The best strawberries (in my humble opinion ;-) at the Wednesday market in Santa Monica are at Rutiz Farms. They're the only ones to sell the galante variety, and ... WOW! The difference between grocery store strawberries and farmers' market strawberries is dramatic. The word styrofoam comes to mind. And the difference between other strawberries and the galante? Ka-Pow!! Now don't get me wrong. The seascape and gaviota berries are nice, as are the other varieties that I'm sure are out there. But every time I taste the galante, I feel special. Like I've been let in on a delicate little secret. So shhhhh! But if you're in the neighborhood, do try them.
If you're wondering about it, I found an old article from Sage Restaurant that discusses the 'Galante.'
"Jerry Rutiz’s roadside strawberry stand attracts all the locals around his rural-residential corner of Arroyo Grande. That’s because he sells a variety called ‘Galante’ that a friend of his bred just for sweetness. It’s a garden variety without a long shelf life. It won’t last a week to ten days in a shipping container like commercial varieties, so it sells well in Europe, where markets are closer to the growers. It also yields less fruit, but since it was developed from older, more resistant varieties, it can be grown pesticide free—unlike commercial types, whose less disease-resistant roots only do well in fumigated soil. Chef Rich waited and waited to put strawberries on the menu until the sweetest, locally grown ones became available, and he buys them from Jerry at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. When you taste Sage’s strawberry ice cream or strawberry rhubarb turnovers you’ll thank them both for taking a stand."