With Wimbledon in full swing, we thought we’d tell you everything there is to know about our beloved strawberry, which are currently in season and sweeter than ever. You literally can not beat the British strawberry for full on juicy flavour.
Strawberries come from a plant called ‘fragaria’ and they’re actually members of the rose family.
A strawberry also isn’t a true berry as a berry usually has seeds on the inside.
Each Strawberry “seed” (achene) is actually one of the ovaries of the flower with a seed inside it.
An average strawberry has approximately 200 seeds on it, these seeds can actually grow to make new plants but most strawberries spread and grow by runners which the strawberry plant produces itself.
Strawberry plants are divided into three categories: June-bearing, these produce the most flavoursome berries; everbearing, which typically provide two main crops each year; and day neutral, which flower and fruit consistently throughout the summer.
There are just 33 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of strawberries making them an ideal sweet snack or treat.
Strawberries mainly consist of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7.7%). They contain only minor amounts of fat (0.3%) and protein (0.7%).
The health benefits of strawberries are impressive these include improved eye care, proper brain function, relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and various cardiovascular diseases. The high antioxidant content of strawberries make them great for improving the immune system, preventing against various types of cancers and for reducing the signs of premature aging.
In addition to antioxidants, they have plentiful other nutrients, multi vitamins, and minerals that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and magnesium. Strawberries are also extremely high in vitamin C.
The garden strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France in the 1750s by crossing a Gragaria virginiana, from North America, with a Gradaria chiloensis, from Chile.
The heaviest strawberry weighs 250 g (8.82 oz), which was grown by Koji Nakao (Japan) and was weighed in Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan, on 28 January 2015. To give you an idea this is the same size as an average punnet of supermarket strawberries.
There is a museum in Belgium dedicated to strawberries. In the gift shop at Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum), you can buy everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer. The Greeks dip their strawberries in sugar and brandy, the Swede’s have these for dessert on St Johns Day (Midsummer night).