It’s my humble opinion as a food writer that summer in Dayton, Ohio does not officially start until the Troy Strawberry Festival. The annual gathering of the strawberry lovers in beautiful downtown Troy is definitely a highlight, and it’s something people always seem to be clamoring for in droves. In spite of the threatening weather, I found my way past the strawberry-tinted fountain of Troy square and survived the infamous ‘Line of the strawberry donut seeker’ for a sampling of this year’s goods.
Is it just me, or were there more goodies this year? I had a great experience last year, but it just seemed like it jumped up a notch for 2013.
Of course I’ve sampled the strawberry cannolis, the strawberry salsa and the annual favorites, but this year I discovered the strawberry empenada, fried and crispy with very fresh and soft berries inside. I indulged in the strawberry popcorn, which surprised me, I would never have imagined that you could get a sweet and mild berry flavor to mesh with the buttery, salty texture of popcorn well, but someone out there is a genius. Whoever thought up the strawberry funnel cake is also a genius. I’m a sucker for good funnel cakes, but these aren’t just outstanding, with the simple addition of some chopped berries and fresh whipped cream. Delightful.
Of course I got another package of the famous Troy Strawberry Donuts. They’re worth nine bucks a box, for sure. An interesting bit of trivia, apparently people used to wait 2 hours or longer but now the average wait is just 10 minutes. Myself, I waited closed to 30 minutes, so the seem to have mastered the operation over the years.
I’ve always liked how the other restaurants around the area really got behind the strawberry festival. La Piazza, one of my favorite Troy eateries, had a cool, refreshing menu of strawberry-themed martinis to go along with its tasty Italian cuisine. You couldn’t ask for a better town to have such a well-loved institution as the strawberry festival. Once again, the effort this little town put forward was amazing. Thanks for everything, Troy!