Strawberries are at their peak here in Central Ohio. With the North Market Farmers Market just outside our door. We picked up a few beautiful pints from Franklinton Gardens.  More than we could eat in a few days. So…we created…

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Dark ‘Spresso Van Strickleberries!

Huh? What in the heck is that.

Strawberries “pickled” in a mix of Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar, Espresso Balsamic Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar and water. Spiced with whole White Peppercorns, Cardamom and Vanilla.

We like to think a little out of the box and try new things. Not all we try works, this one does. You might be wondering what one does with such a concoction.

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Crusty bread spread with chèvre, piled high with spring shoots of radish, arugula and peas. A few of the berries and a drizzle of the liquid. Made a great lunch.

Top some ice cream or stir into a thick yogurt.

The liquid, mixed with tonic water over ice is a very refreshing shrub.

Those are but a few of the uses we’ve tried so far. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.


Dark ‘Spresso Van Strickleberries!


Please note, we tend to cook by taste and eye than exact measurements. Use this as a guide. Adjust for your own taste and quantity on hand.  Makes 3 – 8 oz jars.  Keeps in fridge for 3-4 weeks.


  • 1 Pint of Ripe Strawberries
  • A little less than 1/3 cup each of:
  • Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
  • Espresso Balsamic Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Water
  • 1 Vanilla Bean – Cut in thirds.
  • 3 Green Cardamom Pods (whole)
  • 12 White Peppercorns (whole)

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1. Sterilize jars and lids, set aside.

2. Wash and dry berries. Hull and slice enough to fill the 3 8 oz jars.

3. Mix the liquids and bring to a simmer in a non reactive pot.

4. Add 4 Peppercorns, 1/3 of the vanilla pod and 1 Cardamom pod in each jar.

5. Pour in liquid leaving a little room at the top.

6. Cover, cool and refrigerate for at least 3 days.

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We purchase our Balsamic Vinegars from Green Olive Company in Columbus, Ohio