What’s Fresh? Strawberries!

What’s Fresh? Strawberries!

What’s Fresh? Strawberries!

By Seth McBride, Marketing Intern

 

Did you know the French were the first to cultivate the juicy, tender strawberries we know of today? Although, ancient Roman poets Ovid and Virgil mentioned strawberries in their writings, the fruits they spoke of were small, tough, and bland in comparison to the modern ones. Now, strawberries have become the most popular berry fruit in the world.

As a unique member of the rose family, it comes as no surprise that strawberries are a symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. An ancient legend said that if you broke a heart-shaped double strawberry in half and shared it, you two would fall in love with each other. Ancient Romans also believed that strawberries had many medicinal properties and could be used to alleviate symptoms of melancholy, fainting, fevers, throat infections, and diseases of the blood.

The United States is now the largest producer of strawberries. These berries have become the most anticipated fruits of the summer because of their iconic sweet and juicy flavor, as well as their unmistakable fragrance. Strawberries are also the only fruit with seeds on their skin rather than inside. Pair the fact that they are nutritious (as an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, and Omega-3s) along with their delicious flavor, and you have the best of both worlds.

Strawberries will be arriving at the Co-op fresh from California tomorrow. When searching for strawberries, the ideal berry is plump, firm, and shiny red (yellow or green berries require more time to ripen). Also, you should look for medium-sized berries as opposed to the largest you can find because the large ones tend to be less flavorful.

It’s important to use strawberries as soon as possible because of their short storage life. However, strawberries freeze well if you need to store them for prolonged periods of time. In the event that you want to use them fresh, it is easy to use the bulk of your strawberries before they spoil because of the wide variety of recipes they complement. Try some of these sweet and healthy recipes that capture that signature strawberry flavor: