billion with $713 million coming from Monterey County. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, strawberries are the sixth most valuable fruit crop produced in California.
Where Strawberries are Grown In California, strawberries are planted on more 38,300 acres. Coastal California’s rich sandy soil and temperate climate extends the strawberry growing season 500 miles up the coast from San Diego to the Monterey Bay. Strawberry production shifts between north and south with the changing seasons. Fall and winter production starts in October in Ventura County and reaches south into Orange and San Diego Counties in late December or early January. Production in the south generally extends into April or May. Staggered planting schedules in the Santa Maria area bridges the seasons, with the harvest beginning in March, and continues into the late fall. California's northern strawberry growing region is south of San Francisco and includes Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties and some acreage in Santa Clara and San Benito counties. Watsonville and Salinas account for almost half of the state's strawberry acreage. Shipments from northern areas begin in April, peak in May or June, and continue through November.
Growing & Harvesting Strawberries are grown as an annual crop in California. The plants are first grown in a nursery and then transplanted into the fields by growers. In the northern districts, plants are replaced each fall at the end of harvest, and lay dormant through the winter. In the Oxnard and Santa Maria regions, plantings in late July through September provide strawberries through the fall and winter. California's 12-month growing season contributes to higher strawberry yields per acre than any other growing area. Other areas of the country have shorter production cycles, from an average of five-months to as short as a few weeks. Hand-Picked All California strawberries are hand-picked to ensure only the highest quality berries are harvested. Strawberry plants continually produce new fruit throughout their season. During peak season plants are harvested every three days. Fresh strawberries are rushed to coolers, where huge fans remove the field heat, and then shipped within 24 hours on refrigerated trucks or air freighted to their final destination. Strawberries selected for processing are gently washed, sorted and frozen quickly to ensure the best flavor and appearance. Berries are sliced, pureed or kept whole for freezing.
Around the World Of all the California strawberries produced each year, approximately 75 percent are harvested for the fresh market, while about 25 percent are frozen for the processed market. Approximately 16.3 percent of the fresh California strawberry crop is annually exported. Canada, Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong are the largest importers of California strawberries. Canada receives the majority of California’s fresh and frozen exports. (More information at www.californiastrawberries.com.)
For more information, to book an event or to become a sponsor of the 2012 Monterey County Fair, contact the Fair Administration Office, at 2004 Fairground Road in Monterey, by calling (831) 372-5863 or www.montereycountyfair.com.