An Ode to the Strawberry
April 29, 2017
Strawberries are my favourite fruit btw. If you happen to be less well acquainted than I am, please read on…
- Not all strawberries are red. Some are yellow and even white. The white ones are known as pineberries and taste like pineapples.
- Misnomer alert: strawberries are accessory fruits rather than actual berries. Berries’ seeds are on the inside.
- Speaking of seeds, they are the only fruit to wear their seeds externally. (Each apparent “seed” on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it again! TMI? Forget about that part…) The average strawberry is adorned with roughly 200 of them: #EmbellishmentOnPoint.
- Eager beaver strawberries are the first fruit to ripen each Spring.
- Their sweet taste is matched by an intoxicatingly sweet fragrance; they are considered esteemed members of the rose family.
- The (sage) Ancient Romans believed strawberries held medicinal powers and used them to treat an array of ailments, from sore throats to depression.
- There are others in existence who are more fanatical than I am! There is a museum in Belgium devoted to strawberries – Musée de la Fraise de Wépion. The gift shop sells everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer. (Well it is Belgium after all!)
- The American state of Delaware celebrates Strawberry Week in late May every year. Book your flights!
- They abound in anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals: vitamin C (immune system booster and skin saviour; 5 strawberries contain more vitamin C than on orange FYI!), the mineral manganese (another hero in the anti-oxidant system), folate (= vitamin B9 which is necessary for the generation and maintenance of tissue; it is especially important during periods of intense growth such as pregnancy) and potassium (a mineral involved in blood pressure regulation as well as many other essential bodily functions- too many to mention). They also contain small amounts of iron, copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, K and E as well as some more exotic-sounding plant compounds and anti-oxidants, among them pelargonidin (responsible for strawberries’ bright colour), ellagic acid, ellagitannins and procyanidins.
- Rub a slice over your teeth the next time you chop one; they are natural teeth whiteners: #winning!