Adorning the Sahyadri mountain range, Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani are the most popular hill stations in Maharashtra having served as the summer capital during the British Raj. The pristine locales only rivaled by the delicious ‘Mahabaleshwar Strawberry’.
Strawberries were introduced to Mahabaleshwar by the British & has become popular as ‘Mahabaleshwar Strawberry’ . In 2010 ‘Mahabaleshwar Strawberry’ obtained the Geographical Indication (GI) tag [A geographical indication (GI) tag is an indication that identifies goods as produced from a particular area, which has special quality or reputation attributable to its geographical origin].
Being a seasonal fruit, the annual Strawberry Festival in Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani is a celebration of the strawberry harvest held from December to April culminating in a 3-day strawberry-mela during the Easter Weekend in April.
However fresh strawberries and strawberry-based foods are available throughout between December and April.
What and Where to Eat Strawberries:
Mahabaleshwar strawberry is used in making various food products such as preserves, jams, fruit crushes, ice-creams, milkshakes, strawberry with fresh cream, strawberry fudge and jelly toffees
Strawberries with Fresh Cream:
The best way to consume strawberries!! Strawberries with fresh cream consists of layers of fresh strawberries and fresh cream, ice-cream. One can also add chocolates, mulberries etc to this heavenly delight.
Where to Eat: The best version of this is at The House of Berries, Kates Point Road, Mahabaleshwar
More than 50% of The Mahabaleshwar Strawberry is dominated by Sweet Charlie variety and is absolutely delicious to taste.
Where to buy: Main Market, Mahabaleshwar @ 80 -100 INR for 1 kg (trust me 1 kg is just not enough!!)
Fresh Strawberries with Nutella:
A DIY dessert – dip fresh strawberries in Nutella to find Nirvana!!
Other Must-Eat Places in Mahabaleshwar:
Sri SiddiVinayak Snacks Centre, Mahabaleshwar:
A humble café serving popular Maharashtrian snacks such as Sabudana vada, batata vada, poha, vada pav with delicious chai.
- What to Eat: Chai (elaichi-flavored) and vada-pav
- Location: Mahabaleshwar Main Market (end of the street)
Jelly Toffees, Mahabaleshwar:
Available in every-possible flavour ranging from fruits to pan-masala, these jelly toffees are apt for snacking during those lazy walks.
Where to buy: plenty of shops in Mahabaleshwar Main Market
Here are some tips to carry strawberries back home:
- Carry strawberries in a vented box – which allows air to pass through & keeps them dry
- Storage: can be kept outside if consumed within 2 days, else refrigerate the fruits (No Deep Freeze)
- DO NOT remove the green stem-leaves on top of the fruits while carrying/storing them (Removal of the stem evaporates the moisture of the fruit)
- Wash the Strawberries ONLY before eating – DO NOT wash them and store (Strawberries are like sponges, they absorb water immediately, which may lead to fungus formation during transit)