Kid-friendly Black Pepper Stewed Strawberries Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Black Pepper Stewed Strawberries

Recipe: Black Pepper Stewed Strawberries

Black Pepper Stewed Strawberries

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Black Pepper Stewed Strawberries

Black pepper and strawberries might seem like an unlikely duo, but their flavors are surprisingly complementary. In this dish, the bold warmth of black pepper intensifies the strawberries' natural sweetness. The end result? A sweet, subtly spiced syrup that's just right for spooning over your favorite dessert. Yum!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • boil :

    to cook a food in liquid heated to the point of gas bubbles and steam forming (boiling point is 212 F at sea level).

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • simmer :

    to cook a food gently, usually in a liquid, until softened.

Equipment Checklist

  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Small saucepan
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon


Black Pepper Stewed Strawberries

  • 2 C fresh or frozen strawberries **(for STRAWBERRY ALLERGY sub blueberries)**
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Food Allergen Substitutions

Black Pepper Stewed Strawberries

  • Strawberry: Substitute blueberries for strawberries.


Black Pepper Stewed Strawberries


Black pepper and strawberries may sound like a combination of flavors you never wanted to try but bear with me. In the 1980s, it became a trend to sprinkle black pepper on your strawberries before eating them. This strange flavor phenomenon took Europe by storm. The pairing combines the sweet and borderline sourness of strawberries with the subtle spice of black pepper to create a new and surprising flavor. This recipe is a saucy and sticky interpretation of that trendy flavor combo.

clean + chop

Rinse and remove the tops from 2 cups of strawberries, discarding the tops. Then, chop the strawberries into a large dice. Place all the chopped strawberries into a small saucepan.

measure + stir

Measure 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 cup water and pour them into the pan with the chopped strawberries. Place the pan on your stove top and turn the heat to high. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

boil + simmer

Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, immediately turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, or more. The longer you boil the mixture, the stickier and jam-like the berries will become.

cool + garnish

Allow the berries and syrup to cool for at least 5 minutes before using them. Drizzle the syrup over your favorite cake or ice cream. Scoop out some strawberries from the liquid and use those on top of our French Butter and Jam Cake. Bon appetit!

Let's Learn About Italy!

Photo by Marina Andrejchenko/
  • Italy became a unified country in 1861, only 150 years ago. It is sometimes called "bel paese" or "beautiful country."  
  • Italians invented the piano and the thermometer! 
  • In ancient Roman mythology, two twin brothers named Romulus and Remus founded Rome, Italy's capital city. The myth says the twins were abandoned and then discovered by a she-wolf before being found and raised by a shepherd and his wife. Eventually (and after many exciting adventures), they found themselves at the location of Palatine Hill, where Romulus built "Roma." The Italian wolf became Italy's unofficial national animal. 
  • In the 1930s and 40s, Mussolini, Italy's prime minister, and dictator tried to eliminate all foreign words from the Italian language. How did he do that? He just changed them! For example, in soccer, "goal" became "meta." Disney character names changed, too: Donald Duck became "Paperino;" Mickey Mouse became "Topolino;" and Goofy became "Pippo." Although they're not banned anymore, these words and names have stuck. So now if you go to the Italian Disneyland, called Gardaland Park, you will see Topolino and Pippo! 
  • About 60 million people call Italy home, and it is 116,350 square miles, slightly larger than the US state of Arizona. If you compare that to the United Kingdom, 67 million people live there, and it is about 94,350 square miles. So, the UK is smaller than Italy but has a bigger population! 
  • The Italian flag is green, white, and red. These colors represent hope, faith, and charity.
  • The average Italian eats close to 55 pounds of pasta annually. If you think about how light pasta is, that is a considerable amount! There are more than 500 different types of pasta eaten in Italy today. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Italy?

  • Kids begin school at 6 years old. They grow up speaking Italian, but they learn English in school, so many become bilingual in Italian and English.
  • The most popular sport for kids is football (soccer). The Italian word for soccer is "calcio," the same word they use for "kick." A favorite of younger kids is "Rody, the bouncing horse," a plastic horse that a small child can hop onto and bounce around the room. Rody was invented in Italy in 1984.  
  • The family ("la famiglia") is a central characteristic of Italian life. Children have great respect for their older relatives. It is traditional to name the first male child after the grandfather and the first female child after the grandmother.
  • If kids live close to school, they can go home and have lunch with their families! Lunch at school might be pasta, meat with vegetables, a sandwich, or a salad with lots of ingredients. Families typically eat dinner later (7 to 8 pm), so kids end up staying up later, too!
  • Between lunch and dinner, kids often enjoy "merenda," which is an afternoon snack that translates to "something that is deserved." It is really a mini-meal that can include both savory and sweet foods. Examples of savory foods are a salami or mortadella sandwich, a slice of rustic bread rubbed with a cut, raw tomato, or "pizza bianca" (white pizza without tomato sauce). Types of sweet foods eaten during merenda are "gelato" (a lower-fat type of ice cream), any kind of cake, or biscotti dipped in warm milk.

Lettuce Joke Around

Why couldn't the worried strawberries be consoled?

They were stewing in their own juice!

Lettuce Joke Around

Why were the little strawberries upset? 

Because their parents were in a jam!

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call a sad strawberry? 

A blueberry.

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call strawberries playing the guitar? 

A jam session!

Lettuce Joke Around

What is a scarecrow’s favorite fruit? 


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