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Food + Drink

Sweet Eats at the Troy Strawberry Festival

The Troy Strawberry Festival gets innovative with its namesake ingredient.

Shortcakes and sundaes are great, but you’ll also encounter plenty of quirky concoctions at the annual Troy Strawberry Festival.

What began 40 years ago as a way to celebrate the strawberry harvest has blossomed into a venue for local nonprofits to raise money by selling innovative strawberry-themed dishes.

“The idea was not one food vendor could have the same strawberry item [as another],” explains Corie Schweser, business manager for the Troy Strawberry Festival. “That’s when they started getting creative.”

We checked in with four of the organizations participating in the festival to learn a little more about what they’re serving up at this year’s event. Here are four sweet options that caught our eye. 

Strawberry Floats: Served in a plastic cup with a festive striped straw, creamy vanilla ice cream is doused in Welch’s strawberry soda and crowned with whipped cream and a slice of strawberry. “They’re easy to carry and enjoy while you’re walking around,” says Shelly Calvert, communications director at Troy Christian Schools.

Strawberry Sweet Heat Salsa:
Packed with chopped strawberries, jalapeño and cilantro, this jarred salsa can be enjoyed with chips or slow cooked with chicken as a base for your next taco fix. “[We] put that sweetness in something that’s usually spicy,” says Natalie Rohlfs, executive director of The Future Begins Today, a nonprofit that provides student scholarships and youth programs.

Strawberry BBQ Sauce: Poured over your choice of pulled pork or brisket, this strawberry barbecue sauce mixes tart apple cider vinegar, chili sauce, honey and pureed strawberries. “It doesn’t have any heat in it — it’s a sweet, lightly tangy sauce,” explains Mary Grilliot, festival coordinator for the West Milton Fire Company Auxiliary.  

Strawberry Empanadas: Pie crust is stuffed with sliced strawberries and glaze. It’s then deep-fried and dusted with powdered sugar for a sweet spin on the usually savory Latin finger-food. “It’s more like a little strawberry pie,” says Julie Carver, event planner for Troy’s Improved Order of Redmen.“

For more information about this year’s event, visit gostrawberries.com.