Monday, March 29, 2010
Strawberries facts and trivia:
Berries on a straw? There is a legend that strawberries were named in the nineteenth-century by English children who picked the fruit, strung them on grass straws and sold them as "Straws of berries". Another theory is the name was derived from the nineteenth-century practice (ands still today, although most farms use raised beds, enclosed in plastic) of placing straw around the growing berry plants to protect the ripening fruit.
Fragrant - The strawberry belongs to the genus Fragraria in the rose family, along with apples and plums. The name of the scientific classification was derived from the Old Latin word for fragrant. The modern Italian word for strawberry is still "Fragola".
Very berry or not? The strawberry is not classified by botanists as a true berry. True berries, such as blueberries and cranberries have seeds inside. The strawberry, however has its dry, yellow "seeds" on the outside (each of which is actually considered a separate fruit).
Native American Indians called strawberries "heart-seed berries" and pounded them into their traditional corn-meal bread. Discovering the great taste of the Native Americans bread, colonists decided to create their own version, which became an American favorite that we all know and love .. Strawberry Shortcake.
Ornamental value - The English and French also found strawberries used the beautiful heart-shaped berries to landscape their gardens. In fourteenth-century France, Charles V ordered twelve hundred strawberry plants to be grown in the Royal Gardens of the Louvre.
Lovely berries - Strawberries have long been associated with love and flirtation. At wedding breakfasts in provincial France, newlyweds traditionally were served a soup of thinned sour cream, strawberries, borage and powdered sugar.
Seedy characters - On the average, there are 200 tiny seeds in every strawberry. If all the strawberries produced in California this year were laid berry to berry, they'd wrap around the world 15 times. That's enough strawberries to provide every U.S. household with 12 pint baskets.
Are you weird? Respondents to a recent national survey labeled strawberry lovers as "health conscious, fun loving, intelligent and happy." Non-strawberry lovers, on the other hand, were described as "weird, boring, stuffy--picky, fussy eaters who avoid healthy foods."