What Makes a Great Frozen Strawberry?

Strawberries are versatile, full of healthy fiber and antioxidants, and kids love them. Keep the freezer stocked with DOLE® Strawberries for a nutritious boost to favorite recipes all year round. Whether you’re topping off a decadent cheesecake or whipping some summer sweetness into a heart-healthy smoothie, frozen strawberries go the whole nine yards in both taste and user-friendliness. Our chefs define a high quality frozen strawberry as having a deep red exterior color, and a lighter red interior color. The interior color should not be white or too pale. The fruit should show a minimum of bruising or marks from handling. There will some liquid frozen with the strawberries but there shouldn’t be too much. The strawberries should have aroma notes of floral, strawberry, and sweetness or syrup. The strawberry note should be the most evident, but the strawberries will have low aroma while still frozen. The strawberries should not have chemical, freezer, fermented, or chemical aromas. A high quality frozen strawberry will have the following profile of basic tastes: the sweetness will be low to moderate, balanced with sourness. There should be minimal bitterness, and no saltiness. The flavor of the strawberries should be similar to aroma: a high quality strawberry will feature strawberry, floral, and perhaps a slight green note, and should not have chemical, freezer, fermented, or chemical notes. A high quality strawberry will be firm, not mushy, and have some fibrousness and seed crunch. There should be no slimy texture. The aftertaste should feature sweet and sour, and no chemical notes. Click here to view a complete list of Dole Award Winners.

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Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • floral

    A natural, flower-like aroma or flavor. Example: High-quality vinegar, vanilla, honey, Mandarin oranges and dark chocolate can all have floral notes.

  • basic tastes

    Tastes that are experienced exclusively by the tongue, and not in conjunction with the sense of smell. The basic tastes are sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. Example: If a raw onion is tasted while one’s nose is pinched, only the sweet and sour basic tastes will come through.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • aftertaste

    The taste remaining in the mouth after eating or drinking; sometimes associated with unpleasant flavors or bitterness. Example: Some diet sweeteners contain notes of bitterness.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.