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Neighborhood news

Sweet sensation

Published March 16, 2007


You know IT when you find IT: It's something unique, something out of the way, something you could find only at one place in the Brandon and South Shore area. Send your picks, finds and hidden treasures to


At Collins Produce, curious shoppers linger over an array of fruits and vegetables. There's butternut squash that's larger than a toy poodle. Just one of the massive eggplants could feed an elementary school.

The offerings at the open-air Valrico stand are sublime and serendipitous. Who doesn't want a big, $5 glass jug of cherry cider? Who doesn't need a quart of habanero peppers?

Now that you've assuaged your guilt by at least looking at healthy produce, move on to the main event: dessert.

During strawberry season, that can only mean one thing -pizza. Buy a slice or, for $10, get the whole pie.

Fresh, deep red fruit rests in a red glaze. Below, there's a flaky crust that's just thick enough to support the mound of fruit. On top is a layer of whipped cream. Word to the wise: Go for the topping only if you're going to eat it right away. Better yet, do without it. Don't let anything get in the way of the bursts of berry flavor.

So how does it taste? Think strawberry pie, but without the overbearing sugar flavor or encumbrance of a top crust.

The glory of this dish: It's all about the berry.

Doug Bennett can be reached at 661-2440 or


. Can't wait?

Check it out

Collins Produce, 2810 State Road 60 in Valrico, is open every day - including holidays - from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 657-2016.


[Last modified March 15, 2007, 07:42:29]

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