Why does Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk taste so much like in-season strawberries? Because the in-season, ruby jewel strawberries we use are harvested in May and June (when Midwest strawberries are in season), then delivered directly to our kitchen in Columbus, where they immediately are roasted (to deeply concentrate the flavor), and puréed with tangy buttermilk and grass-grazed milk.
The first annual shipment of berries comes from Don and Katie Henry’s farm near Nashville, Tenn., where the climate is warmer and the growing season earlier than it is in Columbus. The next shipments arrive from Hirsch Fruit Farm, an hour south of Columbus, and then finally Polter’s Berry Farm, in northeast Ohio. The berries each farm produces are field-ripened, picked at peak freshness, and delivered as soon as their crews can (gently) load them into the trucks.
The berries grown and picked at these farms aren’t bred to travel like the off-season strawberries the size of tennis balls you see in grocery stores in, say, February. The berries we use are bred to pick and eat (or freeze) immediately—or carefully transported to a kitchen to be turned into the creamiest, most flavorful, absolute best strawberry ice cream you’ll ever have.