SALINAS, Calif. - National Strawberry Shortcake Day falls on a Saturday this year, so grab some fresh locally-grown strawberries, whipped cream and your favorite recipe to whip up a tasty concoction to share with the family while soaking in the fresh summer air.
People on the Central Coast love their local produce, but if you want further proof, Santa Cruz County's agriculture industry had a year of growth in 2013.
The ag commissioner said consumer demand for fresh fruits and veggies was high, perhaps even getting better now that the economy is improving.
Strawberries remained the highest value crop, followed by raspberries. Berries overall increased by 6 percent and vegetable crops by 28 percent.
Driscoll's berries is getting in the spirit with a look back at the history of the famous strawberry shortcake dessert.
In the 1900s, strawberry shortcake at the turn-of-the-century was served warm, split and slathered with butter, and filled with macerated strawberries. Just before serving, people would pour sweetened cream generously over the top. The juice from the berries creates a rich strawberry cream in a pretty-in-pink shade.
It wasn't until a few years later that whipped cream became the key ingredient thanks to French pastry chefs.
One of the most popular strawberry shortcake recipes right now is the classic strawberry shortcake with the addition of orange whipped cream. It has tender buttermilk shortcakes filled with a pile of sweetened berries and fluffy homemade whipped cream with a hint of orange.
Here is the strawberry shortcake recipe.