English Name: Strawberry
Botanical Name: Fragaria × ananassa
DESCRIPTION: A soft edible red fruit with seeds on the surface. So easy to grow and so delicious to eat for the British, Strawberries and cream are the ultimate taste of summer.
The only problems with strawberries is that the sweetest varieties only last for a short time once harvested, so supermarkets often have varieties that look nice but taste of practically nothing.
ORIGIN: Over 400 years later, this quote by 17th century English writer Dr. William Butler “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did”. Still reflects the high esteem most people hold for strawberry. Its fragrant aroma, delightful sweet flavor It was used as a symbol for Venus, the goddess of Love, because of its heart shape and red colour.
There are species of strawberry native to temperate regions all around the world. However, it was the union of two species native to the Americans that gave us our garden strawberry is a species of strawberry native to North America. History records Fragaria virginiana was taken from the New World to France in 1624.
Fragaria chiloensis is a wild specie of strawberry native to Chili. It bears berries like the size of the walnut. It, too, was taken to France in 1712. It was not until the late 1700’s that strawberry made its way back to the America’s, and by 1825 strawberry production was established in the US. One of the first popular cultivated was ‘Hovey’ introduced in 1838 by Charles Honey fruit grower and writer from Massachusetts.
NATURAL BENEFITS: Strawberries are low in fat but high in Vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium. One cup of strawberries contains only 55 calories.
USES: Used as a smoothie, eaten raw or with cream, can also be made into fruit juice, jam, etc.